The smell of cooking caramel and coconut engulfed my kitchen as I mix the contents of my wok. I have been on it for more than an hour now, cooking, stirring , sweating and watching how a thin, white solution made of coconut milk and powdered glutinous flour transforms into this gooey, thick , aromatic and delectable treat. Making Kalamay is laborious. Those who actually cooked it , could attest to that. Maybe that's the reason why, many would rather buy it from stores than cook it from scratch at home. Often packed in coconut shells, this Filipino sweet is sold even at some local airports back home and makes fabulous but cheap and very much welcome pasalubong ( Filipino tradition of a homecoming gift) .
A good friend of mine is celebrating her birthday and is inviting me for lunch. I could have bought a box of chocolate but I know this will please her much, much more. She and her family love Kalamay , after all. Being far from our country, Filipinos often use foods to fight whatever melancholies our hearts feel. Foods and karaoke, actually. Well, foods, karaoke and Pinoy soppy teleserye to be exact. My friend was quite happy with my simple yet very personal gift. The shimmer of her eyeballs speaks volume , if not her salivating maw. She couldn't just stop eating it. ''Taste like home!'', she says, many times. I was more than glad. Happy birthday Jassy!
|Cooked with love...|
I put young coconut meat in this recipe. It turned way better than I expected. Everybody who have tried it, actually liked it. Even my German husband, FF! I guess, I will be ditching tins of Christmas cookies this year and will be giving kalamay in jars instead. Nifty idea, don't you think?
250 ml coconut milk
800 ml coconut milk
200 ml water
200 g ground glutinous rice
100 g palm sugar
100 g palm sugar
250 g muscovado or brown sugar
1 cup coconut meat, cut into thin strips
2. Once latik is cooked, it should be crumbly and caramel brown, like the picture above. Carefully take latik out from the pan and dry excess oil using a paper towel. You can save the coconut oil and use it to grease your Kalamay container/ serving dish.
3. Combine coconut milk , water and ground glutinous rice flour. Use a whisk to dissolve powder. Mass must be homogeneous. Add in coconut meat.
4. Put mixture in a pan/ wok, preferably non stick. Bring mixture to a boil. Keep stirring. Curl those biceps! Flex those muscles! The mixtures curdles as it cooks until it becomes one sticky
5. Stir in sugar. Muscovado gives deeper and richer colour and more intensive flavour . Use it if you could get your paws on it. Sugar liquefies as it cooks. Turn the heat to medium low and keep cooking and stirring for another 30-40 minutes. I told you soooo.