Gems of Delight

When the weather gets hot, chill out with a bowl of ice-cold ‘rubies’

Words: Sarita Urupongsa

The name of the Thai dessert Thabthim Krob means “Crunchy Rubies” – describing the plump gems that burst between your teeth like pomegranate seeds as you bite down. The Krob or crunchiness of these small translucent gems matches beautifully with the sweet refreshing juice released as you slurp and munch.

Thabthim Krob was one of King Rama V’s favourite desserts and soon became popular among his subjects. The reason for the dish’s popularity can be put down to its addictive and unusual texture – soft on the outside, but crunchy within.

This summertime favourite is made from water chestnuts, which are first boiled, then chopped into cubes before being mixed with food colouring to turn them their signature reddish pink. The cubes are then bathed in flour and boiled again in sugar until they are clear, pinkish beads.

They are served with aromatic coconut milk, known for its rich, sweet and salty flavour, slices of jackfruit and crushed ice. The ice soaks into the coconut milk offering bites of sweet freshness – a perfect antidote for Thailand’s summer heat.