Thursday, October 22, 2009

Kaya Spread

Posted by Quinn at Thursday, October 22, 2009

Kaya means rich in Malay. In my family, the hokkiens called it kaya too but with a more chinese accent, if you know what I mean. Kaya is defined as coconut jam in wikipedia. I don't like thinking of them as curd, rather I'll call them spread. Srikaya or serikaya are green in colour, the result of blending coconut milk with the pandan leaves. Kaya is just brown caramel spread, sometimes not even flavoured with pandan. In the end, they both still fall within the kaya family and are equallly delicious.

In Malaysia, we usually slap kaya on toast. In fact, there are two slices of bread, toasted to perfection, with a side slapped with Planta margarine or butter and the other one slapped with this rich kaya. These two slices of toasts are sandwiched together and are commonly called 'Roti Kahwin' which also means 'Married Bread'. They are usually served alongside 2 free range half-boiled chicken eggs. Kaya is commonly served with Pulut Tai Tai as well, the blue Peranakan kuih. Finally, kaya can also be found in the form of steamed kaya buns or just kaya balls.

Kaya spread (an original recipe by BakingQuinn)
(makes enough to fill up an Ikea Lingonberry jar, you do the maths)

1/2 cup coconut cream (I use Chaokoh brand)
2 extra large eggs (my eggs are a minimum weight of 67g)
1 cup castor sugar
2 pandan/screwpine leaves, teared and knotted

Remove 3 tbsp castor sugar and set aside for later use.

Whisk coconut cream, remaining castor sugar and eggs until well combined and more than half the sugar has dissolved. Pour everything into a slow cooker. Drop the bunch of knotted pandan leaves in as well. Set it to high for 2 hours 30mins, stirring 4 times in between; that is equivalent to stirring once every 30mins.

In the last 20mins of cooking time left, caramelize the remaining 3 tbsp of sugar reserved earlier in a non-stick pan. When it turned an amber dark colour, turn off the heat and pour the caramel into the slow cooker mixture, stirring with a silicone balloon whisk at the same time. It will bubble up a little but it will not splash. Cook it further until time is up and off the switch.

When it's cooled down a little, run a hand blender through the thick mixture until it's all smooth. Pour it into a sterilized glass jar and cover tightly with the lid. Let it cool to room temperature before spreading and keeping it in the fridge.

Some points to note, you need not pour all the caramelized sugar in if you do not like a too dark colour of the kaya. You can use 3/4 cup of sugar instead of a cup. Any more less sugar will not be recommended since sugar is what preserves the jam. You can make serikaya by blending the coconut milk with the leaves and you'll probably need more leaves. You can only make serikaya with fresh pandan leaves. Try using frozen pandan leaves and you'll get a greyish looking jam. I suppose by now, you could tell I'm talking from past horrible experience, don't you?Yes you can use pandan paste and all and I do have them in the pantry, but I'm in the mood for au natural today so be it!

Let me share a secret with you, I lick my pink whisk clean before I wash them. Don't pretend like you don't!

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11 comments on "Kaya Spread"

Anncoo on October 23, 2009 at 12:26 AM said...

I remember during my time...toast kaya and magarine was only 10 cents.

Quinn on October 23, 2009 at 12:43 AM said...

Haha, Anncoo you must be older than me because ever since I was born till now, according to mum, roti kahwin was never 10 cents!

Anncoo on October 23, 2009 at 11:58 AM said...

Of course, can be your older sister already....hihi...

zurin on October 23, 2009 at 7:24 PM said...

the kaya looks really really good . I just might give it a try. nothing like home made...:))tq 4 sharing. tq for dropping by my blog :))

Quinn on October 23, 2009 at 8:21 PM said...

The kaya is probably not very authentic in terms of methods but I swear the taste wasn't compromised. Definitely worth trying!

The Little Teochew on October 24, 2009 at 1:50 AM said...

Well done! It looks absolutely fantastic! Like Zurin, I might just give it a go. Thanks! :)

Quinn on October 24, 2009 at 11:04 AM said...

Thank you Ju!

Give this a shot and if you do, remember to tell me whether you like it or not or how it could be improved!

Tia on October 25, 2009 at 3:40 PM said...

my mom is malaysian... i would love to try this if only i knew where to get those leaves!

Gattina on October 25, 2009 at 3:55 PM said...

love to read all the info you wrote... that married bread just reading it already makes me drool :D

Quinn on October 25, 2009 at 3:55 PM said...

You could still do without the leaves and it will turn out good too. The leaves are easily available from asian groceries, look under the frozen sections.

In Vancouver, I am sure they sell these leaves. Just ask for screwpine or pandan. That's what they are commonly known as.

If not, go to
They're in Canada and I think Vancouver too! They definetely know where to get hands on pandan leaves ebcause I've seen them use it in the recipes posted in their blog.


Quinn on October 25, 2009 at 4:04 PM said...

Thanks for visiting Gattina and I'm glad you find the post informative and interesting!

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