Khanom Tako (Pandan Cups Pudding)

Yields: 2 Servings Difficulty: Medium Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 15 Mins Total Time: 30 Mins

How beautiful are pandan leaves? Us Asians are obsessed with this aromatic and bright green leaf. So much so that we use it to make all varieties of desserts, like Kueh Dadar. We also make savoury dishes with it, like Vegan Pandan Chicken. In khanom tako, we use the pandan leaves to make little cups and also to flavour the pudding.

There are a variety of recipes for khanom tako. Being a street snack, every vendor makes it slightly different. Some of them use sweet corn instead of water chestnut. Some of them use sago to create the bottom layer of jelly instead of tapioca or mung bean flour. In this version, I am using a combination of water chestnut, sago, and tapioca flour. I love all three!

One of the most fun parts of making this dessert is creating the little cups. I did this with my 6-year-old daughter and we both had a fantastic time. Some pandan leaves are larger than others, so the cups are not always uniform in height. It is all very organic and natural. All the offcuts from the pandan cups can be knotted together and used to flavour the jelly.

This dish is a great way to use the excess water chestnut from making Ngor Hiang Beancurd Skin Roll! Love water chestnut? Check out Tub Tim Grob (Thai Red Rubies Dessert) as well.

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0/10 Ingredients
Adjust Servings
  • For the bottom layer
  • For the top layer


0/17 Instructions
    Making the cups
  • Wash and clean the pandan leaves thoroughly. Cut the hardest white parts of the pandan leaf off. Cut a 3cm piece to use as a measuring guide.
  • Using the measuring guide, make four cuts that go halfway up the leaf, and one final cut to sever.
  • Fold the sides of the pandan cup over each other three times.
  • For the final fold, do not tuck in the bottom flap, just let it fold over. Secure with a staple.
  • Your finished cups should look like this!
  • Using the offcuts, make out small pieces of pandan leaf to put at the inside bottom of the cup, covering any holes.
  • Making the pudding
  • Boil a large pot of water and boil the sago until there is only a little opaque dot in the centre. Drain and set aside. They will cook in their residual heat.
  • Finely dice the water chestnuts.
  • Boil the water with a knotted bunch of pandan leaves for ten minutes to extract the flavour. Towards the end, add the sugar and make sure it is completely dissolved.
  • Put the tapioca flour in a stainless steel or glass bowl. Add half of the water slowly and whisk until all the lumps are gone. Add the mixture back to a pot on low heat.
  • Slowly add the rest of the water into the pot while stirring continuously until it thickens and begins to look like glue.
  • Add the sago pearls and water chestnuts and mix well.
  • Spoon a heaped teaspoon of the mixture into each pandan cup.
  • Mix coconut cream, rice flour, and a pinch of salt to a stainless steel or glass bowl and whisk to mix well. Add the mixture back to a pot on low heat.
  • Cook gently while stirring continuously until thickened. Taste and make sure there is no raw taste of the rice flour.
  • Spoon a heaped teaspoon of the mixture into each pandan cup, with or without a decoration!
  • Leave to cool, then put in the fridge to set for at least 3 hours. Serve chilled.

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