Coconut Jam (Kaya)

Kaya (pronounced as Kaa-yaa, also means "rich" in Malay language) is a spread made of coconut milk, eggs and sugar. Its popularity in Southeast Asia is equivalent of marmalade's in the Western countries. Delicious over a layer of butter on toast or bread, it is not that difficult to make - although it is pretty easy to get hold of in Asian shops. This recipe does not require a double-boil method so if you are a beginner then this is the recipe for you.


  • 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 500ml fresh coconut milk (neat)
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons corn flour (mixed with a little water)
  • 3 screwpine leaves


  1. Boil the water and the brown sugar in a deep saucepan till the sugar is starting to burn.
  2. When the sugar has turned brown, add in the coconut milk. Stir till the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat and leave it to cool completely.
  4. When it is cool, add in the egg yolks, corn flour and the screwpine leaves. bring to a boil on medium-low heat, stirring constantly till it starts to thicken a little.
  5. Remove from heat, leave to cool to room temperature. Spread on buttered toast to go with your tea or coffee.
  6. Makes about 3 standard Chivers jam jars.

Versatility Note:

  1. There are many ways of making Kaya, and you can adjust the amount of sugar or egg yolk according to your own preference.
  2. Corn flour can be replaced with custard powder if you wish.
  3. Screwpine leaves are used for its aroma; you can use as many as you like or just opt it out.
  4. What to do with the egg white? Try having a pore-tightening facial or making some low cholesterol English pancakes.

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