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Red Rubies Dessert
(Tub Tim Grob)

Suwattana (Jib) is a former Educatius student from Thailand who studied in the great state of Illinois in 2019. She will be graduating from the University of Bangkok this spring with a bachelor’s degree in tourism and travel.

Jib is a great cook and enjoyed sharing many of her favorite Thai recipes with her Host Family; this traditional Thai dessert recipe–Red Rubies Dessert–is always a favorite.

(Some items listed can be difficult to find in outside of Thailand so Jib has noted where these ingredients are optional.)

red rubies dessert


  • 1 8oz-can whole water chestnuts (you can also use fresh)
  • Red food coloring (or beet juice or colorful edible flowers)
  • ¼ – ½  cup tapioca starch
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1½ cup water (we soak fresh jasmine in this water, but a dash of rose or orange blossom water also works)
  • pandan leaves (optional)
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup water
  • ⅛  tsp salt

To serve:

  • Crushed ice
  • Ripe jackfruit–fresh or canned in syrup (optional)
  • Young coconut meat (optional)


  • Cut water chestnuts into about 1cm cubes.
  • Add just enough water to cover chestnuts, then add red food coloring until the water is bright red (about 10-15 drops). Or–if time–soak beets or edible flowers and use them for color.
  • Meanwhile, make syrup: boil pandan leaves (optional) in water for 10 minutes. Then add sugar and stir to dissolve. Chill completely.
  • Make coconut milk: Boil coconut milk, salt, water and pandan leaves (optional) for 5 minutes. Chill.
  • Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, drain the chestnuts and place in a mixing bowl.
  • Sprinkle about 2 Tbsp of the tapioca starch and toss to coat. Then add another 2 Tbsp and toss again to coat. Keep adding until all pieces are completely coated in starch (they look white) and are not sticking together. For a thin coating, you’ll need about ¼ cup total. For thicker coating you may need up to ½ cup. I like just a little more more than ¼ cup
thai red rubies dessert
  • Once done, put them in a strainer and shake off excess starch.
  • Prep an ice water bowl for chilling the rubies after cooking.
  • To cook the rubies, sprinkle half of the rubies into rapidly boiling water, then stir briefly. Boil them for about 2-3 minutes (once they float, let them boil for another minute or so).
  • Scoop out a small amount (tester amount) with a slotted skimmer then dunk them into the cold-water bowl, keeping them in the skimmer for a few seconds just until the coating “settles” into a clear gel. Look to see if there are lot of white, uncooked starch spots on the rubies, if so, put them back into the pot and boil for another minute. If you only see white spots on a few of them, this is okay. Once done, fish out the remaining rubies and place them into cold water.
  • Repeat for the other half.
  • Once cool, drain them. It’s best for the texture to not refrigerate these but they will last all day at room temp so you can make them the night before and keep in a cool place until serving time.

  • To serve, put a scoop of the rubies into a serving bowl, add jackfruit and/or young coconut meat if using. Spoon the syrup over, just until it almost covers the rubies. Top with a couple of tablespoons of coconut milk, but this amount is flexible – I typically do about 2 parts syrup to 1 part coconut milk. Add ice, stir it around so it’s really cold, then enjoy!


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