The wonderful world of Thai sweets

Assorted Mini Thai Dessert

Assorted Mini Thai Dessert, photo by Dennis Wong/flickr

Eating is always an adventure during the holidays spent in foreign countries, especially in an Asian country. Thai food is internationally famous. The majority of Thai foods are very spiced, but a good dessert after a strongly spiced and herbed meal is exceptionally welcome. You can not think of a traditional cake if you think of Thai sweets, because they are very different of European desserts. They are more like little sweets in cups placed on green banana leaf. The desserts, called in Thai “khanom” are mainly simple and most of the ingredients can be found in any Thai market. Basic ingredients include rice flour. As for the sweeteners, Thais use palm sugar, cane sugar, coconut cream or coconut sugar.


Kao Niaw Ma-Muang


Kao Niaw Ma-Muang (Sweet Sticky Rice with Ripe Mango and Coconut Cream) is considered the king of Thai sweets. It is prepared by steaming Thai rice in coconut milk and syrup. The resulting sweet and creamy sticky rice is eaten with two kind of tropical fruits: mango and durian. Mango is a great fruit to supplement the sweet rice, as it has a slightly sour flavor. It can be also eaten with crispy cereal or sesame seeds as toppings.

Thai dessert

Thai dessert, photo by Neeta Lind/flickr


Khanom Chan


It is a delicious nine-layered dessert, having white and green layers which are made of coconut milk. The milk is infused with jasmine. The green layer includes an extra flavor. It is the pandan which is a grass-like plant. This plant has a mild, kind of earthy flavor. If you don’t have the occasion to visit a Thai restaurant, you can prepare the dessert at home. For this you will need:  1/2 cup tapioca flour, 1/4 cup rice flour, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup coconut milk, drop of jasmine essence and 1/4 cup pandan juice. Trust me, after tasting it, Khanom Chan will become one of your favorite desserts!


Tab Tim Grob


Served in plates, the little red jellies floating in sweet coconut milk and shaved ice are a delicious dessert. The red jellies are made of water chestnuts coated in tapioca flour.  The combination of water chestnut and tapioca produces a gummy ball. The ingredients for this dessert are: 15-20 water chestnuts, 10 drops red food coloring, 2 tablespoons water, 1/2 cup tapioca flour, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup coconut milk and shaved ice. The dessert can be very easily prepared, but tasting it at a Thai restaurant is the real pleasure!


Look Choop


Look Choop is another delicious sweet made in the shape of miniature fruits or food. It is an ancient “snack” which is now widely used in religious ceremonies or for guests. Look Choop is traditionally beautifully decorated, turned into various shapes and figures. The brightly colored sweet is not only beautiful, but delicious, too.

Look Choop

Look Choop, photo by Changhai Travis/flickr


Thong Yib and Thong Yod


These two sweets are always served together because they look and taste alike. The shape is the only difference between these two sweets. Thong Yod is a droplet of yellow yolk sweet, while Thong Yib is put in a small cup. They are usually eaten in moderation because they are very sweet and rich in egg yolk.

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