Monday, August 24, 2009

Kaya (Coconut Custard)

One of my favourite breakfast food is toasted bread spread with a thick layer of butter and a thinner layer of kaya. Have that with a good cup of coffee and I will stay happy for the rest of the day.

Kaya means rich in Bahasa Malaysia. Kaya is definitely rich. It has a smooth and creamy texture that tastes of slightly caramelised sugar with an intense coconut kick. It's very easy to make as well which is a plus for me.

My dad insisted that kaya which is steamed tastes better. So I decided to adapt this recipe from Kuali.

- 10 eggs
- 420ml thick coconut milk, extracted from 2 grated coconuts
- 500g sugar
- 3 pandan leaves, knotted

Beat eggs and sugar well with a hand whisk. Put beaten eggs and pandan leaves in a saucepan over a very gentle heat to dissolve the sugar.

When sugar has dissolved, remove the pan away from the heat and stir in thick coconut milk, mix well, then strain the mixture into a double boiler pot. Put the pandan leaves back into the mixture.

Cook over rapidly boiling water. Keep stirring the mixture with a long wooden spoon until it thickens (about 15 - 20 minutes); top up the boiling water in the lower pot whenever necessary.

Then wrap the lid with a big enough tea-towel (to prevent water dripping into the custard), replace it on the pot and steam the custard for two to three hours. (Do not stir the custard during this time.)

When kaya is ready, discard the pandan leaves. Scoop up some of the liquid which has formed and reserve. Stir the rest of the liquid back into the kaya with a wooden chopstick. Leave to cool. You can leave the kaya at this stage. It will be lumpy and some people prefer it. However if you prefer the smooth type, move on to the next stage.

Put the kaya into a blender. Blend till creamy. If you find that the kaya is too thick, trickle back the reserved liquid till it reaches preferred consistency. Do note that kaya will thicken up in the refrigerator.

Will store at room temperature for 2 days. Will keep in refrigerator for about a week or so.

I am submitting this recipe for Merdeka Open House 2009 - My Sweet Malaysia hosted by Babe in the City - KL. Check out the Babe in the City - KL blog on 31st August 2009 for the round up.


  1. Wow your pictures are superb! good luck on your submission!

  2. I love kaya and I eats it with pancakes and desserts :p

    Thanks for participating :)

  3. I´ve just made a bottle of Kaya too but turned out yellow, and very unkaya like. It curdled as well and like you, the blender saved the day :-) Yours look really good and love the golden, greenish colour. Happy Merdeka and enjoy the Kaya!

  4. Beautiful! We will definitely have to try it as the kids love kaya.

  5. Hi Nate-n-Annie, do try the recipe. It's a pretty good one. Hope your kids will enjoy it!

  6. Thanks to your post, I think I have found the missing puzzle of the lumpy kaya.. blending! Will definitely give a go!

  7. Hi Daamao, glad you found it useful. That's the shortcut way though. There is another recipe requiring a long period of stirring, which results in smooth kaya, no blender needed! I'll be trying that recipe and will post it as well, if successful

  8. Thanks a lot and look forward to seeing the long version!