Pinas Vacation 2011: Ube Haleya

Hi guys, it's good to be back, I have lots of stories to tell you from our holiday vacation in the Philippines. I am super excited about it I actually don't know where to start. The easiest way maybe is to share with you a favorite dessert I cooked for the first time for my family for Noche Buena, the same dessert I used to have every Christmas and New Year holiday while I was growing up. I am a purist when it comes to this dish, the taste of this dessert is altered when added with an extender like sweet potato or pumpkin. For me, it has to be all purple yam on it to get the real taste of haleya. Some people call it halaya, ube haleya, halya, jalya but I just love to call it haleya as how I have known it from my dad.

As I have said, it was my first time cooking this dessert, luckily my mom was around and she knew exactly what are the ingredients and how it should be done properly to get the very taste of the dessert.

1 1/2 to 2 kilo of purple yam (available at wet markets) in the Philippines is 60 PHP/kilo
4 cups of gata (coconut milk) or 2 cans of evaporated milk
1/2 kilo of brown sugar
1 can of condensed milk
2-3 tbsp of margarine
2 pandan leaves

1. Boil purple yam in water (skin on) in a casserole until its tender and then set aside to cool
2. Prepare coconut milk if this is what you are using
3. Peel the purple yam and grate it or mash it
4. Heat a cooking pot or a medium size iron vat for cooking (medium heat)
5. Melt margarine, add coconut milk, condensed milk, pandan leaves, sugar (add sugar gradually depending on how sweet you like your haleya), and then the grated purple yam
6. Stir it all the time to prevent burning until it is sticky, when you find it difficult to fold, that signals you that it is cooked, you can fold it for some more minutes if you really want the haleya to be very sticky (makunat.)
7. Transfer to molding trays (llanera), let cool to room temperature, and chill in the fridge then it is ready to serve

My Yellow Bells

Carla is a lifestyle blogger based in Dubai who's thankful to call this ever-evolving city her second home. The pages of this blog are filled with stories about her expat life in the sandpit. It features dining and travel adventures in and around the city and beyond. It also features food recipes, parenting tips, and fashion style.


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  1. glad yopu enjoyed your vacation, welcome back!

    after you, it's our turn :)

  2. wow this is my favorite il make one out from your recipe hehehe thanks to this!!!

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