Tub Tim Grob (Thai Red Rubies Dessert)

Yields: 2 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 20 Mins Total Time: 35 Mins

Tub tim grob translates directly to “ruby crunchy”. This pretty much encapsulates the essence of this dessert. This is a very simple dish with water chestnut being the main ingredient. I had lots of  water chestnut left over after making Ngor Hiang Beancurd Skin Roll that I decided to make this dessert!

In Thailand, tub tim grob is often part of a larger dessert stand where you can choose the toppings. A basic tub tim grob could be just water chestnut and sweetened coconut milk. An elaborate one could include shredded jackfruit, coconut jelly, sago pearls, and freshly shaved ice.

While this dessert is generally considered vegan, be aware of the controversy of using Red 40. I recommend that you use natural food dyes such as beetroot juice, grenadine syrup, rosella syrup, red yeast powder, or these super colour powders.

In Thailand, this dessert sometimes comes with jasmine-scented water. If you have access to jasmine, I highly recommend this! Just soak the jasmine overnight in a bowl of water and add the scented water to the dessert. The additional fragrance is sublime!

Love water chestnut? Check out Khanom Tako (Thai Pudding with Coconut Topping) as well.

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0/7 Ingredients
Adjust Servings
  • For Coconut Milk


0/11 Instructions
  • Cut your water chestnuts into small pieces. I cut each water chestnut into 6 pieces. Then cover them with water mixed with the red food colouring for at least 15 minutes.
  • Boil water with the pandan leaves for 10 minutes.
  • Turn the heat down to low. Add the coconut milk and sugar and warm gently until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the pandan leaves and chill the coconut milk.
  • Drain the water chestnuts. They should be well red now!
  • Sift tapioca starch over the water chestnuts and coat them well.
  • Like this.
  • Boil a bit pot of water, and put the water chestnut bits in one by one so they don't clump. Don't overcrowd the pot. Once the chestnuts are in the water, turn the heat down so it is boiling gently. If the water boils too violently the tapioca coating will fall off.
  • When they float to the surface and look like this, they are done.
  • Scoop out the red rubies with a slotted spoon and drop into a bowl of cold or iced water. This helps to solidify the chewy tapioca bubble around them.
  • Place the red rubies in a bowl.
  • Top with chilled sweetened coconut milk. Serve cold!

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