After first seeing Mich's post on Homemade Pumpkin Kaya 2 years ago, I finally got round to making it last week.
It turned out well, and I'm surprised it was so easy to make. This is a great alternative to commercial kaya (no artificial preservatives/coloring), and certainly healthier - especially for older adults since it is eggless and using pumpkin as the main ingredient. The other three ingredients are santan, gula Melaka and pandan leaves.
The thing is, I know many will be tempted to cut down on the sugar/gula melaka when they make this; but may I suggest you don't. The fragrance and sweetness of the gula Melaka (as well as the pandan leaves) go a long way to mask the "pumpkin-ny" taste, so don't reduce the proportion of gula Melaka unless there is a health issue of diabetes. Be generous with the gula Melaka and pandan leaves, and you might just get the kids/hubby/elderly parents to enjoy this healthier option. Besides, what's a nice kaya unless it is sweet enough!
Homemade Pumpkin Kaya
Adapted from A Piece of Cake, Table for 2 or more
Makes about 2 cups
- 600g pumpkin flesh
- 220g gula Melaka
- 200ml coconut milk
- 6-7 pandan leaves, rinsed and tied into knots
- Steam or microwave the pumpkin until cooked and soft.
- Roughly chop up the gula Melaka.
- Blend the pumpkin and coconut milk into a puree, do not add any water.
- Place the pureed pumpkin, gula Melaka and pandan leaves into the slow cooker and cook on High for 1 hour and Low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Let it cool, pour into clean jars and keep in fridge for up to 5 weeks.
One good tip I learned from Wendy's post is that the longer you cook the kaya, the longer it will keep well in the fridge. Good kaya that keeps well need to be slow cooked for a sufficiently long period of time so that the sugars and coconut milk are cooked to a stabilised condition that will keep well.
So those super-quick recipes you see on the internet about 20minute kaya cooked on the pan will probably keep for about 3-5 days only.