How to make… Khanom Luk Chub

One of the most unusual Thai sweets are the “khanom luk chub”. These desserts are made from mung-bean flour and come in various colours and shapes. They are made to look like a variety of different fruit and vegetables. These are mangosteens, oranges, cherries, mangoes, watermelons, carrots and even chillies. They have been in Thailand for hundreds of years and have long been a favourite of the Kings. I have started seeing them more often these days at the old traditional Thai riverside markets.

The main ingredients are mung bean, sugar, coconut milk, agar (agar-agar is Malay for jelly), white jasmine water and food colouring. You also need some toothpicks. The method to make starts by mixing the mung bean and sugar together. Slowly pour the coconut milk into the bowl while continuing to stir. Pour the mixture into a brass pan and on a low heat, keep stirring until the mixture no longer sticks to the base of the pan. Take out and leave to cool. Next, shape the mixture into different types of fruit. Finnish by painting it with food colouring.

The “luk chub” sweets get their glossy look by dipping it into the agar. The main ingredients are agar, water and sugar. Put the agar in water and boil for a long time. Then add the sugar and continue boiling. Turn the heat down. Dip the “luk chub” into the liquid once or twice and then leave to dry. You can finish off by adding leaves or sticks to make the miniature fruit look more authentic. I took these pictures at Kungpen Restaurant in Suphanburi. We were invited there by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to watch cooking demonstrations as part of their “Amazing Tastes of Thailand” festival.

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