Ube Halaya – The Back-breaking Native Dessert

Re-post with new photos and because we made this delicious dessert again last Sunday. =)


Okay, I’m just half-kidding about the title of this post. But it’s really a bit pain-staking when cooking ube halaya because you’d have to stir the mixture until it becomes makunat [rubbery consistency, to put it that way].

But we Pinoys are diligent when it comes to our native delicacies such as this one. Even if our arms are sore, we keep on stirring until we get the right consistency. I think that’s what makes this dessert highly coveted in many occasions especially in the provinces. Hard work + yummy ingredients = delicious!

By the way, a runny or softer version of the ube halaya is used in halo-halo – another Filipino delicacy.


* ratio: per 1kg ube, use 1 can condensed milk [regular size], 1 can evaporated milk [regular size], 1 200g pack of powdered milk

Purple yam or ube – boiled til fork tender and coarsely ground [it’s up to you if you like it fine or coarse]

Powdered milk [this is optional, but we like using powdered milk together with condensed and evaporated milk because it makes the cooking process a bit faster]

Evaporated and condensed milk

Sugar [med. brown/DD; add according to taste]

Butter [or margarine]

Violet/Purple Food coloring [use only if you want to liven up the purple color of your halaya]

Kalamansi rind [finely minced]



Make sure you’ve boiled and ground the ube before mixing the milk, kalamansi rind and sugar. Mix these ingredients in a separate pot or large mixing bowl.

Use a large Pinoy wok or kawali, a talyasi if you may, to make the stirring process easier.

Use medium heat.

Once the wok is hot, add a few tablespoons of margarine. Let it melt before adding the ube mixture. Using a large ladle, start stirring [or paddling] until the ube is cooked and has the desired consistency.

Brush your oval plates or any desired containers with margarine to prevent the ube halaya from sticking on the surface. You may cover your plated dessert with plastic wrap once cooled and ready for the fridge.

tip: Make sure the entire family is present because the stirring process is from start to finish. Prepare lots of drinking water and snacks as the cooking process is usually long.