* Kaya – Coconut and Egg Jam

Posted on October 25th, 2008 by Linda. Filed under Breakfast, Coconut, Cuisine, Eggs, Malaysian, Pandan, Singaporean.

Singapore and Malaysia’s favorite kopi tiam breakfast – kaya on toast (with slabs of butter, and preferably on white, fluffy bread), a cup of coffee with condensed milk and two half-boiled eggs with a dash of dark soy sauce and lots of white pepper.  We’ll settle for just kaya on wholewheat toast and a Starbucks latte here.

There are 2 schools of thoughts in kaya – the smooth, dark brown jam and the greenish curd ones. Some say the former is for toast only, and the latter is to serve with glutinous rice such as pulut tai-tai or pulut tekan. The brown kaya has more of a caramel flavor to it. I have always liked the fragrance of the greenish one – somehow pandan and coconut just go so well together.  A union made in food heaven  This recipe is for the greenish version.

Chef’s tip: Tempering eggs is the process of blending uncooked eggs into a hot or warm liquid without having the eggs scramble or curdle.  To do this, you gently add a little hot liquid at a time, streaming it into the beaten eggs while whisking continuously.  You continue to do this until the temperature of the bowl holding the eggs is close to the temperature of the hot liquid.  Another tip is using a double boiler while making a custard.  It will prevent the custard from scorching.


1 250-ml can coconut milk
1¼ cups sugar
5 large eggs, or 6 small ones
6 pieces pandan leaves, tied into 2 knots

1.    In a double boiler, heat the coconut milk with the sugar until the sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat.
2.    In a large bowl, whisk the eggs.  Using a ladle, stream in the hot coconut milk into the egg mixture, while whisking continuously.  Add one ladle at a time.  It is very important to whisk continuously and pour the hot liquid in a stream while tempering eggs so that the eggs won’t cook and curdle.
3.    When done tempering the eggs, return mixture into the double boiler, add pandan leaves (tie into a knot) and cook under a simmering boil.  Continuously stir the first 20 minutes until the liquid has thickened, do not let the eggs curdle.
4.    Once thickened, you need to stir it every 5 minutes, until it reaches the desired consistency, about 20 minutes more.
5.    Remove pandan leaves.

Makes: 2 cups

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5 Responses to “Kaya – Coconut and Egg Jam”

  1. Tastes of Home Says:

    thanks for the recipe! you just described one of my fav bfast foods perfectly – now I have to find pandan leaves in san diego! 🙂

  2. Linda Says:

    Try the frozen section of Asian stores….typically next to frozen shredded coconut and frozen banana leaves. While not as good as the fresh one, it will do! Or plant your own. It grows like a weed and San Diego has the right weather for it. There are several nurseries selling tropical plants in San Diego!

  3. Taste of Msia Says:

    Can we plant the Pandan plant in San Mateo?

  4. Linda Says:

    You can try. I have a little pandan growing in foggy San Francisco, although I keep it indoors. It’s really slow growing, tho.

  5. Taste of Msia Says:

    Do you know any nursery in SF that i can get it?

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