Kaya Jam – Stick with Tradition

Kaya Jam – Stick with Tradition

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Kaya Jam 1

When you want a sweet treat to get you going in the morning, spread some kaya jam on a piece of toast with a pat of butter. The curd is made with caramelized sugar, eggs, and coconut. Enjoy it as a light breakfast or the finishing touch to a heavier one. This jam is a staple in most supermarkets and coffee shops all over Singapore and Malaysia.

Kaya Toast Set

Kaya is a pale green, sweet coconutmilk jam made with pandan leaves. The leaves give it colour and its herbal flavour. It is traditionally served on two pieces of crisp toast with soft-cooked eggs and dark soy sauce for a traditional kaya-toast-set. You can also spread one slice of toasted bread with kaya, and place a cold butter pat on the other. Put them together for a deliciously sweet sandwich.

Origins of Kaya Jam

It is supposed to have originated when Hainanese Chinese galley workers mixed foods they served on British ships into the kopi tiam culture when they arrived in Singapore and Malaysia. They began to sell the kaya jam commercially after settling in Singapore and Malaysia. It quickly caught on and has replaced most of the Western jams, and has become a tradition in the region.  The bread is traditionally toasted over charcoal, and then the curd and butter are added. Some like to have kaya and toast for breakfast, while others like it with midday tea. Most tourists who visit the region love the sweet, nutty taste.

Singaporean all-time favourite jam and kaya spread possesses the following attributes: energy, 50 kcal; trans-fat, 0.0g; total fat, 1.7g; protein, 0.6g; saturated fat, 1.3g; cholesterol, 16mg; dietary fibre, .01g; carbohydrates, 8.2g; and sodium, 10g.

Kaya Jam

How to Make Kaya Jam

To make kaya jam you will need eggs, brown sugar or palm sugar, coconut cream, pandan leaves, and flavouring. You can find these at an Asian grocery store.


  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 4 pandan leaves
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar or palm sugar

Heat a medium saucepan of water to just before boiling. Crack eggs into bowl and stir until yolks are mixed. Add coconut milk and sugar. Twist and crush pandan leaves, wrapping them in a circle. Add leaves to the mixture. Place bowl over steaming water. Cook, stirring constantly, until a curd forms. You should cook the mixture very slowly to let it caramelize. Remove the leaves and let it cool. It is somewhat complicated and you can purchase it ready-made at the grocery store if you prefer.

Whether you decide to buy the ingredients and make it yourself or purchase it prepared in a jar, you will love the taste of kaya jam. You can enjoy it on two slices of toast in the traditional way or spread it on crackers. If you want to save on calories, just pick up a spoon and just dig in. It adds a great taste to any meal, so you don’t have to restrict it to breakfast or tea time. Have it anytime you need a little sweet.

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