Pumpkin in Sweet Coconut Milk

Pumpkin is one of the few “cross-over“ ingredients in Thai cooking that can be found in both sweets and main dishes. While the eye-catching custard-filled pumpkin dessert often gets a lot of attention, you can also find this simpler sweet dish as well.

Pumpkin in coconut Pumpkin in sweet coconut milk

Thais prefer to leave the skin on the pumpkin, especially when they use it for desserts. This is surprising because Thai pumpkins have a thick rough green-to-gray skin. It takes a lot of scrubbing to get it clean, and even then I'd have second thoughts. For the photo, I peeled the pumpkin.

This dish can be served at just about any temperature, although it's best when it's still a little warm.


Pumpkin1 kg / 2 lbCubed
Palm sugar150 g / ¾ c
White sugar50 g / ¼ c
Salt½ tsp
Coconut milk1 l / 4 c
Coconut cream220 ml / 1 c

Preparation Method

  • Stir the salt into the coconut cream and set aside.
  • Stir together the palm sugar, sugar and coconut milk in a large saucepan over low heat. Once the sugars are dissolved, increase the heat and bring to a boil.
  • Add the pumpkin and continue heating until it is cooked through. It usually doesn't take more than a few minutes to cook the pumpkin.
  • Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl. Top with the coconut cream just before serving.

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