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Red Rubies in Coconut Milk | Tab Tim Grob | ทับทิมกรอบ


The past two weeks have been action packed for the boyfriend and me.  We’ve both been busy at our day jobs, and have then come home to work on upgrading this site as well as start out on a new venture.  This new venture, I’m excited to share with you, is to contribute to the Answers.com Thai food section!

I was so flattered when the Answers team reached out to me about this project and am working hard to do justice to this vast field.  I’ll be writing articles about various aspects of Thai food and cooking, from techniques and tips to recipes and reviews.  I decided to start with foundation pieces including a description of the 4 flavor elements in Thai cooking and how to balance them, and have many more articles planned that I’m really excited about! 

In the midst of all of this energy and excitement, though, it was time to treat ourselves to a little break.  A simple afternoon of sitting in the warm sun and enjoying a cool refreshing dessert was in order.

Red Rubies in Coconut Milk | Tab Tim Grob | ทับทิมกรอบ

Tab tim grob, or crunchy red rubies in coconut milk, immediately came to mind.  I can’t think of a better dessert than this one to make you pause and just enjoy life for a little while.

This dessert captivated me from my very first taste of it.  It’s a simple concoction of red jellies floating in a pool of sweet, cold coconut milk.  The ruby red jellies are actually made of water chestnut cubes coated in tapioca flour, which I don’t think I would have guessed after eating it for the first time.  This combination, though, produces a delightfully gummy ball with a surprisingly crunchy center.

Red Rubies in Coconut Milk | Tab Tim Grob | ทับทิมกรอบ

 Red Rubies in Coconut Milk | Tab Tim Grob | ทับทิมกรอบ

After making this dessert and snapping a few photos, the boyfriend and I sat down to enjoy.  And enjoy we did, because we knew that soon enough, it would be time to get back to work!

If you’re interested in keeping up with my latest contributions to the Answers.com Thai food section, please see the link in the sidebar.  In addition to my articles, there are close to 100 additional articles about Thai food that others have written, so be sure to check them out too.  And, as always, if there are particular topics that you’re interested in seeing in this new venture, please let me know and I’ll do my best to incorporate your suggestions!

Red Rubies in Coconut Milk | Tab Tim Grob | ทับทิมกรอบ

Makes 4 servings

Red Rubies in Coconut Milk | Tab Tim Grob | ทับทิมกรอบ


  • 1 cup water chestnut pieces (see below)
  • 20 drops red food coloring
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • shaved ice


  1. If using fresh water chestnuts, peel them with a vegetable peeler. If using canned, simply rinse. Cut each water chestnut into very small bite-sized pieces (~1/4" cubes).
  2. Mix 20 drops red food coloring with 2 tablespoons water. Coat the water chestnut cubes in the food coloring mixture and let sit for a few minutes until they are all evenly red.
  3. Add the water chestnuts to the tapioca flour and mix until they are coated well. Take them out of the flour and then, using a spray bottle, mist them with water and coat them with flour again. Strain them with a mesh sieve or colander to get rid of the excess flour.
  4. Place the coated water chestnuts in a pot of boiling water and cook for approximately one minute. Once they float to the surface, they are done. Remove and plunge into a pot of ice cold water.
  5. Quickly heat 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 cup coconut milk, just until the sugar dissolves. Allow this syrup to cool, then add shaved ice and the prepared water chestnuts. Enjoy!

14 comments… add one
  • Jacqueline Low April 16, 2016, 12:55 pm

    Bring coconut milk to boil, add in sugar and pandan leaves. Add in jasmine tea leaves and salt. Infuse for 15mins. Leave to cool n refrigerate. It brings out the frangrance.

  • Jacqueline Low April 16, 2016, 12:52 pm

    After cutting the chestnuts into cubes, can also use rose syrup to soak it in fridge for 2hrs. Coat w 1 layer of tapioca flour, sieve off the excess flour n bring to boil. Thats what i just did!

  • sarazi March 9, 2015, 8:58 pm

    Hi Rachel… For how many days can i keep/ store the water chesnut that have been boiled…. can i put it into freezer for a long time? Btw i love ur blog and all the recipes!!

    • Rachel March 10, 2015, 12:46 am

      Hi Sarazi, that’s a really good question, and I’m not sure… We tend to eat all of them pretty quickly :) If you do experiment with storage timing, please let us know how it goes…

  • Zainab September 8, 2014, 5:06 am

    Hi I dyed the chestnuts in beet root juice. But the coating of tapioca and the colour came off completely while boiling. Any suggestions

    • Rachel September 9, 2014, 3:33 am

      Hmm, I haven’t run into this problem before, so I’m not exactly sure how to guide you. My only suggestion would be to try coating the water chestnuts in several layers of the tapioca flour (dip in flour, then spritz with water, then more flour, etc). Best of luck!

  • Bhandari July 26, 2014, 8:33 pm

    Hi mam its a great dessert can we add a flavour of rose petals or pandan leaf while boiling coconut milk…

  • Ana Fernandez May 27, 2013, 3:00 pm

    Oh y God the cup with the coconut milk and the red rubies looks great!

  • Irina @ wandercrush May 26, 2013, 8:42 pm

    Such a beautiful dish! Have you ever tried dying the water chestnuts with beetroot juice?

    • Rachel May 27, 2013, 1:29 am

      Thanks Irina! I’ve read about it, but haven’t tried it yet… soon :)

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