Thai Dessert – Water Chestnuts in Syrup (Tub Tim Krop)


Water chestnuts in syrup and coconut milk is a very famous, popular but also traditional Thai dessert. In Thai it is called Tub Tim Krop (ทับทิมกรอบ). In fact, ‘Tub Tim’ means pomegranate and hence, this dessert is also referred to as ‘pomegranate seeds’ or ‘rubies’ since the chestnuts are usually coated with red or pink food colouring. The water chestnuts are put in syrup with coconut milk and crushed ice on top.

Thai dessert ‘Tub Tim Krop’

Thai dessert - water chestnuts in syrup (photo credit:

Thai dessert – water chestnuts in syrup (photo credit:



For the chestnuts:

  • 200g water chestnuts
  • 50g tapioca flour
  • 100ml water
  • 1/2 TSP red or pink food colouring (optional, you may leave the colouring out completely or use other colours than red)

For the syrup:

  • 100g sugar
  • 100ml water
  • 125ml coconut milk
  • 1/4 TSP salt
  • 3 pandan leaves/ pandanus flavour
  • crushed ice


The first step is to cut the water chestnuts into cubes of about 1cm. Then prepare the food colouring (optional), take a bowl of water and put in some drops of food colouring. Mix everything together well and put in the chestnuts. Make sure the chestnuts are evenly coated in the food colouring mixture and let them sit for about 5 minutes.

The second step is to prepare the syrup, boil the water and put the sugar in. Let it boil for about 3 minutes, then let the syrup cool down.

In a next step, bring the coconut milk to a boil and add the salt & pandan leaves/pandan flavour. Let it cook for 3 minutes, then remove the leaves and let the coconut milk cool down.

In the meantime, drain the chestnuts from the dyed water and roll each piece in tapioca flour. Then boil up the chestnuts and let them cook until they float. Remove the chestnuts with a strainer. The chestnuts should then be cooled in some cold water. You’re now nearly ready to serve!

Tub Tim Krob - ready to serve (photo credit:

Tub Tim Krob – ready to serve (photo credit:

Put some of the chestnuts in a bowl, add some syrup, coconut milk and crushed ice on top 🙂

This recipe for water chestnuts in syrup comes from the marvellous cooking channel In the following video you can easily learn how to make this treat.

‘Tub Tim Krop’ is a very refreshing Thai dessert and thus great for a hot climate and for summertime.

Hope you’ll give this recipe a try!

Yours, Sirinya

(P.S. for more information, check out my Thai Food Dictionary)

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