Ube Kalamay is another way for Filipinos to enjoy ube, which is a local version of purple yam.
The dessert is famous all around the Philippines. It has long been proud of its long list of traditional treats, especially it's very own kakanin. There are several varieties of Filipino rice cakes. They are all scattered around the country. Lots of them are found on the island of Luzon, but there are also Visayan provinces that have their own and original versions of the sweets.
It is said that the treat originated somewhere in the Visayas. Given that the name kalamay is derived from a Visayan word that translates to sugar. The rice cake has been with the Filipinos even as the Spanish colonized the country. It is still existing and well-appreciated as a pasalubong until now.
The main ingredients of the sweet are glutinous rice, ube, sugar, and coconut milk. Each of them contributes to the health benefits of the dessert as a whole. Coconut milk promotes good heart health, ube, on the other hand, is very nutritious and is rich in antioxidants.
The root crop is mixed together with glutinous rice to make it into the originally sticky dessert known as kalamay. The taste of the purple yam blends perfectly with the sticky rice and sugar. The combination is as good as a meal as it is a snack. It’s commonly sold in markets and by some street vendors. It is often sold together with traditional Pinoy meriendas like lugaw, palabok, and the like.
How to Make Ube Kalamay
- To prepare the latik, cook the coconut cream over medium heat. Bring to boil until it turns into curd and oil starts to come out. Change to low heat and continue to cook until golden brown. I used canned coconut cream alternatively, you can use fresh or canned coconut milk.
- In a wide pan over medium heat, combine the coconut milk, glutinous rice flour and sugar. Stir until well blended and the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the grated ube or purple yam. I also put some ube flavoring to add more color to the rice cake. Alternatively, you can use purple food coloring. Cook until the mixture is very sticky. Remember to keep stirring to avoid burning and sticking from the pan.
- Transfer in a tray and top with latik.
Filipinos love eating ube kalamay as a sweet course after the main meal, but it can also be eaten as a snack in the morning or afternoon. The sweet is soft and sticky, and the color purple that it gives off is enough to make anyone's mouth water. It is often topped with coconut latik, which blends well with its sweetness. The dessert tastes even better when paired with hot tea or chocolate.
Ube Kalamay Recipe
- 800 ml coconut milk 2 cans
- 2 cups glutinous rice flour
- 1 ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup water
- 500 g ube or purple yam grated
- 2 tsp ube flavoring or more as needed
For the latik:
- 400 ml coconut cream 1 can
- To make the latik, use a wide non-stick pan over medium heat, cook the coconut cream until it turns into curd and the oil starts to come out. Stir occasionally, lower the heat and continue to cook until it turns into brown. Remove from the pan and strain the curd from the oil. Set aside.
- In a pan over medium heat, combine the coconut milk, glutinous rice flour, sugar and water. Stir until well combined.
- Add the grated ube or purple yam and ube flavoring. Continue to cook until 20 mins until it thickens. Remember to keep stirring to avoid burning and sticking from the pan. You may add more ube flavoring as needed. Alternatively, you can also use purple food coloring.
- Transfer to a greased pan or molder. Top with latik and allow it to cool completely.