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My favourite Thai dessert

Posted by: Phat Mama, 25-Aug-2010

Does anyone know the name of this Thai dessert made from boiled pumpkin? I know it's one of Thai's popular desserts but I can't remember the name. I named it the Pumpkin Dessert and it's one of my favourite sweets.

This is the Pumpkin Dessert I bought from BSC.

Yesterday afternoon while in Bangsar Shopping Centre I saw some being sold at the food counters on the ground floor. I just grabbed some home for Buka Puasa. However I was rather disappointed as the taste did not meet my expectations although they looked really good and tasty. Or could it be my hunger pangs playing tricks on me when I bought them?

I'm a pumpkin lover. The pulp of the pumpkin is so delicious, especially if you're good at picking out the right fruit. Unfortunately the only way I know how to cook (if you can call it that) a pumpkin is just by boiling the cut up cubes in some water and boil it without adding sugar. According to my regular masseuse it's good for our body system.

Every time I see this dessert (especially in Thailand) served at any of the restaurants or food outlets I go to I would give them a try just to know the different ways of making it.

So far I have not tasted one that equate the one made by this lady who onced ran
a Thai restaurant with the help of her husband and family members in Subang Jaya. The restaurant has closed down but I still remember the younger sister who served me whenever I was there. Her name is Alicia.

I miss having the Pumpkin Dessert made by Alicia's sister.

The Pumpkin Dessert at this particular restaurant is served with vanilla ice-cream. I normally omitted the ice-cream because the taste of vanilla ice-cream does not, to me, complement the rich taste of the pumpkin with its custard filled centre. Instead, I eat the dessert with the young coconut flesh I scraped off the coconut drink I ordered. The coconut flesh gives the dessert an even fuller flavour.

Anyway, back to Alicia and what makes her sister's recipe so good. Alicia said her sister is extremely meticulous in choosing her pumpkins. She would spend a long time at the stall choosing the best pumpkin and if I'm not mistaken the pumpkin must neither be too old or too young.

Once the pumpkins reach the restaurant, Alicia's sister would scrub the rind clean before she slow boiled them to ensure even the rind is soft and edible even if some customers do not eat the rind. I however eat everything as the rind when eaten together with the pulp and custard gives the dessert a slightly bitter taste, which is delicious.

This is Alicia and that oh so delicious Pumpkin Dessert her sister made.

When the pumpkin is nicely boiled and tender, the custard is poured into the pumpkin, filling up the areas where the seeds used to be. What I'm not sure of is how the custard is filled into the pumpkin. My guess
is one end of the pumpkin must have been sliced open so the custard can be poured in and allowed to set before the whole fruit is sliced and then served in smaller single pieces.

Well, however it is cooked Im just praying hard Alicia will see this post and persuade her sister to make me some of her Pumpkin Dessert that I really, really miss.