Khanom Tako

Thai Pudding with Coconut Topping


This two-tier dessert is made up of a crunchy sweet chestnut layer covered with a fragrant coconut cream topping. It is typically served during special occasions, and is now a common item on the dessert menu in many Thai restaurants. Making the little screwpine leaf cups will take some practice, but it is worth the effort as the leaves will impart their fragrance to the dessert. Alternatively, steam the dessert in small containers lined with a square of screwpine leaf.


  • 30 screwpine leaves (bay toey)
  • 5 heaped tablespoons arrowroot flour, sifted
  • 3 cups (750 ml) water
  • 220 g sugar
  • 12 water chestnuts, peeled and finely diced

Screwpine Leaf Juice

  • 10 screwpine leaves (bay toey)
  • 3 tablespoons water

Coconut Cream Topping

  • 2 cups (500 ml) coconut cream, mixed with ½ cup (125 ml) water
  • 2 tablespoons rice flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  1. Prepare 30 screwpine leaf cases. Wash the screwpine leaves and wipe dry. Trim away the tip and base of the leaves, leaving a 25-cm length. Make 4 cuts at 5-cm intervals on one side of each leaf, up to the spine. Fold at these notches to create a square case. Secure the cases with bamboo skewers.
  2. Prepare the screwpine leaf juice. Cut the screwpine leaves into short lengths. Place into a blender with the water and process until fine. Strain the juice through a muslin cloth and discard the pulp.
  3. Place the arrowroot flour, screwpine leaf juice, water and sugar in a saucepan. Mix well. Cook, stirring over medium heat until the mixture is thick, shiny and translucent. Add the chestnuts and mix well. Remove from the heat.
  4. Pour the arrowroot mixture evenly into the screwpine leaf cases until they are half-full. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes until the arrowroot layer is set.
  5. In the meantime, prepare the coconut cream topping. Place the coconut cream into a clean saucepan and sift in the rice flour and cornflour. Add the salt. Mix well and cook over medium heat until the coconut cream is thickened.
  6. Pour the coconut cream topping over the set arrowroot layer. Set aside to cool and set.
  7. Serve chilled or at room temperature.