There’s nothing like a bowl of hot soup or rice porridge to keep us warm during these chilly November days.
As if in timely fashion, what should appear on the global stage last month but the chocolate rice porridge we all know and love as champorado? Clara Reyes Lapus, Mama Sita’s indefatigable president, brought Mama Sita’s Champorado Kit to Paris and presented it at the trade exhibition called Salon International de l’Agroalimantaire (SIAL).
Now on its 50th year, SIAL is a showcase of food trends and innovations from all over the world. Through the years, it has seen such global revolutions as the launching of the first Tetra Brik pack in the ’70s, the sale of the first microwave oven by Amana to the public in 1967, and the emergence of pre-packed, prewashed, ready-to-eat salad vegetables in France in 1984.
For its part, Mama Sita has been at the forefront of food innovations in the Philippines since the 1980s. With the massive deployment of OFWs to different countries, Teresita “Mama Sita” Reyes (daughter of the legendary founder of Aristocrat Doña Engracia Reyes) saw the need to provide these overseas workers with ready-to-cook Filipino food in convenient packages. Thus started the mixes, sauces and dips that have since become ubiquitous in Filipino kitchens: sinigang mix, palabok sauce, caldereta, menudo and adobo mixes.
Although the champorado kit is a more recent product, it has already won recognition. Using only the finest rice variety and organically grown cacao from Davao, it was given the Citation Award during SIAL’s Asean Expo in Manila last June. Along with Mama Sita’s arroz caldo, it was also nominated for the innovation award.
‘Made from scratch’
I’m not really a fan of instant mixes but a chocolate rice porridge that has been given an award certainly deserves to be tried and tested. This champorado, I’m happy to say, tasted so much like it was made from scratch.
Well, in a way, it was made from scratch, because it had to be mixed, stirred and watched over the stove for about 20 minutes, just as if you had gathered all the ingredients yourself. The only difference is the convenience of having all the ingredients already packed together in one complete kit.
Of course, you can always innovate. Try adding cream instead of milk, for instance, to make a really rich champorado. Instead of fried dilis, serve it with bottled gourmet tuyo or fried danggit. If you need to sweeten it further (it already contains sugar), try adding muscovado sugar or coconut sugar. What delicious possibilities these are.
Mama Sita’s Champorado
Rinse the pack of glutinuous rice contained in the Mama Sita Champorado Porridge Kit. Drain then pour the grains into a medium saucepan. Add the accompanying porridge base that’s inside the kit. Pour in the water. Bring to a boil.
Lower heat to a simmer and let simmer while stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked and the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat before it becomes very thick—the mixture will continue to thicken off the heat.
If desired, stir in milk and sugar, or pour the champorado into individual bowls and serve with milk and sugar on the side.
Top with sliced tuyo or tinapa or crispy dilis, if desired.
For more tips, recipes and stories, visit author’s blog: www.normachikiamco.com and Facebook fan page: www.facebook.com/normachikiamco. Follow on Twitter@NormaChikiamco
If you want a thicker champorado, add less water and/or cook the mixture longer.
For a lighter champorado, use more water.
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