Recipe: Coconut Curd | Kaya

singapore.food.recipe.img_9513

Singapore is a true melting pot. In every kitchen, you’ll find time honored traditions from around the world, especially India, China, Malaysia, and Europe. Today’s recipe, Kaya, belies the British influence on the islands.

Think tea time and crumpets. But Asian-style.

Here’s the skinny: Kaya is Coconut Curd.

Curd is a spread that’s thickened with egg yolks… In this sense, Kaya is just like Britain’s much adored lemon curd, but with the hauntingly addictive flavor of rich, velvety coconut milk instead of tart lemon juice. While the tropical spread would be incredible between cake layers, the most traditional use in Singapore is on toast for breakfast or teatime.

singapore.food.recipe.img_9535

Kaya is smooth and silky on the tongue, and makes any breakfast instantly feel special.

The best part is that there are only three ingredients, the luscious blend is vegetarian, and, just by chance, gluten-free.

Win. Win. Win.

I suggest sipping a little tea or coffee on the side… perhaps with a mega view, like this:

An aerial view of the Civic District of Singapore. The buildings visible include the Supreme Court of Singapore (centre left, with disc), the Old Supreme Court Building (centre right, with dome), and Parliament House (right, with orange roof). In the background are the three towers of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Photo by William Cho.

An aerial view of the Civic District of Singapore. The buildings visible include the Supreme Court of Singapore (centre left, with disc), the Old Supreme Court Building (centre right, with dome), and Parliament House (right, with orange roof). In the background are the three towers of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Photo by William Cho.

P.S. I think kaya would also be divine on crumpets, scones, or biscuits.

P.P.S. Kaya would be the perfect homemade gift for a friend, sweetheart, mother, or grandmother.

P.P.P.S. I know I already put together a list of 12 Romantic recipes from around the world for Valentine’s Day, but I’d like to add Kaya to the list of things I definitely would not mind if my husband made me for Valentine’s Day.

Fills one small jar

Ingredients:

1, 13.5 oz can coconut milk (not light)
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar

Method:

Find a happy little corner of Singapore to cook in …

Singapore Skyline. Photo by Merlion44

Singapore Skyline. Photo by Merlion44

Gather the glistening sugar, the glowing yolks, and the impossibly creamy coconut milk.

singapore.food.recipe.img_9338

Whisk together and strain into a heatproof bowl.

singapore.food.recipe.img_9350

Place bowl over  a pot of rapidly simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bottom of the bowl). Stir often until the curd starts to thicken.

Tip: If the custard doesn’t seem to be thickening after 10-20 minutes, try increasing the heat.

Once the curd is a bit thicker, you can stir a little less often.

singapore.food.recipe.img_9355

Cook about 45 minutes to an hour, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon without running together.

singapore.food.recipe.img_9451

Cool and keep refrigerated. The curd will thicken as it cools.

singapore.food.recipe.img_9519

Enjoy the goodness!

Happy Friday, friends.

May every day be “kaya sweet.”

Inspired by Indochine Kitchen.

Update: Readers have been kind enough to share that this recipe is common in Malaysia and Indonesia as well. Yay for that!

Opt In Image
Hungry for more?
Be notified when National Geographic releases my memoir.

Simply fill in your details below.

Comments

  1. dutchgirl says:

    Love to try this one. In Holland they sell ‘kokosbrood’, which is basically a mixture of sugar/grated coconut/gelatin, thinly sliced after it has been set. I used to put it on my sandwich when I was a kid and I still love it. I’ve passed the love for it to my son (16 yrs) who is very fond of it too. I guess he might give your kaya a try as well.

    • Sasha Martin says:

      How interesting – that sounds like a very strong texture; kaya is quite smooth… so, my guess is that he’d like it, no problem.

  2. Looks yummy. This always looked like a fun use of kaya to me with it’s sweet, salty, savory aspects….love that combo.
    http://www.susanfenigersite.com/recipe-4-with-another-image/

  3. I used maple sugar to make this…it’s AWESOME! It took a lot longer than 10 minutes to even start to thicken even with the heat on high but be patient….it eventually does ;)

  4. I’ll email you a recipe I found but I need to translate it first as it is in Dutch.

  5. Do you think this would make a good filling for hamentaschen? Purim is next weekend and we’re always looking for new filling ideas. Would I maybe have to thicken it a bit, and do you think corn starch would work for that (that what I generally use when my filling needs thickening)?

    • Update on the hamentaschen question – no, it doesn’t make for that great of a filling. Most of the flavor gets lost in the baking process, so that the end result is not so much coconuty as just a slightly sticky version of the dough baked by itself. The curd is delicious and has a good coconut flavor in and of itself, it just doesn’t work well baked into another product.

  6. I have always loved coconut. I would make a big batch of biscuits to go with this. I have never heard of kaya until now, but I think I’m in love with it already. :)

  7. Sounds good. Have you ever cooked kaya in the microwave. I cook my lemon curd in the microwave with a lot less fuss and much quicker.

Trackbacks

  1. […] which makes me think it would be awesome in a tiramisu. I ate mine with a very hefty drizzling of coconut curd (which is also coincidentally gluten free and dairy […]

Speak Your Mind

*