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Thai Desserts : Luk Chup & How to Cook

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Luk Chup
(fruit-shape desserts made of mung-bean flour with natural colouring)

Thai Desserts : Luk Chup
Luk Chup
They look like various kinds of fruit and vege- tables, such as chillies, cherries, mangosteens, oranges, mangoes, bananas, watermelons, and carrots but they are in miniature. Their taste is sweet, their smell is fragrant, and their appearance is attractive and colourful. They are called Luk Chup.

In the old days, Luk Chup were the sweetmeats made for the king of Siam to have after meals in the palace. The skill of making these little sweetmeats could thus be learned only from people in the palace. Nowadays, eating Luk Chup is not limited to only palace people. However, they still preserve its position as the sweetmeats for those of high society since they are rather expensive and the Thais popularly present the dessert to their superiors and elders on special occasions like New Year's Day, birthdays, or as a gift to convey one's congratulations.

To make Luk Chup, the basic ingredients are ground mung beans (with skins removed), sugar, coconut cream, clear gelatin, and food-colouring. Ground bean paste is mixed with sugar before coconut cream is added. The mixture then is heated over a gentle fire until it becomes sticky. After leaving it cool, the mixture is taken to be molded into the desired shapes of fruits and vegetables. This important step needs good dexterity. Every curve and line requires a very gentle touch to shape the mixture into the miniature fruits or vegetables. But the size of each piece is limited by the amount of mixture that can be made to hold together. Then the little models are painted in various colors. When dry, they are dipped in clear gelatin.

The sweetmeats can be kept in a refrigerator for up to three weeks. Nowadays
Luk Chup
are not as commonly found as other Thai sweets. They are on sale in only some shops selling Thai desserts.

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