Dreamy Purple Treat - Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

Every year we prepare a dessert which is unique from our country. Made from a root vegetable with a delightful color it is called Ube. The root is also known as purple yam and can also be found in other countries, the dessert though is uniquely Filipino. Come with me today, join the family as we fire up the wood and heat up the cauldron. Step inside our kitchen as we cook a delicious dessert called Ube Halaya.


Dreamy Purple Treat

Each year every second Saturday of November everyone in the family helps out to prepare this purple treat. Why Saturday if you might ask? It is the day before our annual fiesta in the city. The recipe of Ube Halaya has been passed down to us for generations now and my childhood memories when my grandma prepared this is still very vivid. As a kid I felt excited as they brought out the big black cauldron where they used to cook it.

Now my aunt along with my wife does the preparation. They bought around 9 kilos of purple yam if I'm not mistaken. That sounds a lot, but the volume decreases as it is cooked.

To start off, you first need to soak it up with water and remove all the dirt from the root.

Since it has been harvested from the ground, all dirt must be brushed off. Making sure it is very clean from the dirt as we would not want it to go in our dessert.

Be careful though, the water from the washed purple yam can be very itchy on the skin. It is best to rinse everything with clean water after the scrubbing.

Time to fire up the wood as we would first need to boil them to soften up the root vegetable. This cauldron that we have is no longer the original black one that we used. Thru time and age that antique cauldron cracked at the bottom. I guess somethings doesn't last forever, but I really loved that old cauldron which was very well seasoned.

I used old pieces of wood from discarded fruit crates and some wood used in construction. Some pieces of broken hollow blocks are used to hold up the cauldron. Maybe when we visit the beach I would look for large rocks to take home with me. Something that would be perfect to hold up the cauldron, but for now I guess the hollow blocks will do the trick.

Fill it up with water as we are getting ready to boil our purple yam.

The boiling process would take about two hours, but we wouldn't want it to be too soft. It is best to check once in awhile poking it with a fork to know if it's ready. To speed up the process it is best to cover the cauldron with a sturdy lid.

After the boiling process, we removed the ube and what is left is the purple hot water.

As you could see, that beautiful purple color is already showing. Now it can be easily peeled with a knife.

Making sure that all skin are peeled off before we proceed to the next process. My daughter was also eagerly helping in the process.

Once everything has been peeled, it is time for the shredding.

Each piece will be shredded evenly by using an old tool that was made by my grandpa made from stainless steel. In this portion everyone in the family is joining in the process.

My daughter is very much enjoying herself is very much eager to have a bite of this tasty treat.

The shredded ube would look like this once done. Somehow looks like shredded cheese and I am wondering if you could already sprinkle some of these on some desserts. Maybe sprinkle a little on pancakes or ice cream.

This dessert only requires very few ingredients, but would require a lot of love in the preparation. Here we used a lot of canned milk. To be specific, we used 7 cans of condensed milk and 10 cans of evaporated milk. These are the local brands that we have and would not matter if you mix up different brands.

Next we would need some sugar which is around one kilo.

That is it for our ingredients and let's step outside again to our kitchen. It is time to grease up the cauldron with some butter.

Make sure that the surface is well greased up with the butter. This will ensure the ingredients would not stick as this would be very hot.

Once greased up the shredded ube is transferred as we would need to mix it well with the milk and sugar.

Another very important tool for the cooking which is what we call the pala or shovel. This was also custom made by my grandfather also made from stainless steel. I love how he made a lot of kitchen tools with stainless steel, something that would last for a very very long time. Something that is irreplaceable which we will also pass down to our future generations.

Time to pour in all the cans of evaporated and condensed milk.

Next the granules of sweetness are added to make this sweet delicious dessert.

Everything is mixed well and with all the milk this will turn into like a purple milkshake.

Now it's my turn which is my job every year. The hardest part which is non stop stirring for almost three hours. Doing this for years now I have already established a technique in the stirring process. The secret is within the movement of the wrist along with the push of the palm. I could say that I am now a master stirrer of the Ube Halaya.

Before everything, let's add some more heat to it by throwing in some more wood to the flames.

At this time, it is still too early to notice the change. But as time passes the consistency of the mixture will thicken. It is very important to stir from the bottom making sure nothing would stick and burn on the surface. The flames are hot and the smoke often goes to your eyes. It is no easy task with the non stop stirring.

Normally, I go shirtless when cooking. Because of the heat, but I'm not confident enough going shirtless on the photos...lol.

After an hour, you could already see the change in the consistency but still it has a long way to go. You would know if it is ready if you could no longer stir it completely, the texture would be very thick.

Portions of the mixture would stick on the sides and would need to scrape them off. At this time, it is already around two hours of non stop stirring and we are almost there to the finish line.

Finally, around two hours and 45 minutes later it is cooked. The Ube Halaya would stick on the shovel which is an indication of the perfect consistency. Remove the heat and leave for around 3 to 5 minutes before taking it inside.

In this portion, the rest of the family will be helping out to transfer the dessert in plastic containers. Some will be given to other relatives and friends. They always look forward to this day of sweetness which was made from love and tenderness.

About the taste, let me describe it to you. It is like a potato with a hint of vanilla, sweet, smooth, creamy with texture like pudding but much thicker. Your mind might suggest a taste like grape due to it's color, but you would be in for a surprise. We don't have a lot of food in purple color, but you will be in for a treat once you have a taste of this dessert.

Here is my daughter ready for her spoonful of this tasty treat. Will all the help that she did, she deserves more than a spoonful.

With the large batch that we cooked, everyone was busy packing them in the plastic containers. The top is greased with butter to smooth en the surface.

You would not be able to resist getting a spoonful as the delicious scent floats around the air.

A tradition every year, bonding together, laughing with the family as we cook with love. These memories are priceless and I am glad to share this piece of true happiness in our lives. Although life is hard, we still find ways to give, laugh and spend quality time with each other. Doing things together keeps the family closer together and stronger.

Our relatives always tells us to make a business out of this dessert. My aunt always says that we would not earn much as we use too much ingredients. She prefers quality and superior taste when it comes to Ube Halaya. If you would make it expensive due to the ingredients maybe no one would buy it. Not to brag about it, but I took some to the office last year and some other people also brought their own. The guys at the office said that ours was the best and cannot be matched.

Here are what is left of it as some relatives already dropped by to get their share. Now we just need for it to cool down to be ready to be stored in the refrigerator.


Thank you for joining me today and I hope you loved the process in preparing this delightful dessert. If ever you stumble on this treat please do give it a try. In this world, colors that you see may not what is seems to be. Colors might be deceiving and you would not know unless you try.

Until then I hope to see you again soon, have a good evening everyone.


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All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 12-32 mm kit lens and Sigma 50 mm




Posted from my blog with SteemPress : http://watersnake101.vornix.blog/2018/11/11/dreamy-purple-treat-beautiful-sunday/


What a great way to spend time with the family by making traditional foods together, I guess that's a very big part of how many Asians families bonding.

Oh yes, and what I enjoy most is the conversation and laughter during this process.

I can imagine it was a wonderful moment to you all.

So that not only looks absolutely amazing, but it sounds amazing too! I've heard of purple yams but never had the chance to eat them. They do look like cheese once they've been through the grater though, kind of cool!

We had some few expats at the office and I had them taste it. They said that their mind was telling them that it would taste like grape lol but it was something else.

So much work but looks good. As for me, I'll pop them in for a quick cook and I can eat it :-)

Aww you said it @ace108 my hands were hurting after that long ordeal. It was a lot of work.

You should try it without the wrist so much.
Do the movement with shoulder and arm than the wrist. Needs a bit of practice. Imagine pouring water (or beer) from a big jug. Try using wrist and than try using shoulder and arm. Feel the difference.
Then come back call me sifu. 😎

Haha I will try to do that the next time around lol. Cheers!

The people who work with making food daily has a lot of things to teach us. :-)

Wow, I have never seen this before, though I am Asian! Thanks for sharing :)

I hope you love purple food lol. You are very welcome and thanks for taking time to have a look.

We call it Ubi Jalar or Ketela in Bahasa Indonesia. I love to see your way of preparing it @watersnake101. #steemitbloggers

Cool! How do you prepare it in in Indonesia? I'd love to see it. I hope you get it to share it one of these days.

I tried the ube flavor when I was in Hawaii, so tasty! This dessert looks delicious, and of course with all the effort and love put in, that will only make it taste even better! Thank you for sharing!

There are a lot of desserts infused with ube cakes, ice cream, cookies, muffins. What was it that you had? I'm glad you had the chance to experience it.

Never tried that one yet even though I did travel around Asia once

Aw you missed it. I believe that you will once again get to visit Asia, things will turn out right. Never stop believing and I hope you get a chance to come to the Philippines.

Not been to the Philippines yet but hope to go soonish

Bringing the family together to prepare is a great idea, sounds delicious @watersnake101

Big batch cooking and storing for future use makes it all worth the while spending time, energy and money when it comes to something so unique.

I'm not sure it would last that long. Half of the batch is already gone and my daughter could finish one plastic container in one sitting lol.

I've never heard of Ube, or the dessert, but would like to try it sometime! Thank you for taking us through the process with your lovely family!

You are very welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed the treat. Have a happy weekend. Cheers!

As always your photos are fantastic! Nominating this to @c squared. That really sounds delicious... Everyone looks like they are enjoying cooking together, too. I love your family so much!

Hey my friend @melinda010100 how is it going. If you lived really close by we would have saved you some. We would love for you to have a taste of our popular dessert. Again thank you very much for the love. Hugs from all of us here.

Someone really does need to invent a teleporter so that I could just show up and spend the day with you! And then you guys could use it to come here!

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Hii how are you doing! Haven't been around lately but I'm getting back to steemit! Ube taste so great! It was so weird when I tasted my first halo halo and there were all crazy things inside the ice dessert and one of them was this purple root. I didn't know there were so many delicious ube dessert but later, I loved it with as favorite the ube lumpia!

I am very glad to see you back again. I still recall your fabulous adventures in our country. I'm glad you liked the ube and bit weird for some as we do not have a lot of purple food with natural color. Hey I have not tried the ube lumpia yet, you have been getting the good stuff lol.

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