This maligay is a model house used in ceremonial activities of the Sama made out of rice cakes (jā).
This maligay is a model house used in ceremonial activities of the Sama made out of rice cakes (jā).

Jā, a type of rice cookie, is a specialty food of Sulu & Mindanao commonly prepared and used during Muslim festivities.  The Sama & Tausug both call it Jā.  To the Magindanaon it is tinagtag.  The Kaagan call this food amik and Chavacanos call it lukot-lukot.  Though you can readily find pictures and even video of Jā’ and the process used to cook it, nowhere can you find the recipe.  Here we have both the recipe as elicited in Sinama and also translated into English.

Kagunahan | Ingredients

5 kilu buwas (5 kilos rice)
2.5 kilu sokal-keyat (2.5 kilos brown sugar)
4 kilu ns’llan (4 kilos cooking oil)

  1. Nihagoman buwas. Bang alunuk na pinatitis na bohe’na.
    (Soak the rice in water.  When it is soft pour out the excess water)
  2. Pagubus giniling atawa tin’ppa.
    (Next grind or pulverize the rice)
  3. Pagubus niayak.
    (Sift the flour)
  4. Niaddun tapung maka sokal-keyat.
    (Mix the rice flour with the brown sugar)
  5. Ginanta’ bohe’na.
    (Add just enough water to make it moist)
  6.  Ni’isi addunan ni ulayan, pangahinangan jā.
    (Pour the dough into the specialized mold for jā.)*
  7. Tin’ttek ulayan bo’ apakpak addunan ni kaha’.
    (Tap the mold in order for the dough to drip into the frying pan.)
  8. Nilupi mint’llu bo’ angaluwa dinglu’ atawa mint’dda bo’ bulan-bulan luwana.
    (Fold three times to make triangle-shaped rice cookies and once to make the moon-shaped rice cookies.

* Possibly the most difficult part of this recipe is finding or making a mold for jā.  It is made out of a coconut shell that has tiny holes pierced through it.  I was told that it took possibly as much as 100 attempts to make the coconut shell mold used in this recipe.  It is a very useful tool to own around the various Hailaya (Eid ul Fitr, Eid ul Adha, Maulud) and at wakes (pagjaga) since many households will incorporate jā into their platters of food presented at the Mosque.

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