I've been following SBS' feature on island feasts by Peter Kuruvita when they started airing last year. And with the encore episodes showing this month, I am again glued to the TV. It was a nice surprise when a feature on Filipino food was showcased. Its amazing how watching something familiar can bring you close to home. Of course most of the dishes featured are not new to me, but just because I am of Filipino heritage does not mean I know how to make every single dish. There are a lot of them, and one dish can have a thousand and one ways to make. Depending on which region you are in the island, and what ingredients are on hand. Sometimes, there are also quick, cheat tricks using readily available ingredients. Like using canned coconut cream for the actual milk derived from freshly grated coconut, frozen grated purple yam in lieu of the real thing.
And since my knowledge of my own country's cuisine expands only to the corners of region I grew up, there are heaps of other dishes that I've never tried to make at home. When an office colleague went to the Philippines for the holidays, and brought this book, I knew a challenge is at hand.
Goldilocks Bakeshop is an icon in the Philippines. It's fame is equivalent to NY's Magnolia Bakery and London's Hummingbird Bakery. Despite the sprouting of new bakeshops and entry of franchise bakeries in the Philippines, this true Filipino institution is one that makes the heart of Filipinos abroad a flutter. I just need to get my hands on a copy!
But while waiting for my own, M kindly lent me the book for the weekend. And voila! A recipe for maja ube was made - just in time for SABH theme for the month of Tropical Paradise hosted by Nic of Dining with a Stud. Check out her coconut and mango sago from the widgets below!
Maja blanca is a pudding-like Filipino dessert made of coconut milk (The Goldilocks Bakebook recipe mentioned first extract from shredded coconut. My point on using alternative ingredients for convenience). The variety stems from the use of other flavourings such as Maja Mais (corn), Maja Pandan and and in this case - Maja Ube. The ingredients are basic tropical island ingredients: coconut milk, purple yam, glutinous rice flour, etc.
To make Maja Ube
(Print the recipe)
(Print the recipe)
3/4 cup corn flour
1/4 cup glutinous rice flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
325ml (1 and 1/2 cup) water
750ml (3 cups) coconut milk
50ml condensed milk
1 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 cup grated purple yam
30g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon (or more) ube flavouring
banana leaves (optional)
Line a 20cm round Pyrex or baking pan with banana leaves (or baking paper).
(I used two shallow 24cm Areca palm leaf plates)
In a medium sized bowl, combine corn flour, glutinous rice flour and salt and whisk together.
Add the water and mix well with a fork. It will form into a paste. Set aside.
In a work or a deep skillet, combine coconut milk, condensed milk and sugar over medium heat.
Cook the mixture while stirring until it boils and starts to thicken.
Reduce heat to low simmer and add the grated purple yam.
Continue cooking and add the cornstarch mixture and purple yam flavouring. Stir and mix well until it thickens to pudding consistency.
Add the butter and stir until the butter has melted.
Pour into the prepared pans/plate. Allow to cool and set.
Garnish with toasted shredded coconut (latik).
- Banana leaves can be bought from Asian fruit shops (fresh or frozen);
- You can buy purple yam flavouring/extract and grated frozen purple yam from Asian groceries and Filipino shops;
- Use (thawed) frozen shredded coconut for the topping not the dry shredded coconut from supermarket shelves. Also available from Asian grocers. Check out my recipe for latik from this post;
- You can refrigerate the Maja Ube and serve cold.