Skip to main content
DIY Food

{happy lady makes}: black eyed pea coconut dessert…



Coconut milk is a staple of Thai food as well a common ingredients in many Southeast Asian desserts. My mom used to make a dessert called kao neo tao dam {white beans with sticky rice in coconut milk} all the time when I was a kid. Whenever I make it now, it instantly it brings me back home {I love how food can do that}. While usually served with sweet sticky rice, I often enjoy just the beans and coconut milk on it's own because sticky rice can take a long time and some advanced planning. The bean component is so simple to make yet savory, salty, and sweet all at the same time. Here's how…

You'll need:
1 (15 oz.) can of black eyed peas
1 (13 oz.) can of coconut milk
1-3 tablespoons of sugar
pinch of sea salt

Here's how:

1. Open black eyed pea can, drain liquid, and rinse peas {they're actually beans even though they're called peas} in a bowl until the liquid runs clean. Soak for 30 minutes, then rinse one more time until the liquid is totally clear.
2. Empty coconut milk in a medium pot on medium heat and add rinsed black eyed peas.
3. Heat on medium until warm, then add 1 tablespoon of sugar. Do not let it boil over.
4. Continue to heat for another 5 minutes, taste and add additional sugar {up to 3 tablespoons} as desired. While Thai desserts are normally very sweet, I prefer to bring the sugar down a notch and usually add about 2 tablespoons of sugar total. Also, the peas have a tad of saltiness to them which will offer a balance if the coconut milk does get too sweet. Once you've reached your ideal sweet level, add a tiny pinch of salt.
5. Continue to stir for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve warm.
6. If you'd like to serve with rice for added texture, I like black sweet wild rice {see below} for texture and visual contrast.


{photos by Oh Joy}


  1. yum! i do a version of this dessert with rice, plain soymilk and brown sugar–the slight sweetness of the soy milk fits nicely with the rice. i’ll have to try with coconut milk! yum!

  2. this is an interesting idea, but i have a funny feeling it would be a little TOO interesting for my tastes…

  3. I love black eyed peas and coconut milk in just about anything so putting them together sounds marvelous!


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Along