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Ube halaya: the holiday purple yam dessert from the Philippines




The finished ube halaya, or purple jam, a traditional Filipino dish that's popular during the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
The finished ube halaya, or purple jam, a traditional Filipino dish that's popular during the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
Dorian Merina / KPCC
The finished ube halaya, or purple jam, a traditional Filipino dish that's popular during the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
Simmering coconut milk and anise seeds in the kiwali, or large pan, for the Filipino dish ube halaya.
Dorian Merina / KPCC
The finished ube halaya, or purple jam, a traditional Filipino dish that's popular during the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
Grated purple yams, or ube, for the Filipino dish known as ube halaya.
Dorian Merina / KPCC
The finished ube halaya, or purple jam, a traditional Filipino dish that's popular during the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
Boiled purple yams, or ube, ready to be grated for the Filipino dish called ube halaya.
Dorian Merina / KPCC


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It’s New Year's Eve, which means there's still time for the rush of holiday food dishes. And we’re talking about more than just that traditional fruitcake and glass of eggnog.

Take, for instance, the traditional Filipino dessert called ube halaya. The purple yam, or ube, is the basis for a variety of dishes in the Philippines, both sweet and savory. The thick, coconut-flavored ube halaya, is a favorite during the holidays for Filipino families. It's right up there with crispy pork lechon and boisterous karaoke singing.

This version of the holiday dish comes from guest chef, Corazon Collera, and Take Two's Dorian Merina.

Corazon's Holiday Ube Halaya Recipe

Ingredients:

5-6 medium sized ube (purple yam)

4 C of fresh or canned coconut milk

2 C of sweetened condensed milk

2-3 tsp of anise seeds

Steps:

1. Peel the ube and boil until soft, but not mushy. Let cool, then finely grate into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

2. Over low flame in a large wok, stir in the coconut milk and sweetened condensed milk. Stir constantly.

3. Add the anise seeds to taste.

4. Stir in the grated ube. Continue stirring until mixture is thick and begins to cling to side of pan. Remove from heat before it begins to clump.

5. Transfer to pie tin or serving dish. Enjoy while still warm or allow to cool. Either way, it's masarap (delicious)!

*Can also add more coconut milk and less condensed milk for a more savory version.