“Khanom Krok”: this fragrant, sweet and rich food is one kind of old fashioned Thai dessert made from rice flour, sugar and coconut milk and then poured onto a special stove with small divots in it. When ready to eat, the circular pancakes must be picked out then arranged in a line ready for eating. It is a dessert which is easy to buy in the marketplace or beside the road.
Initially khanom krok is made from white rice. They soak the rice in water then grind it with thin coconut milk., cooked rice, and overripe, scraped out coconut shavings. It’s then mixed with salt little by little until it forms a cake. When finished the khanom krok is topped with concentrated coconut milk. The royal cooks modified the toppings of the khanom krok so as to make it a little unusual, such as by using shrimp (also used as a topping for sticy rice), egg, pork (of the same kind as in Thai puff pastry), taro, corn, scallions, or a squash/taro mixture.
Nowadays there is a ready-made powdered version of khanom krok. Just mix it with sugar and thin coconut milk and you have all the ingredients you need for the cake.
Evidence exists that khanom krok has been widely popular since the Ayuthaya period. Khanom krok stoves have been sold since that period. Additionally, you can still find khanom krok in Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The Indonesian people call it serabi, and as in Vietnam, bahn khot.
The deep fried khanom krok comes from the Cambodian people. However the Vietnamese people modify the dessert to be a main dish by frying the khanom krok until the entire skin is crispy, then eating it with fresh vegetables and Vietnamese style sauce. But you can only find it in Vietnan. You’ll never see it anywhere else.
One khanom krok activity in Thailand which would astonish you is the tradition of offering it to monks organized regularly at the Gan Jun temple in the Bang Prom sub-district, in the Bang Kongtee district, in the Samut Songkhram province. In the celebration you can encounter numerous khanom krok related activities such as demonstrations of the old fashioned methods of milling flour and competitions for the local kinds of sports such as the obstacle course made entirely out of khanom krok, coconut shavings, lila desserts and other such things.
If interested, you can ask for extra details at the Service Organization for the Bang Prom subdistrict at 0 3473 0516, the Gan Junjerern Temple at 0 3476 1510, or the Tourism Authority of Thailand office for the Samut Songkhram province at 0 3475 2847-8.