Slow Food: Pandan & Coconut Jam (Kaya) Recipe

With the summer holidays calling for pavlovas, you may find yourself with some leftover egg yolks. This year, I’ve decided to turn the remaining egg yolks into something special on its own accord.

Kaya is a popular coconut jam often found in Malaysia and Singapore. It originated from the Hainan province of China, and there are two notable variations – a green variety (naturally coloured with pandan leaves), known as Nyonya kaya, and a brown version, known as Hainanese kaya. Both are equally delicious with its own distinct differences.

Kaya is often served on toast with a slab of butter, a thick smear of the jam, and a side of soft boiled eggs with soy sauce and pepper. Add to that, coffee or tea sweetened with condensed milk and to me, that’s the ultimate breakfast. Take me back to Malsysia or Singapore!

Pandan (screwpine leaves) is sometimes referred to as the vanilla of South-east Asia, and the delicate aromatic flavour is simply exquisite. When I recently dined at Boon Cafe in Sydney, a wander through the adjoining grocery store led me to their walk-in fridge which contained a bounty of fresh Thai vegetables, fruits and herbs. In there, a pile of pandan leaves sat with luscious green bitter melons, long cuts of sugar cane, and perfectly glossy apple eggplants, waiting to be converted into something delicious. The pandan leaves were a bargain at just $2.80 for a bunch of 14 leaves, so I instantly decided upon Nyonya Kaya, including making my own pandan extract from scratch.

Traditionally, kaya requires you to stand at the stove, stirring constantly for almost an hour, however, with clever appliances such as the Tefal Cuisine Companion or the Thermomix, you can essentially make this without much effort at all!

Homemade Kaya (Pandan & Coconut Jam)

Kaya is a popular coconut jam often found in Malaysia and Singapore. This is a Nyonya style Kaya, a green variety that is naturally coloured with pandan leaves.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Malaysian
Servings 10 people


  • 10 pandan leaves
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 280g coconut milk


  • To extract the pandan juice, wash the pandan leaves and using a pair of scissors, roughly chop into 3 – 5cm pieces.
  • Throw the pandan leaves into a food processor and blend well, adding the smallest amount of water if necessary.
  • Place the blended pandan in a muslin cloth and squeeze the pulp to extract 20ml of pandan juice.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar. Place the bowl over a pot of boiling water on low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Whisk in the coconut milk and pandan juice, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture has thickened.
  • Transfer to jars and refrigerate.

Tefal Cuisine Companion / Theromix Method

  • Wash the pandan leaves and using a pair of scissors, roughly chop into 3 – 5cm pieces and place into the bowl fitted with the Ultrablade knife.
  • Mix at speed 12 for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and add the smallest amount of water if necessary and mix again for 30 seconds.
  • Place the blended pandan in a muslin cloth and squeeze the pulp to extract 20ml of pandan juice.
  • Wipe down the bowl and insert the whisk attachment. Place eggs and sugar in the bowl and mix and mix for 30 seconds at speed 3. Increase temperature to 90°C and cook at speed 3 for 10 minutes.
  • Add coconut milk and pandan juice and set to 100°C at speed 2 for 40 minutes.
  • At the end of cooking, let it cool for 10 minutes then quickly blend it at speed 8 for 10 seconds. If you prefer a smoother texture, mix for a further 20 seconds.
  • Transfer to jars and refrigerate.


The kaya will keep for around two months in the fridge.
To make Hainanese kaya which has stronger caramel notes, replace half the sugar with palm sugar, and instead of the pandan juice, simply knot 3 – 4 pandan leaves and cook this with the coconut milk (remove the leaves before you bottle up).
Fresh pandan leaves can be found at Asian grocery stores, or can be substituted with pandan extract or pandan essence.

The result is a luscious, slightly sweet, sumptuously fragrant jam. Although the jam will last up to two months in the fridge, mine barely lasted us two days! Also see my previous post on how to sous-vide eggs as they make the perfect accompaniment to kaya toast.

I Ate My Way Through received the Cuisine Companion as promotional consideration from Tefal. As usual, all opinions are our own.

This post originally appeared on I Ate My Way Through and has been republished with full permission.


  • Jen

    Jen is the mama of the On The Slow Lane family. She is an accidental over-achiever and a reformed workaholic. Jen was formerly an online marketing agency owner for 11 years and was also the founder of I Ate My Way Through, an award-winning food & travel blog and food tours/events company. After what feels like a lifetime of unconscious over-consumption, she transitioned to being vegan almost four years ago and has been trying to live more mindfully and consciously since.

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