Kitchen Tips

9 Auspicious Thai Desserts and their symbolism

Anyone who has a sweet-tooth would not want to miss savouring the desserts while in Thailand. And what if they were to come with a ‘luck’ tag on it? Well, that’s what Thailand’s desserts are all about. Thai desserts are auspicious and bring good fortune with their unique flavours and aroma.

They are used commonly in Buddhist rituals, weddings and other celebrations especially Thai New Year ( Songkran Festival) where they are given as gifts to the older members of the family as a mark of respect and also to receive their blessings.

Here are 9 auspicious Thai desserts and their symbolism:

Tong Yip

The word ‘Tong’ in Thai means gold  and ‘Yip’ is to pick up something. Tong Yip means whatever you pick or touch turns to wealth. This dessert is made from egg yolk and flour then cooked in sugar syrup scented with jasmine. It looks like a roughly shaped flower or a star when molded in a cup.

Thong-Yip - Thai Desserts

Image Courtesy: Sacha Fernandez used under the Creative Commons Licence

Tong Yod

Tong Yod means continuous wealth. It is made of egg yolk and flour just like Tong Yip but is dipped into hot jasmine syrup by dropping them from the tip of the finger. It looks like a gold drop and symbolizes continuous wealth that is sustained forever.

Tong Yod - Thai Desserts

Image Courtesy: Travis Juntara used under the Creative Commons Licence

Foy Tong

Foy Tong means everlasting love and good fortune. It is made of egg yolk that is poured through a funnel over a hot pot of sugar syrup to form golden threads. It symbolises long lasting relationship and is served in most match-making ceremonies and weddings.

Kanom Chan

A layered jelly cake, Kanom Chan is a popular Thai dessert made with sugar, coconut milk and flour that is set in a mold to harden into a jelly. It symbolises advancement in career and continual success.

Kanom Chan-Thai Desserts

Image Courtesy: Chris Goldberg used under the Creative Commons Licence

Tong Ake

Symbolising a faithful marriage, this dessert is made with wheat, egg yolks and sugar by slowly cooking them until a paste is formed. It has a rich taste and also means one with a good life and is usually given to the bride and the groom.

Med Kanoon

‘Noon’ in Thai is continuous support to success or supported through life. Med Kanoon is made from mashed steamed mung bean with coconut milk and is stirred continuously to thicken and shaped into a ball. It is then dipped into egg yolk and cooked in sugar syrup.

Ja Mong Kut

Literally MongKut means crown and what follows a crown is superiority and triumph like a king and was served mostly in the royal family. The dessert is similar to Tong Ake and coated with pumpkin seeds by cooking slowly until they turn crispy. Jah Mong Gut is commonly made to celebrate a job promotion and to represent the high work position and stability of work.

Sanay Chan

In Thai, Sanay means ‘charm’ and ‘Chan’ is moon. The Thai is believed that Sanae Chan represented the love and passion of the bride and groom just like the full moon and is often made in weddings. It is made of coconut milk, flour, sugar and egg yolk.

Look Choop/ Luk Chup

Luk Chup means loved  and adorned by all. It is made of mung beans cooked with coconut milk and sugar. The luscious looking fruits come in different shapes and colours resembling vegetables and fruits. It is also the most recognizable fruit by tourists as it is colourful and vibrant.

Look Choop-Luk Chup

Image Courtesy: Ly. H. used under the Creative Commons Licence

If you closely observe, you will find that most of the Thai desserts are Yellow in colour representing gold. ‘Tong’/ Gold is often used as a mark of respect to the King/ royal family. So the next time you go to Thailand remember to wear yellow shirts while paying a visit to the King.

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