Pichi-pichi is a pretty unusual name for a food, so much more for a kakanin. I don’t know where it got it’s name from but I like it. It sounds like pica-pica which is what pichi-pichi is in essence: a bite size snack.
It is a type of kakanin which refers to the many ways of cooking sweet rice and other root crops like cassava and purple yams; and are meant to be eaten as snack or desserts. I grew up on these native sweets; cookies, ice creams and cakes were reserved for special occasions.
My first pichi-pichi experience was from an aunt, although unpopular among her nieces and nephews for being stern and masungit (sulky), she knew lots of delicious ways to win our hearts over. She always had something sweet to offer that kept us coming back like little bees to flowers. This is one of her favorite treats to make that I particularly find hard to resist.
Pichi -pichi is basically steamed grated cassava rolled into balls and covered with fresh grated coconut. There are several varieties of pichi-pichi and couple of ways (that I know ) of cooking them. I will start with the basic and simpler one, I’ll post the other recipes separately.
I made these pichi-pichi using brown sugar as you can see in the photo, it has an amber color and you will also noticed that my pichi-pichi is not smooth. That’s because I used fresh cassava; I grated it larger than usual because it’ll take me forever to finish grating it otherwise.
This is the recipe for pichi-pichi, it’s very simple, really.
adapted from Sarap Pinoy
2 cups grated cassava (fresh or otherwise)
2 cups sugar ( I used only 1 2/3 cups)
2 cups pandan water ( I used plain water)
fresh grated coconut ( used unsweetened dessicated)
NOTE: As you will notice, the recipe is using 2:2:2 ratio but I find this to be too sweet so I reduced the sugar and replaced it with brown sugar.
If starting with raw fresh cassava root: Peel and grate cassava first then proceed as follows:
In a bowl, combined grated cassava with sugar and water; mix well until thorughly combined. Steam for 45 minutes. Let cool completely.
Shape about a tablespoon each into balls and roll them in fresh grated coconut. I used dessicated coconut because the fresh ones spoils fast and also I added some grated cheese. The saltiness cut the sweetness of this treat.