Thursday, March 29, 2012

Homemade Kaya ( Coconut Egg Jam )

My mother always tells me, ' go and take a rest instead of making this and that', kuihs especially. I remember very well the last time when i passed her some angkoo kuehs and loh mai chee , she said, 'just go and get it from outside, why take the trouble to make these?' That is also because she doesnt know how to make those and that it seems a lot of work to her, well, ..maybe a bit. But i also remember the time when i told her that i wanted to make Tau foo fah, she said' oh make them, it's very easy' .You see, she used to make those when she was young so she knew. Same as this kaya. She told me that if i can make my own kaya and if it's a good one, i will never regret doing it. Asked her how to make kaya, she said, 'oh, forgot already...but make the caramel and use duck eggs.

For the benefit of some overseas friends who are not familiar with kaya, it is a coconut egg jam or more commonly known to us as 'Kaya' (加央) over here in Malaysia and Singapore, is a type of jam or spread  made by using four main ingredients that are eggs, coconut milk, sugar and  pandan (screwpine ) leaves.
It is very sweet usually and comes in original flavour and pandan flavour and most common way to enjoy kaya is by spreading on bread or toasts, like a normal jam.

I then searched the internet for the recipe and came upon Gertrude's kaya ( My Kitchen Snippets ), read the recipe and Whoah.. got to stand in front of the stove and cook for an hour! Ok, ok ..can do cos i really wanted to make it.  Gertrude's recipe calls for 8 eggs, i dont know why i kept thinking 6 eggs so i ended up getting 6 duck eggs and when i came back, i realised i'm short of 2 more eggs so i grabbed 2 chicken eggs from the fridge. Feel free to use all chicken eggs if you want. I used double boiled method and it took me close to an hour to get this done. Keep stirring all the time.

this is how the mixture looks like after 10 minutes cooking in the pot. See the yellow bits ? those are the caramel that got a little harden before i cook them together.

this is after 40 minutes

after 50 minutes before blending. You can choose not to blend if you dont mind a lumpy texture like this.

after blending..smooth. Can still be smoother if i blend further. You can stop the blender several times to chk the smooth consistency that you want.

Recipe ( from My Kitchen Snippets , i used double boiled method, makes around 700gms of kaya)
8 large eggs ( i used 6 duck eggs and 2 chicken eggs)
400ml thick coconut milk
450gm sugar
6 Pandan/screwpine leaves

1.Whisk the eggs and sugar till well combined and strain through a sieve. Add in the coconut milk.
2.Pour the mixture into a thick pot. Get ready another larger pot with boiling water. Take 5 tbsp sugar from the total sugar amount and cook in another small pot till they become caramel and brown, remove from fire and  pour that into the coconut egg mixture. ( the caramel can get hard very fast or you can choose the cook the 5 tbsps of sugar with half of the coconut mixture first )
3.Put the thick pot ( with this coconut egg mixture and caramel) into the larger pot with boiling water( double boil way) and stir . Keep stirring continuously until the mixture becomes thick ( it took me about 50 minutes).
4.Remove it from pot , remove the pandan leaves and blend till smooth. Pour into a big bowl and let cool down before storing them in fridge.

spread it on toasts..

the coffee shop way...

Really nice and very fragrant! I find it slightly sweet for me but still nice. My mum said, 'if it's not sweet, then it's not kaya!' Yes, i would be making these again sometime, though it sounds a little tough standing there stirring continuously for an hour, i really dont mind, just cut down a little bit on the sugar perhaps the next round.


  1. Home made kaya sure taste better and fragrant. I love it, but we consume quite a little of it. The Kaya sure goes expired in my fridge. So, I don't think I want to home made this for my family.

  2. Thanks for the shout out Lena. I like your mother ha ha..if not sweet then it is not kaya. That was what my niece told me. My mom told me kaya taste better and thicker using duck eggs but I can't get them here so I just used chicken eggs so the kaya is a bit on the watery side. I like really smooth kaya so I usually blend it until smooth.

  3. I just love your Mom's advice ! hahaha I love Kaya but haven't eaten it for quiet sometime :P

  4. I have made kaya a couple of times and really love it with toasts and also in steamed baos, so delicious! Standing by the stove for 1 hr is what's stopping from making it again lol!

  5. lena, i come and join you for coffee.
    Did you use fresh coconut milk or those from the supermarts. I dont like to squeeze coconut milk but I know fresh coconut milk is definitely more fragrant than those in the chillers.

  6. some recipe calls for cornflour to shorten the cooking process,i tried that once when after cooking for two hours, and the kaya is still very liquid, so i added a teaspoon of cornflour, and it turned out to be smooth and nice in 15 mins!

  7. Ooooo....I'm enlightened! I didn't know it needs to be blended! No wonder mine was always not so smooth. Ok ok, thanks for the big tip and I shall attempt it again when I get some duck eggs next time. (^_^)

  8. so this is at kaya is made of! never knew!

  9. This is interesting! Duck eggs, Salted or unsalted? I never seen fresh unsalted duck eggs before tho... Hehe...

  10. yan:i think older generation likes kaya more but now after the kopitiam trend, seems more younger people enjoying this too especially with butter.

    Gert: my mum has a very sweet tooth. When i say something sweetness is just alright, she said, tasteless,when i find something very sweet, she will say' ooh, very nice!'yeah, she also mentioned that using duck eggs are more fragrant. thanks for the recipe.

    anne: actually she forgot how to make a lot of things already, she made them, then get scared then give away all her cooking tools and pans!

    jeannie: Yes, baos or kaya puff would be nice. i still keep one jar with me, not sure if i want to make anything out of it.

    chris: come come! i used those fresh coconut milk that i got from the wet market, not the packet ones. But i think gert used packet ones if i remember correctly cos fresh ones are unavailable there.

    sem: cornflour? aah, maybe that's the trick to get fast kaya..never knew that!thanks for telling me!

    bee2: now you know..i wonder in those days, do people blend or they cook several hours till they become smooth??

    pineappleman: have you tried kaya?

  11. hanushi: those are the ones that i got from the market, its shells are white in colour, looks like 'salted eggs' but dont get mistaken for salted eggs. Their yolks are more orangey.

  12. I still remember the hard work of standing in front of the stove to keep stirring the kaya. My mom used to make her own kaya, too, and I was forced to be her helper.

    Nowadays we buy kaya from shop because none of us is willing to stand and stir for an hour :p Maybe I'll ask my mom for her recipe... hopefully she won't reply, "oh, forgot already.." like your mom, lol!

  13. Hi Lena, your kaya look delicious. I just made a batch last week using chicken eggs only. But haven't post in my blog cos I posted my recipe last year.

    Actually not necessary to blend, you can still get a silky smooth kaya. The most important thing is must use old coconut which produce more santan.
    Then double boil for minimum 1.5 hours to 2 hours. 1 st hour must keep stirring, after that every 5 mins. Add the caramel after 30 mins cooking. The kaya will be silky smooth.

    Have a nice day.

  14. i make my own milo already, when the kaya toast can arrive here? hehehee
    home-made kaya is always my favourite...but we consume small amount only, normally how long home-made kaya can be kept in the fridge?

  15. Hi Lena, forgot to tell you, there is a lazy way of cooking kaya. You can actually put everything in the slow cooker set to high.
    First 30 mins stir every 5 mins, then cover it and cook for 6 to 7 hours, every now and then just give it a stir. BUT I don't cos sometimes I leave it overnight to cook. Do not panic after 6 hours when you see a lump of kueh.LOL Remove from slow cooker, blend or use cake mixer to beat until smooth. Enjoy.

  16. I am with your mom.
    Kaya that is not sweet is ok for bread, but not for toast. It has to be sweet for it to taste good on toast. LOL.
    BTW, duck eggs are bigger than chicken eggs, so maybe that's why they curdle that much.

  17. Hi Lena

    Can you tell me where did u get your duck eggs. I was not able to find duck eggs all over singapore. I was told by a stallholder at Chinatown wet market that not possible to find duck eggs.

    Now I know I shud blend the finished product to get smooth silky kaya. I think Amelia's method of cooking kaya overnight in slow cooker and then blend it a good way which I can give it a try.

    Priscilla Poh

    Priscilla Poh

  18. I have a bias, feeling that kaya is great with toast than bread. See - it looks so nice on a piece of toast.

  19. Lena...looks luscious on that toast. Yea if not sweet it is not Kaya leh...well done! I cannot imagine you standing in front of the stove...LOL!

  20. I must try this... the last time i did (5 years ago) was a complete failure... looks and tasted like sweetened scrambled eggs... :(

  21. HI Lena, yumyum kaya. I have forgotten when was the last time I had a nice kaya. Never intended to buy here coz the colour looks sooooo fake, haha! Hey this is interesting, I just got to know from this posting that duck eggs are used in making kaya(though you said that chicken eggs are also acceptable). Very special kaya! But it is something that I can only look coz I know that no one in my family will like it!Sigh!

  22. It sounds a very original jam!Have a lovely day,dear!

  23. Lumpy or smooth, I take them all !:) last time my mum used to make.. nowadays just buy but nothing beats the home made ones!

  24. Love the photo blog entry ... looks delicious and so healthy

  25. homemade kaya sure yummy yummy. i also told by the auntie who selling eggs to use duck eggs to make kaya, she said the famous kopitiam in Klang also buy duck eggs from her..i will make this but don't know when, hehehe..

  26. Haha.. your mum say the same thing as mine.. she even say I waste electricity and water baking and making stuffs and it's more economical to just buy from outside. Hmm.. are all the old folks the same ? Your kaya must be very very nice, considering its so painstakingly home-made. Me craving for some too.. long time never eat bread and kaya already !!

  27. yvonne: can be quite tiring standing there and cook but worth it. I think your mum has better memory than mine, now my mum very lazy to make or cook anything!

    amelia: thank you so much for your advice and tips for the double boil and also using slow cooker. You mean you squeezed the santan from the old coconut yourself and preferably thicker santan that way? Initially the use of slow cooker did come into my mind but i was worried that it might take very long hours and need to watch every now and then, it will be more stressful for me, i think. Next time i shall try using old coconut milk and try cooking longer time to see the texture, many thanks!!

    sherleen: see the "enter" button on your keyboard? press that and it will be delivered to you in a short moment! LOL!! I just made these less than a week and it's still very good in the fridge , only slightly thicker..i believe it can be kept in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks..if your fridge is cold enuf, may even be longer.

    wendy: But when i was a little, i actually prefer steamed bread with kaya rather that toast. Next time you can visit the new jusco regularly, very near to your mum's place.

    priscilla: hi, i'm not sure abt duck eggs in singapore cos i'm staying in ipoh, malaysia and i got them from the fresh market here. You can make kaya from chicken eggs if you are really unable to get them and want to try. Only that i heard that using duck eggs are more fragrant. Let me chk with some bloggers from singapore and let you know if any of them has any info abt getting duck eggs in sg, you come back in 2 days time to chk the reply here. Yeah, using slow cooker sounds convenient too to me.

    maureen: bias?? not really, but the toast with kaya had hit the trends few years ago after one chained coffee cafe outlet selling this. Before that, it was just mostly older people appreciate that.

    elin: actually cooking it for the first time was not too bad cos i'm excited and eager to see how it changes form every now and can tahan lah!

    lisa: yes, maybe you can give it a try again..just keep watching it !! maybe you can also try amelia's method as per her comment earlier..using slow cooker.

    jessie: i also just knew abt using duck eggs in kaya but i think it's very common to use duck eggs for it cos when i went to the market and get those duck eggs, they asked me..' making kaya?

    lenia: yes, it is..and very nice fragrance from the screwpine leaves and coconut milk.

    claire: lumpy ones will not look so appealing, these are definately better than the ones from the supermarket.

    loveforfood: thanks so much!

    sonia: yeah, i never knew abt using duck eggs for kaya until now that i wanted to make them.

    joyce: yes..true true very true..our hobby is a very expensive ones, cost of butter and all pans and tins and cheese...some more eat all the time..LOL!!

  28. eileen@hundted eighty degreesMarch 29, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    My late father made his own kaya when he ran a confectionery shop. He made the kaya over the charcoal stove, and had to keep stirring...quite tedious.. yours look good!

  29. Your kaya looks excellent! I made this many times over the years but not lately. Now you are making me craving for some. You know, I thought of blending it to get the fine smooth texture. Mine is always the lumpy texture and have been wondering how to get it smooth. Now, thanks to you, I know how next kaya making shall be as smooth as yours! :)

  30. Hi Lena, yes, you have to buy two fresh grated old coconut to obtain 400mls thick santan. When you squeeze the grated coconut don't add to much water. Cook for 1.5 to 2 hours, cooked 50 mins actually not enough. You can check my recipe in my blog under jam.

    Actually put in slow cooker not necessary to keep checking cos it'll not burnt. But you add the caramel after 30 mins cooking, stir until caramel melt then leaves it to cook for 6 hours. Then just beat with cake mixer or blend it.

  31. wah..... duck eggs?! where to find in singapore... stand in front of the stove for 1 hour huh..... gosh... wonder if I would have that kinda patience!!!

  32. Lovely kaya, Lena! I can almost the fragrant kaya from here! Syiok with roti bakar and Ipoh pak kopi! :)

  33. What patience!!! I have been trying to find a authentic kaya recipe for some time! This is a bookmark for me.. One day! One day!! I didn't know we can blend it to make it smoother!

  34. whoah 45mins! you go gurl! blended smooth? interesting....

  35. Lena, it looks so great and yummy
    Un besito ^^

  36. Mmm... I can smell it, Lena. I'd like the lumpy version, more bite!

  37. Lena,
    wow...i didn't know have to spend almost an hour keep stirring it. What a tough job :P

  38. Thank you so much for taking the time to explain to your "overseas" friends, Lena. I really appreciate it:) Your mom sounds so funny. I bet she was happy when it came out so beautifully:)

    Some day I hope to make one of your enticing recipes. Who knows it may be this one because I just saved it!

    Thank you so much for sharing...

  39. Wow! Duck egg Kaya, sounds good! It's been ages I did not eat Kaya! Yours looks perfect & I recalled a friend of mine living in Germany tried to make kaya but still have to used the blender to make it smooth. If not it'll be lumpy too!

  40. I never had anything like this Lena, so intriguing...would love to try it out!
    Have a great day Lena :)

  41. Oh my, I've never heard of this but it sounds amazing! If sounds like it was worth all the work!

  42. wah sounds delish! duck egg kaya! agree with ur mom, if its not sweet its not kaya (not cloyingly sweet la)

  43. Lena, yesterday I made my 1st homemade KAYA & family love it! I will try using duck egg next time & tks for sharing.

  44. I was just thinking about buying 1-2 bottles of kaya back to the US. Don't ask me to make as I have no patience.

  45. Your kaya looks wonderful Lena. I have only had it come from a jar. I imagine how much better it is homemade. Funny how your mom thinks about making things compared to buying it...I must admit I cheated when making mua chee and used the microwave, easy peasy! :)

    The one thing I have a hard time finding around here (besides the duck eggs) are the pandan leaves. I want to find out how to grow my own screwpine plant.

    Anyway nice work, and your photos are great! :)

  46. One hour in front of the stove?? Big challenge for me but I think it must be worth it yeah, looking at how good it looks!

  47. This was worth your hard work, it looks so delicious, I can almost taste it!

  48. Sedapnya terliur. Nanti balik Malaysia nak cuba buat sendiri. Hope my parents ducks still lay eggs.

  49. Wah simply delicious...I love lots of kaya in my toast.

  50. woh.. learnt so much about kaya from this post.. I really admire ur spirit and rest of bloggers who have tried making kaya before. It's so much work, but seems like it's worth it. It must be a very rewarding process to see it all come tog after an hour =)

  51. o boy ain't it just wonderful spread all over the toast! Seriously rich and tempting!

  52. This looks very different to the jams I have tried before, something very special. Diane

  53. eileen: charcoal stove, wow, think that's the traditional way of making kaya..must be real goooood!

    jen: yeah, blend it..short cut to making smooth kaya!

    amelia: yes, i already chked your recipe, thanks so much!

    alan: what happened to all the fresh duck eggs in singapore??

    joyce: great with kaya butter toast!

    daphne: hope you can try making it your own some day!

    emily: i think those days people cook it for many hours to get smooth kaya but reading amelia's recipes, it gives me some tips to achieve smooth kaya.

    jana: thank you!

    cheah: yes, more bite..just that it doesnt look too appealing! LOL!

    cass: that's quite tiring actually!

    louise: yeah i know cos this is not common at all among the westerners, only malaysian singaporean and maybe indonesian will know about this kaya

    kit: can you find kaya at the asian grocery shops there?

    juliana: it's a sweet jam but very fragrant,maybe you wold like to get a small jar from the stores next time you see them selling.

    chris: yes, it's worth the effort and i will make them again sometime to give away to friends.

    swee san: actually i didnt know that duck eggs are used for making kaya until now..

    marychey: hi, how are you. thnks for dropping by. did you post your kaya up, i will drop by your blog soon, thnks again!

    tigerfish: haha! yeah i know need something fast and quick!!

    Lyndsey: yes, i remember your muah chee!! i dont think by using the microwave method would be less tasty than steaming it. oh, dont the asian shops there carry pandan leaves? by getting the leaves you will then able to plant them.

    adeline: sounds quite tiring, right? it is but maybe it's my first time cooking it, it was actually not that bad cos i was observing it every minute to see how they changed form.

    nazarina: thanks so much!

    mkgirl: you can always make by using chicken eggs!

    angeline: me too, with butter!!

    lala: yes, i'm sure those who've tried it will find it rewarding but amelia's way of doingit with slow cooker sounds quie convenient.

    angie: yes, yum!! ha!!

    diane: kaya is thinner in consistency compared to most of the jams that we take and very much sweeter but very nice, fragranced by the coconut milk and also the pandan leaves. If you happened to see them one day at the stores there, get a small jar and try it.

  54. Hi Lena, no woh, can't find kaya in asian grocery shops here at all. Even the pandan leaves are frozen kind! The funny thing was we can find durians over here! LOL

  55. The blending tip! I like that. Its been quite tedious to be able to get the smooth consistency that granny made. Stirring in one direction, double boiling etc doesn't work for me:P

  56. I love kaya too, especially with yau char kwai. Quite tiring to stir for one hour, so I usually get a high chair and sit at the stove and stir, stir, stir....:)

  57. kit: then can make durian kaya, LOL!!

    missyblurkit: yes,that's a very helpful tip especially if we cant get smooth kaya at the end of cooking!!

    fern: good idea and bring a book along to read! LOL!

    priscilla poh: hi, it seems that duck eggs are indeed difficultto get in singapore, sad to know that. Nevertheless, you can make with chicken eggs, it should be just as nice as using duck eggs. Let me know if you have made it. Thanks!

  58. It has been a long time since I made kaya. The last time I made was for the swissroll. I guess it is time to do it again. You mum is right, kaya has to be sweet if not it won't be nice.

  59. Is the kampung egg taste better to this recipe?

  60. Oh a tip when making (I make kaya every so often since commercial is sangat manis). To avoid the lumpy texture before blending it, I use a double basin method to cook it: boil water in a pot and cook your kaya mixture in a metal bowl above the water. Advantage: better texture, no burning bits stuck to bottom, easier to clean, Disadvantage: slower/gentle heat = a bit longer time to evaporate the kaya to make it thick.

  61. quay po: do you have a post on kaya? i would love to chk it out later and see your method.

    jobless girl: hi, i have no idea cos it's my first time doing it and with duck eggs. But a lot of people say that using duck eggs is more fragrant that's why i chose to use duck eggs since i can get those eggs here.

    anonymous: hi, i was also using double boil method here, i will probably use lesser eggs next time. As what amelia advised earlier, probably shld also get thicker santan. Thanks so much for the tips given, appreciate that very much. Yeah, will try cooking that a little longer next time to see.

  62. Ohh Kaya... sedanyaaaaaa....
    I really salute your passion n time to make this KAYA.....

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