Ube Palitaw (Dila-Dila)


Hello again!  Here’s the third from the four recipes I mentioned in my previous post.  Another childhood favorite of mine.  A very popular dessert served during holiday season, especially during Christmas and New Year’s Eve.  It’s sweet rice flour cooked in boiling water then dipped in cinnamon sugar and Sesame seeds and served with freshly grated coconut.  This is the authentic way of preparing this childhood treat.  But, I wanted to give this classic favorite a makeover or a twist by adding my favorite purple yam and different coating.  This delicious treat derived its name from a Filipino word litaw, which means float or surface.  The “Pa” in “Palitaw”  is a prefix indicating support that means “to” Hence, Palitaw (to float).  The Ilocanos call this Dila-dila, which means tongue because they resemble the shape of a tongue (oval shape).  They’re chewy and sticky, but ooh…so delicious! ❤

Sometimes when you are out of ingredients, it’s a blessing in disguise.  It helps you create something amazing.  I didn’t have any freshly grated coconut, but I had an unused cookie crumbs, so I combine it with just a small amount of sugar and cinnamon to sweetened the Palitaw.  Besides the Sesame seeds I also added some flax seeds for omega-fatty acids benefits and some toasted coconut flakes for added crunch.  Next time, you ran out of ingredients, don’t panic.  Get in touch with your creative side and whip up something amazing.  🙂


  • 1 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup uncooked grated purple yam
  • 1/2 tablespoon purple yam (Ube) extract


  • 1/2 cup Keebler butter cookie crumbs (See Notes)
  • 3 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons Sesame seeds

Served to the side:

  • Toasted coconut flakes or freshly grated coconut flesh (See Notes)


  1. Bring water to simmer while you prepare the Palitaw.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine sweet rice flour and water. Mix until well-combined.
  3. Add the purple yam (ube) and the extract. Mix until combined or until it pulls away from the side of the bowl and a dough formed.
  4. Lightly grease both your hands with a small amount of oil.  This will prevent the Palitaw dough from sticking.
  5. Scoop a large spoonful (I used a serving spoon) of the dough and roll to form a ball then flatten using your fingers to form an oval shape.
  6. Bring the heat to medium high and let the water come to a boil.  Add one Palitaw at a time.  It’s cooked when it floats.  Remove and place on the banana leaf  to allow water to evaporate. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
  7. Combine the coating ingredients in a large plate.  Mix until well-combined.
  8. Coat the Palitaw and with the crumbs mixture. (See Notes)
  9. Serve with toasted or freshly grated coconut flesh.
  10. Enjoy!


  • Make sure the Palitaw is dry before covering with the crumbs coating or it will be soggy.  Cover with Saran wrap if they’re to be eaten later to prevent skin from forming.
  • You can add the toasted coconut in the crumb mixture if the Palitaw are to be eaten  right away.  If not, serve it to the side and let your guests or family garnish their own.  That way, the coconut flakes stay crunchy.
  • The sugar content in the cookie crumbs is enough combine with 11/2 tablespoons sugar, but you can add more if you want it sweeter.
  • You can use the authentic coating by mixing sesame seeds, sugar, and ground cinnamon to your taste.
  • If you prefer to use freshly grated coconut flesh, do so.  Nothing beats the authentic coating, but it still is as delicious either way.  It’s just a matter of preference and taste.
  • You can  triple the recipe to accommodate a large crowd.
  • These treats are really good on the first day, but  not so much the following day, especially if you leave them uncovered!

Here’s the authentic Palitaw (without the purple yam) I made on New Year’s Eve 2012.  Delicious!  ❤

I hope you give this recipe a try.  If you like or love sweet rice treats, you will definitely love this.  ❤

Thanks again for visiting.  I hope you’ll continue to visit my blog in the future.  Don’t forget to Subscribe or Follow to get the latest recipes.  Please be kind and mention my blog or link back to source if you plan to use or share any of my recipes.  Have a wonderful weekend.  See you next time. 🙂


14 thoughts on “Ube Palitaw (Dila-Dila)

    • Hi, Liz! Thank you for the lovely compliment. Yes, it was delicious and definitely perfect for Easter dessert, especially to Asians. Thanks for stopping by Liz. Have a wonderful Easter! 🙂

  1. I’m not at all familiar with this Anna, but anything with crumbled butter cookies and cinnamon sugar has got to be good. I bet your kids loved them. Have a great week, Anna.

    • Hi, John! Thank you for your kind words. These treats are similar to the Japanese treats called Mochi. It’s made with sweet rice flour as well and they taste quite good. 🙂 My children like them served warm. 🙂
      Thanks for the visit, John. Enjoy the rest of the week, and happy Easter to you and your family. 🙂

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