Ginataan Halo-halo

Coconut-based Dessert With Banana, Sweet Potatoes and Tapioca Pearls

Ginataan or oftentimes called Ginataang Halo-halo is a favorite Filipino mid-day snack or dessert.

It is made from boiled coconut milk with a mix of bananas, sweet potatoes, taro root and tapioca pearls or sago.

An important component is the bilo-bilo or glutinous flour balls.

You can use either Galapong or a mix of sweet rice flour with water.

Tapioca pearls from your Asian store come in cooked and dried form.

If all you have are dried tapioca pearls, soak them overnight and boil for 5-10 minutes with enough water.

It will take you hours to boil dried tapioca pearls if they are not soaked beforehand.


  • Coconut Milk
  • Sweet Rice Flour or Glutinous Flour
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Banana Saba or Ripe Plantains
  • Taro root or Gabi(optional)
  • Tapioca Pearls or Sago


  • Sugar


  • 2 cans Coconut Milk
  • 4 cups Water
  • 2 cups Sweet Potatoes, cubed
  • 2 cups Banana Saba or Ripe Plantains, cubed
  • 2 cups Taro root or Gabi(optional), cubed
  • 1/2 cup Tapioca Pearls or Sago, cooked
  • 1 cup Sugar

  • 4 cups Sweet Rice Flour or Glutinous Flour
  • 1 3/4 cups Water

1  Make the bilo-bilo by mixing the sweet rice flour with water. Roll in 1/2 inch balls.

2 Mix the coconut milk, water, sugar and bilo-bilo in a pot and bring to a boil.

3 Turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes, making sure the balls don't stick together.

4 Add the sweet potatoes and taro root and cook for another 5 minutes, then add the bananas and tapioca pearls.

5 Cook for 3 - 4 minutes or until the sweet potatoes and taro root are soft but not mushy.


  • Sweet potatoes vary from off-white flesh to bright yellow or almost orange. Try to get the off-white kind, sometimes called Japanese sweet potatoes, otherwise your Ginataan Halo-halo will be orange instead of white.
  • No ripe cooking bananas? Try using your snacking banana lacatan or latundan. Just add them towards the end so they don't get mushy.
  • If available, add about a third of a cup jackfruit or langka in strips for added flavor.

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