Rubies in Coconut Milk - Tub-tim Grob ทับทิมกรอบ

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Tub Tim Grob, coconut milk based dessert that is very popular among Thais when the weather is hot. The small reddish/pinkish jewels are water chestnut covered with tapioca flour, served with sweeten coconut milk and shaved ice. Shredded jackfruit and jellied coconut flesh can be added to this dessert to make it extra special.

Jellied coconut flesh (มะพร้าวกะทิ in Thai or macapuno in the Philippines) occurs when the coconut lacks an enzyme that turn its flesh into a normal coconut flesh. The flesh continues to develop in the jelly state.

Tub Tim translated literally is either ruby or pomegranate. The name has never been an issue until Thai food became well known in the west, and an English translation was needed. To properly translate and explain this dessert, looking back and searching for the history should give clues. Unfortunately, there was no historical facts that we can rely on for how this dessert came about. However, if you look at Thailand's neighbor, Vietnam, this exact dessert exists (Suong Sa Hot Luu). The red kernels are known as lựu or pomegranate. However, for the Thais, pomegranate originated outside of Thailand, but rubies were in the ground in provinces south of Bangkok. Many Thais must have thought the word 'tub tim' refers to rubies because now that you can also get 'moragote grob' or crunchy emerald!

When visiting Thailand, try 'tub tim grob' with jackfruit and the jellied coconut. The taste, texture and fragrant of the combined ingredients is indescribably delicious!

 

2 Servings, Prep Time: 25 Minutes, Total Time: 25 Minutes

Tips and Techniques

  • Now that UHT coconut milk is available. I highly recommend them over canned or frozen coconut milk for making desserts. However, if you have access to fresh coconut milk, that's real deal!
  • Add thin strips of jackfruit if it's available to you. It will be a great color contrast and delicious addition.
  • You may need more than 1/2 cup of tapioca flour if you like thick and plump rubies. Repeat the water spritzer and flour a few times.
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