October 23, 2019
Cuchinta - featured photo

It seems that Cuchinta (kutsinta or kutchinta) , this popular Filipino “kakanin”, has fallen in flavor when commercially bought. Good thing it is something you can make without too much fuss.

On my first day of “Kakanin”class, it was voted the best of what I was teaching. Upon inquiring as to why it was chosen the best, the reply was, “It’s the best we have tasted; like it used to taste when we were young.”

It’s something you can make without too much fuss. Watch how easy is is to make Cuchinta.

Cuchinta (Kutsinta or Kutchinta)

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By Marianne de Leon Serves: Makes 2 dozen
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

A popular Filipino "Kakanin" or snack made of tapioca flour, brown sugar, and annatto water, cuchinta is quite easy to make.


  • 1 cup (140 grams) tapioca (cassava) flour
  • 1 cup (140 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon rice flour
  • 2 cups (400 grams) brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lye water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 level teaspoon annatto seeds with 1 teaspoon lye then soaked in 1/2 cup hot water
  • 3 cups pandan water - place water in a small saucepan and place two pandan leaves, cut up into small pieces, and bring to a boil for 5 minutes; then cool
  • Grated fresh coconut for serving



Mix the annatto seeds with 1 teaspoon lye water and then add 1/2 cup hot water. Let the seeds bleed out their color.


Strain out the seeds and mix the annatto colored water with the pandan water to make 3 1/2 cups; add the salt.


In another bowl, mix together the tapioca flour, all purpose floor, and brown sugar.


Slowly pour in the annatto colored water while stirring constantly.


Add 2 teaspoons lye water into this mixture.


Continue to stir and then let sit for one hour so that the flour gets to absorb more water.


TIP #1: I also like to use the paddle of a mixer and mix it for 15 minutes using the electric mixer. You can make the mixture and let sit, covered with cloth, overnight.


TIP #2: Before pouring into next batch of cuchinta, stir the mixture again to make sure the water has not separated from the flour. Use as dispensing bottle a plastic ketchup bottle to make pouring into containers easier.


To make into cuchinta shape, get small, about 2 to 2 ½-inch round moulds and brush with oil, and place ⅛ cup to ¼ cup with the mixture; or the 1 tablespoon moulds for the bite size pieces. If using small sauce dishes, make sure the mixture does not reach the lip of the saucer.


Get a steamer and place about 2 - 3 inches of water in the base of the steamer and bring to a rolling boil.


Place the filled moulds on the second layer of the steamer, cover (cover the steamer cover with katcha to prevent the water from dripping into the product) and begin to steam.


Steam for 30 minutes or till the mixture is firm.


Remove from the steamer basket and let cool.


To remove from the mould, place a bit of oil (2 tablespoons) in a sauce dish and using the tip of a blunt knife, dip the tip of knife in oil and use this to remove the cuchinta from mould.


Your fingertips must also be dipped in oil to prevent the cuchinta from sticking to each other when placing in a serving dish and when you hold the cuchinta to place in dish.


Serve with freshly grated coconut.

Recipe updated on February 20, 2020.

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