Monday, June 23, 2008

Homemade Kaya

Inspiration - Before I came to Dallas, I use to stay in PJ Malaysia. I remember whenever I eat around PJ SS2, Seapark, Chow Yang restaurants for dinners, nearly 90% of the time, I will see "the Kaya lady". She is a neatly dressed woman walking around with a basket full of kaya. She will go from table to table saying "homemade kaya", "homemade kaya". My usual comment about her is that she moves so fast from table to table that before she finish her sentence she has already left. No eye contact, no waiting to see anyone was interested to buy. So from all the times, I only bought once. But the real reason I don't buy her kaya is her kaya is the greenish type and I like the brownish kaya. From young, I only saw and ate brownish kaya at home. In her younger days, my grandma used to make kaya but now the recipe has been passed and perfected by Aunt Judy. She brieftly described the recipe and the way to make it to me once and I am more than eager to try.

Simple ingredients -
1) 4 eggs
2) Sugar - 200gm
3) 1 coconut from can - 350ml or 400ml
4) Pandan leaves

Simple steps:-
1) The secret to making the kaya brown in colour is to caramelized some sugar. Therefore take 100gm of sugar and caramelized by stirring the sugar in low heat till the sugar dissolved, start to brown and liquidate.




2) Next, stir the eggs and coconut milk and remaining sugar in a separate bowl until all ingredients have disolved and well blended. Pour into the caramelized sugar. Put your pot onto a bigger pan with water (double boiled concept). Ensure medium to low fire. Continously stir the mixture. Also include panda leaves (tied in knot) into mixture.


3) After 1 of stirring, mixture will start to brown and thicken.


4) Your kaya should be ready. Remove the pandan leaves if you have them inside. Voila! Ready to eat! Yum yum!


Verdict - I made this in a jiffy while also trying to cook another dish. So I was kinda dissappointed cos it did not turn out as well as I wanted. The taste and aroma is great but I am not happy with the texture and colour. I prefer it to be more creamy and darker brown. Basically I should have caramelized more sugar in the beginning and also ensure the fire is low and stir for probably 2 hrs instead of 1 hr. Will try again but meanwhile I will have some kaya toast!

13 comments:

Precious Pea said...

I know which lady you referring to. Very thin with glasses rite? Saw her many times and you are right. Brown is nicer than green kaya.

foongpc said...

Sorry I'm an idiot when it comes to cooking, but what's the difference between the green and brown kaya? I always thought the green kaya uses pandan leaves, but you also use pandan leaves for the brown variety. Anyway, I like them both!

reena said...

Hi there... I have been following your updates for a while now. Wanted to ask you something, can I substitute the Coconut Milk with anything else? (Dairy products perhaps)

Peb said...

Hi Precious Pea - Thnks for visiting. Yes, it the thin lady with glasses. She is always around PJ area.

Hi Foongpc - The difference between green and brown is just the amount of pandan leaves and the caramelization of sugar. For the green, u will add more pandan leaves and the brown, you have to caramelized the sugar and the pandan leaves is just for taste (more aroma). Hope this helps.

Hi Reena - Thks for reading. Hmmm..Kaya's main ingredient is coconut so to substitute may not really be kaya anymore. Anyway, I have read that people have tried with evaporated milk but I guess the taste is just not the same. The good thing about homemade kaya is that you can control the sugar portion - so hopefully that makes it healthier.

molly said...

Looks pretty simple, but I fail last time I tried....

Peb said...

Hi Molly - Patience is key, cos you really need to use low fire and keep on stirring. It can be really boring but if u take the time, the results would turn out well.

Alex said...

omg thanks for this! i'm missing kaya so much.. and the bottled Yeos kaya is real crap

Peb said...

Hi Alex - Just try it, it is not that hard but remember patience yeah with the low fire and slow stirring, if not if would not turn out as nice. Good luck.

Reena said...

Hi! It's me again.... I tried to make the kaya with evaporated milk! The taste is really very close to Kaya! Oh, I made one big mistake though... I forgot that it needed to be double boiled, until mine started to curdle up.. Hehehe.. Will try again sometime soon - the right way.
Thanks!!

Peb said...

Hi Reena - wow! It works with evaporated milk?!!! Great, I may try it one day. Thanks!

Bob said...

Thanks for the recipe. I'm going to try to make this as soon as I can find some pandan leaves. My wife is from KL so I've had kaya, soft toast, and kopi o many times. Regarding the texture, I would recommend you temper your egg mixture. If you pour your egg mixture directly into your hot, caramelized sugar, you are going to get some scrambled eggs where the mixture first hits the caramel. I would probably caramelize the sugar, add everything but the egg yolks. I think you want to dissolve the caramelized sugar and dissolve granular sugar thoroughly to avoid any granularity. This way you also cool down the mixture to avoid scrambling the yolks. You may even tempur the yolks by slowly adding the liquid mixture (if still hot) in to the yolks while stirring. This gradually brings the yolks up to temperature rather than shocking them and cooking them too quickly.

I have my own recipe I've been working on for po tat. I am able to make a good creamy custard over direct heat (no water bath) with no problem as long as I heat it gradually and stir continuously.

Anonymous said...

Try to sieve the egg mixture before cooking. This will give a smoother texture.

Anonymous said...

ALTERNATIVELY, IF YOU WANT TO HAVE A TASTE OF QUALITY HOME-MADE KAYA MINUS THE HASSLE OF COOKING IT YOURSELF- GO TO www.homemadekaya.blogspot.com