I know there are many recipes for pumpkin kaya and I am not surprise one bit how popular it is. This kaya is a keeper! For a start, it is way healthier than the normal kaya we consume. It uses lesser sugar as the pumpkin itself is already naturally sweetened. But most of all it is eggless. Not only do you save on consuming bad cholesterol, it also means that people who are vegan or allergic to eggs could have a chance to savour this wonderful Malaysian delicacy called kaya. Blessed be the one who invented this pumpkin replacement! It is ingenious.
Pumpkin kaya is not difficult to make at all. As it does not have eggs, it doesn't curdle! This is the most welcome change in making kaya. No more continuous stirring. There are many easy pumpkin kaya recipes to be found from the internet. My challenge today is not only to make good pumpkin kaya but to make it taste as near to the authentic kaya as possible (otherwise, I would have named it pumpkin jam instead). I initially started off with the three main basic ingredients in every pumpkin recipes - pumpkin puree, palm sugar and coconut milk. It wasn't enough. It lacked that eggy fragrant and was a tad bland. I added extra sugar and some coconut oil to elevate the fragrance. It worked out beautifully. And now I so love this pumpkin kaya I am even thinking of selling it!
All in all, this pumpkin kaya does taste 80% like Hainanase Kaya. The texture was spotless smooth, the taste good. It lacks a little kaya aroma compared to authentic ones but still negligible. The only difference is its appearance which has a brighter yellowish colour than the normal caramel brown. Well, it is not disgusting. In fact, it looks rather inviting. I would highly recommend you this recipe if you want a healthier alternative.
(Click here for recipe on authentic Hainanese Kaya recipe)
Pumpkin Kaya/Pumpkin Coconut Jam 金瓜加椰Ingredients
500 g pumpkin, sliced
100 g palm sugar
200 ml thick coconut milk (from one coconut)
5 pandan leaves, knotted
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp coconut oil
1. Clean and slice pumpkin. Steam pumpkin until it is soft.
2. Add pumpkin and coconut milk into a blender and blend until smooth.
3. Transfer slurry/smoothie to a non-stick pan and add in all other ingredients. Cook in low heat for about 15 minutes stirring occasionally (alternatively, cook in a double boiler for 45 mins if you want your kaya to retain more nutrients and to last for weeks).
4. Remove from fire and throw away the pandan leaves. Let cool completely before storing in sterilized jars. Keep refrigerated.
I made my kaya as sweet as authentic kaya. You might want to reduce the sweetness according to your liking. The degree of sweetness would also depend on the type of pumpkin itself.