Ube Haleya (Purple Yam Jam)

Ube Haleya (Purple Yam Jam)

Hello and kumusta (how are you), dear GG readers!

Whenever you see this greeting you may already know by now that it’s me, Alesah, co-contributing for my love, Gourmet Getaways. For today, I am sharing the recipe of a dessert made from a tUBEr that I “UBEr” like. Really, the play of words is intentional. Reason being is, I am presenting to you another Filipino treat called – UBE Haleya a.k.a. Purple Yam Jam.

Ube haleya - recipe

Ube haleya – recipe

Pronounced as “ooh-beh” this root crop is full of humility but can incredibly transform into something sweet, creamy and royal. As a matter of fact ube has garnered for itself a myriad of loyal fans. A perfect example is if you ask a Filipino what his favourite classic ice cream flavour is, you have to get ready to start tallying a column specifically for “Ube”.

The Humble Ube - raw

The Humble Ube – raw

Haleya or halaya is the method the ube is prepared and cooked. First step is to clean and boil it. Next is to grate or mash. Lastly is to cook with milk and sugar over heat with constant (and I mean NON-STOP) stirring. So for the health buffs here, think of making ube haleya as an equivalent workout prior to a dessert binge ;P.



Like the leche flan and buko pandan that I imparted to you the last couple of weeks, the addition of this dessert to my neophyte cooking repertoire will give you another great taste of Filipino favourites.

Ube haleya - lineup

Ube haleya – lineup

Ube Haleya (Purple Yam Jam)
Recipe Type: Dessert, Filling
Cuisine: Filipino
Author: Alesah
An über favourite Filipino dessert – Übe Haleya (Purple Yam Jam)
  • 1 kilo ube (purple yam tuber)
  • 250 g white sugar
  • 750 ml coconut milk
  • 250 ml condensed milk
  • 125 g butter
  • 4-5 drops of ube food colouring (optional)
  1. Wash and clean the ube under running water.
  2. Boil the ube with skin on, until tender.
  3. Let it cool and peel. Grate or mash with a fork. (I used the grater.)
  4. In a heavy pan, combine the coconut milk, sugar, and grated ube. Mix and then add the condensed milk and butter. Add food colouring, if desired.
  5. Cook over a low to medium heat while stirring continuously until the mixture holds together and starts separating from the pan.
  6. Transfer to butter-greased ramekins or moulds and allow to cool. Serve.
  7. *Note: This mixture could last for about 5 – 7 days. Ensure that it is cooled at room temperature prior to refrigerating.

Please don’t give up on the constant stirring. This needs to be done to avoid burning the mixture. I suggest you take turns with someone who wants to have dessert in the fridge. Fair share, as they call it?

Ube haleya - closeup2

Ube haleya – closeup2

I grew up delighted with this jam. The most common way I enjoy eating ube haleya is simple – 1/ Spoon it, 2/ Savour it, 3/ Chew the ube bits, 4/ Swallow with eyes flickering in euphoric convulsion. Repeat.

Ube haleya - moulds

Ube haleya – moulds

When I got older I modified this a bit. I mixed this jam with vanilla ice cream. I promise you step 4 intensified big time.

Ube with ice cream

Ube with ice cream

So don’t be perplexed by the purple yam. Take a spoonful. Then if someone asks you the question, “Are you addicted yet?” I promise your reply will be, “U BEt!”

Ube haleya - closeup1

Ube haleya – closeup1

Thank you so much for sharing this dessert Alesah! … and OMG it is just so beautiful! I love the purple colour, stunning : …and hehe …tUBEr that I “UBEr” like hehe, too funny 🙂


Gourmet Getaways

About Alesah Villalon

I used to chase life as one would chase targets in their calendar years. Until someone came to say, "Do more of the things that you love, and share that love with others!" Now I'm slowing down a bit.

I try to write. I try to shoot beautiful images of places I love. I try to share wholeheartedly the things that I enjoy.

I hope you can share with me all the pleasures that life has to offer through my stories.

Contact me at alesah@gourmetgetaways.com.au


  1. What a vibrant colour! I can only imagine how it tastes.

  2. Bonjour et kumusta Alesah ! C’est incroyable cet dessert, la couleur est tellement belle ! Je ne connaissais pas de tout l’ube ! J’aime beaucoup cet blog pour ça! Avec Julie et toi, je découvre des nouvelles recettes, des nouvelles paysages….J’adore 😉

  3. Holy WOW…. This looks amazing. I totes wanna know what it tastes like…. Guess I better hunt down the ingredients and try make it. 🙂 Very cool!

    • LOL, Anna!!! The texture will feel like hash brown? But this one is creamy, sweet, “tidbitty” and moreish, if you will 🙂 If you don’t find a raw purple yam, you could use the grated ones if they have that in Asian stores near you :).

  4. This is brilliant, Alesah! 🙂 I’ve experimented with purple yams quite a bit, but haven’t found any dish that made me think, “Mmmm.” This, however sounds fantastic. 🙂

  5. I need those ube moulds! Hahaha! This looks very delectable, in every gourmet sense. And yes, UBEr yam! I mean yum!

  6. Definitely one of the most brilliant colours/purples in the natural/food world! I love ube and I can’t wait to try this. So many amazing/delicious looking Filipino deserts – u-beauty!!! Thank you for sharing these. 😀

  7. I love purple yam the few times I’ve tried it, but I’m not actually sure where I could find it here! I’ll have to keep my eye out the next time I go to an Asian grocery store.

  8. I love its bright purple color and also sounds delicious. I would love to try it since I love ube ice cream — which was introduced by a Filipino friend of mine.

  9. Never heard of this veggie,but nice colour,looks fabulous

  10. Love the color, would like to try this, thanks for sharing!

  11. A fantastic special dish! I love the bright purple color a lot! A feast for the eyes & mouth too, of course! 🙂

  12. What a fun and delicious dessert. I will have to keep an eye open for that type of purple yam in Hong Kong. Love that vibrant color!

  13. Wow this is my Mom’s favorite 🙂 I love the creaminess of Ube that it melt’s in the mouth.

  14. Such a pretty dessert indeed!

  15. Wow, this is really different. Spectacular colour!

  16. Such a fabulous looking dessert, Alesah! The colour, shape, texture are all so unique and I would love to try this dish!
    Learning about new foods is always so exciting – thank you!

  17. i give you an idea for make Ongol-Ongol from my country in Indonesia 🙂

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