Suman is a generic name for the Filipino snack or dessert made of sticky rice wrapped in banana or coconut leaves. There are several varieties of suman depending on the province or region which may add or leave out some ingredients in the classic suman recipe.
A basic recipe for suman usually uses glutinous rice boiled in coconut milk and mixed with cane or brown sugar. In the Visayas region, bits of crushed ginger are used to add a spicy accent to the sweetness. In Luzon some broken bits of nuts are mixed with the rice to add a nutty flavour. In some regions, varieties of red, black or purple rice are also usedor mixed with the sticky rice and then boiled with the same coconut milk for flavour.
What to serve with the suman also differs depending on regional tastes and habits, with Visayans often serving it with freshly made hot chocolate drink or slices of ripe mangoes.
They also dipped the suman into simmering cups of thick chocolate for a more zesty and filling dessert. Melted cane sugar mixed with coconut milk called ‘latik’ is also a popular dipping sauce.
Another variety of suman is suman sa ibus, basically the same sticky rice but intricately wrapped in buri palm leaves and cooked in coconut milk. Suman sa ibus is served with a platter of sugar for dipping. Roasted, grated coconut is also often used as garnish or topping for freshly cooked suman.