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Home Food & Recipes Lutong Gipit Cookbook Tells Stories of Peasant Women Through Recipes

Lutong Gipit Cookbook Tells Stories of Peasant Women Through Recipes

The dishes highlight the struggles and demands of peasant women, farmers, and fisherfolk in the middle of a pandemic.

The late renowned chef Anthony Bourdain once said, “Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go.” And this holds true in the Lutong Gipit: Mga Recipe sa Panahon ng Krisis cookbook. 

Aimed to raise awareness on various causes– livelihood, price increase, insufficient financial aid, food scarcity, lockdowns, and red-tagging– the book tells the silent stories of the peasant community amid the pandemic. (Read: Maginhawa Community Pantry Postponed Due to Red-Tagging)

Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women, in partnership with Rural Women Advocates (RUWA) and Gantala Press, described Lutong Gipit as “not your ordinary cookbook.”

And it really isn’t. 

Plight behind every meal 

Amihan explained that behind the simplistic dishes presented in the cookbook is the plight of farmers from Pangil, Laguna; Rodriguez, Rizal; Dasmarinas, Cavite; Bacoor, Cavite; and Leon, Iloilo prepare during the pandemic. 

True enough, each recipe, dishes that can be found served on a Filipino family’s table and only costs P100 or less, highlights the lack of sustainable programs for food security and access to affordable and healthy ingredients– critical factors in securing one’s and health and family, especially during a time of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Role of peasant women

But Filipinos, especially nanays, are resourceful. Peasant women have ultimately found a way to sustain their family’s needs, relying on community food initiatives such as planting vegetables and root crops, maintaining community gardens, and cultivating communal farms to serve healthy dishes at lesser costs. (Read: 3 Delicious Bangus Recipes You Can Try at Home)

For one, farmers from Lupang Ramos, Cavite, Tumauini, Isabela, and Rodriguez, Rizal cook the vegetables they harvest from their bungkalan or communal gardens. This stemmed from the continuous rise of prices of basic commodities and other factors that affect these peasant families. 

The stories behind the dishes

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“We join the resistance of all the women and mothers in the country to take the initiative of securing ‘food on the table’ by planting vegetables, rootcrops and others or maintaining community gardens or cultivating communal farms. (Photos from Rural Women Advocates – RUWA Facebook)

“The inexpensive dishes of Rodriguez, Rizal also showcase the effect of massive quarrying that endangers the lives, health and source of potable water for the residents. The recipes in Pangil, Laguna demonstrate the food shortage due to immense land conversion around Laguna Lake and shortage of fish due to fish pens and cages built by big corporations,” RUWA explained.

“The economical recipes from Leon, Iloilo are the farmers’ way of facing the grave impacts of the conversion of prime agricultural lands into residential, commercial, and industrial lands,” RUWA stated. (Read: Diocese of Dumaguete Expresses Concern Over Proposed ‘Smart City’ Reclamation Plan)

Recipes from Lutong Gipit cookbook

To air out their grievances, emphasize the importance of solidarity, and inform the public of their daily struggles, peasant women from their respective communities wrote the recipes of the dishes they usually cook during the pandemic. Here are some of them:

Bulanglang O Laswa

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Photo from Panlasang Pinoy

Bulalang O Laswa is a boiled vegetable soup dish composed of a variety of vegetables. It is often served as a meal along with fried fish. Peasant women from Leon, Iloilo shared their own recipe. (Read: Which is the more Filipino dish, adobo or sinigang?)

Ingredients:

  • Okra, sariling tanim
  • Luya, sariling tanim
  • Sili, sariling tanim
  • Sitaw, PHP 10/tali
  • Kalabasa, PHP 10/hati
  • Talong, PHP 10/piraso
  • Kamatis, PHP 5/piraso
  • Sibuyas, PHP 5/piraso
  • Bagoong isda (opsyunal), PHP 35/bote
  • Ulam: PHP 40 o PHP P75 kung may bagoong

Procedure: 

1.Hugasan, balatan at gayatin ang mga gulay.

2. Ilagay sa kaserola ang tatlong baso ng tubig, sibuyas, kamatis, luya, at bagoong (opsyunal). Pakuluin nang mabuti at sunod-sunod na ilagay ang mga gulay, simula sa mga gulay na mas matagal lumambot.

3. Timplahan ng asin kung walang bagoong. Kapag luto na ang mga gulay, hanguin at ihain. 

Ginisang Upo

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Photo from Kawaling Pinoy

This simple and healthy dish is easy to cook, which is best paired with fried food as well. Peasant women from Pangil, Laguna shared their own recipe. (Read: The Favorite Dishes of Three Filipino Heroes)

Ingredients:

  • Upo, PHP 25/piraso
  • Sibuyas, PHP 5/piraso
  • Bawang, PHP 2/ilang butil
  • Paminta, PHP 2/balot
    Magic Sarap, PHP 2/sachet
  • Mantika, PHP 5/balot
  • Ulam: PHP 41
  • Kanin: 1 kilong bigas: PHP 45

Procedure:

1.Hugasan at balatan ang upo. Gayatin ito nang manipis at maliit.

2. Balatan at hiwain ang sibuyas at bawang. Igisa.

3. Ihalo rito ang upo. Pakuluin hanggang maluto ang upo. Ihain.

Puso ng Saging

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Photo from Kawaling Pinoy

There are many ways to cook Puso ng Saging or banana blossom. It is usually cooked in gata or coconut milk, making it a creamy and delicious dish. Peasant women from Rodriquez, Rizal shared their own recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Puso ng saging, sariling tanim
  • Niyog, sariling tanim
  • Sibuyas, PHP 5/piraso
  • Bawang, PHP 5/ulo
  • Dilis, PHP 10/ballot
  • Ulam: PHP 20
  • Kanin: 1 kilong Bigas: PHP 43

Procedure:

  1. Alisin ang matigas na pulang bahagi (balat) ng puso ng saging. Gayatin nang manipis ang puso at budburan ng asin. Itabi.
  2. Ilagaya sa palanggana ang kinudkod na niyog. Lagyan ng isang basong tubig, lamasing mabuti at pigain. Salain at ilagay sa mangkok ang kakanggata.
  3. Ilagay muli sa palanggan ang sapal ng niyog at lagyan ng tatlong basong tubig. Lamasin nang mabuti, pigain at salain ang pangalawang gata. Itabi ang kakanggata at ikalawang gata.
  4. Pigain ang ginayat na puso ng saging at itapon ang sabaw. Balatan at hiwain ang sibuyas at bawang.
  5. Isangag sa kawali ang dilis. Hanguin kapag pumula na at itabi. Ilagay sa kaserola ang pangalawang gata, puso ng saging, sibuyas, bawang at dilis.
  6. Isalang ang kaserola. Haluin nang mabuti ang mga sangkap. Pakuluin habang maya’t mayang hinahalo.
  7. Timplahan ng asin hanggang sa maluto ang puso ng saging.
  8. Ilagay ang kakanggata at haluin nang mabuti. Pakuluin. Tikman kung sapat na ang timpla. Hanguin at ihain. (Karaniwang 5 katao ang maghahati sa hapunan o tanghaliang ginataang puso ng saging) 
 

Support the advocacy 

If you want to show your support to peasant women and amplify their voices, you can donate or purchase the cookbook. The Lutong Gipit: Mga Recipe sa Panahon ng Krisis is only available in digital copy for now. Printed copies will be available soon! Most recipes in the cookbook cost PHP 100 or less. Proceeds from this project will be donated to Amihan, and will be distributed to peasant women from different communities. 


Text by Kayla Ramos and Yen Cantiga

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