Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Kaya on toast! Isn’t that a classic Singaporean brekkie?
Kaya on toast! Isn’t that a classic Singaporean breakfast? My son said to me when he sat down for breakfast this morning. Before, I could answer him, my wife came to table with half a dozen of half boiled eggs and a pot of Kopi-o. Yes indeed, we are having a full Singaporean brekkie. The reasons behind this unusual breakfast at home were our neighbour gave us a tub of homemade kaya (coconut egg jam) yesterday and we haven’t eaten kaya for ages.
In the days of my childhood, kaya on toasts were virtually eaten and only served at breakfast time. Today in Singapore, it is often eaten as a snack and is readily available throughout the day in most franchised kopitiams (cafes) chains. But it is still an integral part of everyday breakfast especially eaten with half boiled egg (3 minutes eggs) and a cuppa of kopi-O (local blended coffee). When I eat kaya on toast, my mouth waters for the kaya my mother used to make in our family kitchen. Although it was easily available, my mother had to laboriously cook the kaya over the charcoal stove for hours herself.
Kaya making remains a laborious task but there is nothing like homemade kaya. Here’s my mother kaya recipe and I can assure you that it worth the time and effort.
Kaya (Coconut egg jam) Recipe.
800ml thick coconut milk (If unavailable, use full cream canned coconut milk)
¼ cup brown sugar
2-3 pandan leaves (optional, if unavailable)
Beat eggs with sugar with a whisk for 10 minute. Traditionally, kaya is cooked in a typical enamelled double boiler. (If unavailable, cook the kaya inside a smaller steel mixing bowl over a bigger pot of boiling water). If one is available, fill the base unit of the double boiler with water and bring to boil. Strain egg mixture into the top unit of the double boiler and stirring all the time until sugar has dissolved. Pour in coconut milk into egg mixture and mix well. Stir with a wooden spoon for the next 30 minutes until egg mixture reaches a smooth custard consistency. Heat the brown sugar in another pot until brown sugar caramelised. Add it to egg mixture to get a rich brown colour and stir well. Double boil custard for 4-5 hours over medium heat. Do top up water of the base unit of double boiler to prevent kaya from burning. When kaya is cooked allow to cool before storing in jars. Keep refrigerated.