February 17, 2018

tarang bulan

tarang bulan - (ta-ráng bu-lan; Ta'u-sug snack; dw Bahasa Melayo tarang [bright] + Tausug bulan [moon]) [n.] bright moon pancake \stuffed folded golden pancake.

Muslim hotcake in Chavacano [Zamboangueño]

A traditional pancake made with a runny batter of flour mixed with some water (or fresh milk), baking powder, sugar, and yellow-orange food color.

A Tausug lass selling tarang bulan in Zamboanga City public market.
A pan is pre-heated and brushed with butter (or margarine) on the surface. A scoop of the batter is poured on the pan and set to cook on medium fire until the batter formed into a round patty of pancake with bubbly perforation on its surface and smooth on the underside. The pancake is removed from the pan and the top side is spread with sweetened boiled mongo beans (mungbeans) then folded halfway making it to look like a half-moon.

When serving, the tarang bulan is sliced into parts.

This snack originated in neighboring Asian countries and can be found also in Indonesia and Malaysia.

I found this Tausug tarang bulan in the corner of Zamboanga City's public market in 2013.
The name tarang bulan is from the Bahasa Melayo tarang meaning "bright" and Tausug bulan meaning "moon." The shape and its bright yellow-orange color are enough explanation why this folded stuffed pancake is aptly called as a bright moon.

The only difference it has with the usual pancake we can find in other region is that spread of sweetened boiled mongo beans stuffed in the folded pancake.

Personal notes:

If you need to look for this in Metro Manila, don't go far, you can find them on weekends in Maharlika Village near the Blue Mosque.

If you prepare the pancake of tarang bulan by yourself, you can follow the way western pancake or the Tagalog and Visayan hot cake is done. Just make it way a lot bigger and thicker than those you found in the morning menu of Jolibee and McDo. You sprinkle the batter with little amount of ground salt to make the patty pancake more savory. Adding a dash of cinnamon powder  or droplets of vanilla extract would make the pancake lusciously aromatic. Boiled pandan leaf extract will do it too.

For the sweetened mongo beans, you can prepare them like the way minatamis na monggo is done for the traditional summer halo-halo or of pan de mongo and hopia monggo. It's the same sweetened mongo you can find stuffed in ensaymadang monggo.

If you're fed up with mungbeans all your life or afraid of having gout pains later in your joints, you can vary the fillings.  Instead of sweetened mungbeans, use haleyang ube, strawberry jam (from Benguet), minatamis na buko or macapuno, peanut butter, cheese, omellete, chocolate spread, or leche flan.

For fresh milk, you can substitute it with milk powder mixed with water.  Try kakang gata, it will do wonder too.

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