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Filipino Ube Halaya (Purple Yam Jam)

As a child, Edwin's mom told him, "If you want to eat, you should cook it yourself." And that's exactly what he's been doing ever since.

Ube Halaya (Filipino Purple Yam Jam)

Ube Halaya (Filipino Purple Yam Jam)

Purple Yam Jam From the Philippines

One of the things I miss from my childhood is ube halaya, or just "ube" as we called it in our household. It was one of my favorite Filipino desserts. It's made from ube, or purple yam. If you've never tried purple yam, its texture and density are roughly similar to that of a purple potato, which I believe is a bit thicker and denser than a regular potato.

To make the ube halaya, we boil and mash the ube, and then we mix it with milk and sugar. The end product has a paste-like consistency. We usually eat it as a dessert or snack, but it can be used as a spread on bread or toast, like jam. Halaya is the Tagalog word for jelly or jam.

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Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

45 min

55 min

5-6 servings


  • 1 pound ube (purple yam)
  • 1 cup condensed milk
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
This is what purple yams look like.

This is what purple yams look like.


  1. Peel the ube (purple yams), boil them in a pot of water for about 15 minutes until tender, and then mash.
  2. In another pot, add the butter, mashed ube, coconut milk, evaporated milk, and condensed milk. Stir over medium heat for 30 minutes, or until it thickens and reaches a paste-like consistency.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a serving plate or baking pan. Allow it to cool so it becomes firm.
  4. Ube halaya can be served warm or cold. If you wish to have it cold, refrigerate it for at least 1 hour before serving.


  • To save time, you can use frozen purple yam, available at Asian stores.
  • You can add vanilla extract if desired.
  • If you want a darker color, you can add purple food coloring.
  • What my mom used to do is to brush the surface of the warm, cooked yam mixture with melted butter right before serving.

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