Kaya is a popular jam spread in both Malaysia and Singapore. It is a thick jam made from fresh coconut milk, eggs and sugar, infused with the scent of pandan leaves (screw pine leaves). It is often slathered together with a generous slab of butter in between two slices of crisp toast, hence named “kaya toast”.
When I was a child, I ate kaya made by my mom. But nowadays, I buy them. After trying out so many of the so called “homemade” kaya, I still couldn’t find one that I was really satisfied with. So, I told myself that I should stop this endless searching and make it myself.
As I love the green colour and scent of pandan leaves (screw pines), I decided to make pandan kaya instead of the traditional golden brown kaya.
I came across a recipe on Facebook which sounds very promising, along with some photos that look convincing too. This recipe claimed that all it takes is 10-15 minutes to produce a smooth-looking kaya. No gimmick but just constant stirring with the direct heat method.
By following this recipe with some slight modifications, I finally made my own pandan kaya – not once but four times over the past two months! This is really a record breaking feat for someone like me who has a phobia in making kaya all this while. Haha! Although I didn’t get the desired results within the said 10-15 minutes, I’m still proud that I have overcome my fear in making kaya. It’s not as scary as I had imagined. Nevertheless, it was only on my 4th attempt that I managed to make a perfect looking pandan kaya. The texture is SO smooth, shiny and creamy that no further blending is required. Besides its beautiful green hue, it tastes superb and bursts with the fragrant scent of pandan leaves.
I’m going to share all the tips and tricks that I learned from my past 4 attempts on the recipe. This method is easy-to-follow but may need a little patience, attention and arm muscles. Be prepared to spend around one and a half hour to make this kaya (**). But, I must say that it is definitely worth the effort to make this preservative-free, artificial colouring-free, starch-fre, ALL NATURAL homemade pandan kaya. I’m not sure about you but I am definitely not going to buy my kaya anymore.
** – I have revised my cooking method on 12 Nov 2013 and the kaya can be done in half an hour now! Please refer to my recipe at Page 2 below.
If you look at the photo below, you will see two different shades of green for my pandan kaya. The one on the left was taken in my kitchen during noon whereas the one on the right was taken in my living in the late evening. Due to the poor lighting in my living room, the photo didn’t do enough justice to the actual colour tone of my pandan kaya. In fact, the photo on the left is closer to the actual tone.
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