Soak the mung beans in 1 litre of water for 6-7 hours. At this point, take off the excess water and let the peeled green mung beans remain. You will then need to steam the green mung beans until they become soft. Make sure that you have drained off all the water from the beans before starting the steaming process. Once steamed, leave the beans aside to cool down.
Pour the beans into a food processor, add the coconut milk and sugar to the bowl. Stir the ingredients until they have mixed well. The beans will still retain shape and only partially disintegrate with the mixing process.
Gently pulse the mix to make a soft homogenous paste of the steamed mung beans, sugar and coconut milk. The mix may still look rather wet at this stage.
Empty the mix from the food processor and pour it into a fairly wide frying pan. There is no need to oil the pan. Keep the pan over a slow flame and slowly heat the mixture, you can use a thick wooden spoon to stir the mixture in the pan.
This process is meant to give the mixture the right consistency to allow moulding into miniature fruits and vegetables.
Using the wooden spoon to mix the contents will give you a good idea as to when the consistency of the mixture is just right. At this point, turn off the flame and take the pan off the burner. Allow the cooked mixture to cool, ready to mold into candy.
Moulding The Luk Choop Candy:
Take small portions of the luk chup mixture prepared above, roll and mould the mixture into the shape of your choice. Traditionally the size of these miniature look chup candies is around 1.5 cm to 2.5cm. Once you have used your artistic skills to mould the best candy, stick a toothpick into the soft look chup candy. Gently hold the toothpick from below and use the food colours to paint the luk chup candy.
You will now need to allow the luk chup moulded pieces to dry without getting them crushed or deformed, this is where the thick foam or thick stiff sponge we mentioned above becomes useful.
Your toothpick will now have a look chup fruit or vegetable at one end, poke the other end into the foam or sponge. In the next stage you will dip the dried and painted look chup candies into the gelatine.
Preparing The Gelatine:
Make a clear jelly by heat water, sugar and gelatin powder (follow the instructions on the gelatine packet for the correct amount of water) for 5 to 6 minutes, the gelatine is now ready for the luk chup dipping process. Make sure that the luk chup candies that you poked into the foam or sponge have dried, if this is not the case some ugly colour smudging could result when you dip the look chup candy into the gelatine.
Pick the dried look chup candy one by one with the attached toothpick, gently dip the candy into the gelatine and once again poke it into the sponge or foam to dry. The gelatine coating on the look choop will harden a bit when dry and give a shimmering gloss to your Thai candy.
Notes: This Thai dessert has two words in its name, Luk or Look means small objects and Chup or Choop means a type of coating. Look Choop was a Thai dessert that originated in the royal palaces of ancient Siam. You can now find this Thai dessert in many sweetmeat shops across Thailand.
Recipe contributed by Thai Square as part of the Senses of Thailand promotion at Selfridges.