Kalamay (also spelled as Calamay) is also one of the most common pasalubong among Filipinos. Among the Visayan lingua (Hiligaynon), Kalamay is synonymous with ‘sugar’. This was became famous during the Spanish colonization.
Kalamay is a sticky sweet, made up of coconut milk, brown sugar, and ground glutinous rice. Another option for you to have it more yummy is by adding margarine, peanut butter, or vanilla. Kalamay can be eaten alone but it is usually used as sweeter as of the number of Filipino desserts and beverages. Nian Gao of the Chinese is the same with Kalamay but the latter is sweeter and more viscous.
Kalamay is made through extracting coconut milk from grated coconuts twice. Glutinous rice is added to the first batch of coconut milk and boiled is ground into a paste. Brown sugar is added to the second batch of coconut milk and boiled for several hours to make it more sticky (latik). The mixture of the ground glutinous rice and coconut milk will be then poured into the latik and stirred until the consistency becomes very thick. It can be served hot or at room temperature especially when eaten with other dishes. Viscous Kalamay are often served cooled to make it less runny and easier to eat. It can be added to beverages as well, like coffee, milk, or hot chocolate.
Kalamay in the Philippines has many variations and types. We have Bohol Kalamay (mildly sweet), Baguio Kalamay, Iloilo Kalamay, Nilubyan or Iniruban, and the Mindoro Kalamay.
But wait, here’s more! You can also make your own version of Kalamay depending on your preferences. Just apply these easy instructions as what you can see below. Enjoy!
- 1½ cup glutinous rice flour
- 1½ cup muscovado or brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cans (400ml) coconut milk or 4 cups fresh thick coconut milk
- Sesame Seeds (optional)
- In a large non-stick saucepan( this is recommended to avoid the mixture from sticking to the pan), combine coconut milk and glutinous rice flour. Mix well until the rice flour is fully dissolved.
- Heat the pan at very low while stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it thickens.
- Add the muscovado or brown sugar and stir continuously and keep on stirring to avoid burnt mixture at the bottom of the pan.
- Make sure to stir in one direction only to minimize lumping.
- Cooking is approximately one hour or when the Kalamay-hati is already a little heavy for you to stir.
- Take off from heat and place in a serving dish or a cleaned banana leaves and cool.
- Serve plain or sprinkle sesame seeds