Black Bean Dessert

“Black beans for dessert?” I hear you asking incredulously. Yes, as I've mentioned before, Thais don't follow the same “rules” about what is sweet and what is savory that westerners do, although they can be just as rigid about their ideas. I've never seen black beans used in a Thai main course, but this dessert dish is quite common.

Black Beans Black beans with sweet coconut milk

The old Thai-language recipe I used as a starting point for this dish didn't have taro in it, but I don't think I've every been served this dessert without it, so I added taro to the mix. If you haven't dealt with taro before, it's worth noting that the raw root can be irritating to the skin when you peel it. The simplest advice I've found is to microwave the whole root for a few minutes before you peel it, as heat breaks down the compound that causes the irritation.


Black beans220 ml / 1 cUncooked
Taro1 small headOptional - diced
Coconut milk550 ml / 2 ½ c
Coconut sugar150 g / ¾ c

Preparation Method

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the black beans. Reduce to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook for one hour.
  • Add the taro during the last 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Heat the coconut milk and sugar in a sauce pan. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the milk comes to a boil.
  • Spoon some of the black beans into a dessert dish, then pour enough of the milk on top to cover. The dish should be served warm.
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