Kalamay from the province of Bohol packaged inside empty coconut shells. It is the famous delicacy from Bohol Province particularly in the town of Jagna.
Alternative namesCalamay
Place of originPhilippines
Region or stateVisayas, Luzon
Serving temperatureHot, room temperature, cold
Main ingredientsCoconut milk, glutinous rice, brown sugar
Opened Kalamay inside the coconut shell

Kalamay (also spelled Calamay, literally "sugar") is a sticky sweet delicacy that is popular in many regions of the Philippines. It is made of coconut milk, brown sugar, and ground glutinous rice. It can also be flavored with margarine, peanut butter, or vanilla. Kalamay can be eaten alone; but is usually used as a sweetener for a number of Filipino desserts and beverages. It is related to the Chamorro dessert called Kalamai.


Kalamay is made by extracting coconut milk from grated coconuts twice. Glutinous rice is added to the first batch of coconut milk and the mixture is ground into a paste. Brown sugar is added to the second batch of coconut milk and boiled for several hours to make latík. The mixture of ground glutinous rice and coconut milk is then poured into the latík 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.


Kalamay is a popular pasalubong (the Filipino tradition of a homecoming gift). They are often eaten alone, directly from the packaging.[1] Kalamay is also used in a variety of traditional Filipino dishes as a sweetener,[2] including the suman and the bukayo. It can also be added to beverages like coffee, milk, or hot chocolate.

Biko and sinukmani are similar dishes which use whole glutinous rice grains. The preparation is the same except that the glutinous rice is first cooked whole and not ground into a paste, and then is smothered with the latík. In some regions (particularly in the Northern Philippines), this dish is referred to as the kalamay, with the viscous kind differentiated as the kalamay-hati.

The latík from kalamay by itself can be used with other desserts, particularly with dishes made from cassava (which is then referred to as 'cassava kalamay'). Kalamay is also commonly confused with matamis sa bao, a similar viscous dish. However, the latter does not use rice.

Biko topped with caramel-like latik


Kalamay slices on banana leaves from Bustos, Bulacan
Kalamay ube is naturally purple due to the use of purple yam.

There are many variations and types of kalamay. Kalamay can be divided roughly into two types: the syrupy kind used in conjunction with other dishes (higher latik ratio), and the gummy chewy kind which is more expensive and usually eaten on its own.[1]

Similar to other traditional kakanin rice cakes, kalamay also has variants based on secondary ingredients, they include:[9]


Kalamay, in many Visayan languages (particularly Hiligaynon), is synonymous with 'sugar' (extracted from sugarcane).[15] The word is usually elided to kamay in modern Cebuano dialects. In the Waray language, kalamay refers to a hardened cake of molasses used as sweeteners for many cooked desserts. Its production has been known since the Spanish colonization of the Philippines.

Similar desserts

A cousin of kalamay is dodol, found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and in some parts of the Philippines. It uses similar basic ingredients and preparation. Dodol, however, is a solid candy, unlike the liquid kalamay. Kalamay is visually similar to the Chinese nian gao (also known as tikoy in the Philippines), but they are not related.

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Calamay from Bohol". marketmanila.com. June 22, 2010. Retrieved January 7, 2011.
  2. ^ Vicente Labro (November 18, 2006). "'Kalamay'-making survives high-tech sugar mills". newsinfo.inquirer.net. Archived from the original on February 22, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2011.
  3. ^ ""Kalamay Antipolo" style ." Tagalog Kitchen. November 3, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e Edgie B. Polistico (December 18, 2010). "Pinoy Food and Cooking Dictionary – C". EDGIE POLISTICO’S encyclopedic PINOY dictionary. philfoodcooking.blogspot.com. Retrieved January 7, 2011.
  5. ^ "Jagna celebrates 190 year-old calamay tradition, April 28-30". The Bohol Chronicle. May 3, 2015.
  6. ^ "Welcome to Jagna".
  7. ^ "Municipality of San Enrique and the Kalamay Festival". iloilohangout.tigaswebs.com. 2008. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved January 7, 2011.
  8. ^ "Calamay Buna, a Sweet Delicacy from Indang, Cavite". wowcavite.com. 2011. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  9. ^ "Kalamay". Ang Sarap. August 23, 2012. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  10. ^ "Kalamay Gabi". Kawaling Pinoy. February 10, 2019. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  11. ^ "Kalamay na Duman aka Kalamay na Pinipig (Green Sticky Rice Cake)". Masarap.ph. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  12. ^ Belen, Jun (June 20, 2012). "How to Make Kalamay na Pinipig (Pinipig Rice Cake)". Junblog. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  13. ^ "Ube Kalamay Recipe". Panlasang Pinoy. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  14. ^ "Ube Kalamay". Kawaling Pinoy. March 6, 2018. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  15. ^ Jenny B. Orillos (June 21, 2010). "Sweet and Sticky Pinoy Treats: Our Top 10 Kakanin". spot.ph. Archived from the original on July 20, 2010. Retrieved January 7, 2011.

Media related to Kalamay at Wikimedia Commons