How to Cook Maja Blanca (Coconut Pudding)
Historically known as the significant pearl produce, the Philippines were given a fitting romantic name – Perla del Mar de Oriente (Pearl of the Orient Seas) by Spanish Jesuit Missionary Fr. Juan J. Delgado in 1751. Though the Philippine cuisine assimilated food traditions of neighbouring Asian nations, it is apparently the product of the local unique geography, terrain, climate, flora and fauna. Consisting of more than 7,100 islands, the Philippines is well known for its vast high and lowlands, tropical climate, rich coastal waters, frequent typhoons, tsunamis and earthquakes. Rice, fish, poultry, fresh vegetables, tropical fruits, coconuts, goat or carabao buffalo milk are the food staples of Filipinos. Being the basic staple, rice was given its own Filipino name, kanin. It is a common recipe ingredient from starter courses to various rice cakes and other sweetmeats called kakanin. Filipinos like to have two to three additional meals a day besides the three main ones, with desserts used as snacks. Apart from kakanin, Filipino cookery proposes a variety of non-rice sweet desserts with maja blanca being one of them. Made primarily from coconut milk it’s also known as coconut pudding. The name of the traditional holiday dessert is actually of Spanish origin. Initially pronounced as manjar blanco it means “white delicacy”. This sweet coconut pudding is a wonderful treat and is usually served during fiestas and holidays, especially Christmas. There are many variations of the recipe because maja blanca can easily be modified with different ingredients. For example squash maja blanca contains calabazas (West Indian pumpkin), whereas maja mais includes sweet corn cream style giving it a pretty yellow colour. There’s also maja ube using ube (purple yam) as a distinct ingredient which gives it a vivid purple-to-bright lavender colour. Our flavourful sweet recipe contains evaporated milk which is typically used in the original maja preparations.
Taking a look into the nutritional benefits of the dish, let’s talk a bit about coconut milk. It’s deemed that coconut fat in the form of coconut milk doesn’t have the detrimental effects on blood lipids profile. Moreover, it leads to the reduction of harmful low density lipoproteins and raises the high density ones, thus lowering the risk of ischemic disease. This phenomenon was originally called the “Polynesian paradox”. It has been noted that coconut milk may help to reduce or prevent coronary arterial disease and provides some protection against atherosclerosis among Polynesians. Additionally coconut milk provides you with a healthy amount of Vitamins C, E, and B. It contains minerals promoting healthy teeth and the regeneration of red blood cells.
Using cornstarch as the primary energy source in our maja blanca recipe ensures it is useful for anyone with a gluten intolerance, so it can easily be included into this specific treatment-type diet.
Don’t be concerned about the condensed milk. As long as it is consumed in moderation you should be ok. Additionally if you are aware and concious about the sugar levels, there are also the unsweetened versions which could be used for this recipe. Having the delicious condensed milk included, not only boosts the flavor but also offers a range of essential nutrients like calcium, potassium, and Vitamin A.
So make a call to your friends and invite them over this coming weekend to enjoy our tasteful recipe in genial company!
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12 - 18
2 hrs 10 mins
- 400ml/13.5fl oz coconut milk
- 1 can (354 ml/12fl oz) evaporated milk
- 1 can (300ml/10fl oz) condensed milk
- 150g/5.25oz sweet corn kernels
- 120g/4.25oz cornstarch
- 200ml/6.75fl oz water
- 15ml/0.5fl oz coconut oil
- Combine coconut milk, evaporated milk, and condensed milk in a pot. Simmer for 5 minutes over low heat, stirring continuously.
- Dissolve cornstarch in water.
- Add the corn and cornstarch slurry into the pot and stir until thick. About 2-3 minutes.
- Brush a baking dish lightly with coconut oil.
- Pour the maja blanca mixture into the baking dish.
- Leave for about an hour at room temperature.
- Chill for 1-2 hours before serving.
- Slice and top optionally with toasted coconut shavings.