Pumpkin Tapioca Dessert

This is a favorite dessert for Cambodians in the Fall season. Kids can’t get enough of the tapioca pearls in this healthy treat!

In less than 30 minutes, you can have this warm, creamy & nutty dessert ready!

Bawbaw Ktis Lapov – pumpkin in creamy and sweet coconut sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cambodian
Keyword: Pumpkin, Purple Yam, Sweet Corn
Servings: 8
Author: Channy Laux



  • Preparing Tapioca Rinse tapioca in cold water, strain and set aside.
  • Preparing the Pumpkin Remove any scars on the rind, cut it into half, de-seed, and cut into small triangle pieces (about 1" each side). A triangle shape will allow for more pumpkin to dissolve into the sauce when cooking.
  • Cooking the Pumpkin Place the pumpkin pieces into a small pot, add water and salt. Bring it to boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Do not cover the pot. This way the green rind will not turn brownish. Continue simmering for about 8 minutes until the pumpkin is cooked and tender.
  • Adding Tapioca Using a fork, softly loosen the tapioca, then add to the pot. Stir and cook for about 3 minutes. At this point the tapioca will not become completely translucent.
  • Finishing Steps Add Sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Reserve some coconut cream for garnish. Add the rest of coconut cream to the pot, stir and turn off heat. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. This last step will allow the tapioca to completely cook and the sauce is thicken.
  • Serving Serve hot, warm or cold. Top with coconut cream, or fresh jasmine flowers  


Picking the Pumpkin be sure to select only kabocha pumpkin. This pumpkin is much more sweeter than most, with skin that is soft edible after cooked.  The deep green skin packs with wonderful nutty flavor to the dessert. Average kabocha pumpkin weighs around 3 pounds.  It is better to get a 3 pound pumpkin and use only half for this recipe, than trying to find a 1.5 pounds pumpkin.  This way you have a better quality pumpkin to start with.      
* Options This dessert is also good with purple yam, or sweet corn (thinly sliced).  Stay tuned for these variations recipe.  
* Substitutions:
  • Substitute Thnot Sugar with granulated sugar 
Checkout our Taro Tapioca Dessert for a variation of this recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @AngkorFood or tag #angkorfood, thank you!