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A plate of purple flower-shaped dumplings, with fried garlic on top, with a side of lettuce, chilies and cilantro.

Royal Flower Dumplings - Chor Muang

  • Author: Pailin Chongchitnant
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 40 dumplings


Beautiful, intricate flower dumplings created for royalty. Sweet-salty pork and peanut filling wrapped in a flower-dyed, tender, gluten-free dough. 



  • 1 tsp white peppercorns
  • 6-8 cilantro stems, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp toasted white sesame seeds, optional
  • ⅓ cup roasted peanuts
  • 250 g. (9 0z.) lean ground pork or ground chicken
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • ¼ medium onion, minced
  • 80 g. (2.8 oz.) palm sugar, chopped
  • 1Tbsp + 2 tsp fish sauce


  • 100g (1 scant cup) rice flour (plus ~¼ cup for dusting)
  • 25g (3 Tbsp) arrowroot starch (or sub tapioca starch)
  • 12g (1½ Tbsp) glutinous rice flour
  • ¾ cup hot water
  • 3 Tbsp coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp dried butterfly pea flowers (about 20 flowers)
  • 2 tsp lime or lemon juice

For Serving

  • Fried garlic & garlic oil (use 1 head of garlic, recipe below)
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • Cilantro (optional)
  • Thai Chilies, sliced into rounds (optional)

Special tools: Chor muang tweezers

See a list of my kitchen tools and ingredients



Make the filling:

Note: I recommend making the filling a day or two ahead to help spread out the work and to allow it time to chill in the fridge, which will make it easier to form into balls. The filling will last several days in the fridge.

  1. Using a mortar and pestle, pound white peppercorns until fine, then add garlic and cilantro stems and pound into a paste. Remove this from mortar, but don’t clean it yet.
  2. If using sesame seeds, add to the mortar and lightly crush them to release the aroma. Then add peanuts and pound until coarsely ground, making sure the big pieces are no larger than ⅛ inch. Alternatively you can grind them in a small food processor or chop them with a knife.
  3. In a mixing bowl, use a fork to mash the ground pork and mix with the fish sauce.
  4. In a wok or a saute pan, add the oil then sauté the herb paste and onions until the onions are translucent.
  5. Add the ground meat and stir until the meat is fully cooked; breaking it up as finely as possible. You do not want any large chunks of meat.
  6. Add palm sugar and cook until the sugar is dissolved.
  7. Add the peanuts and sesame seeds and continue cooking and stirring until the mixture is dry and the colour has darkened slightly.
  8. If the meat is too fatty there might be some excess oil that has separated from the filling; in this case push the filling to one side and tilt the pan to separate the oil out, then spoon the filling into a bowl, leaving the oil in the pan. You can keep this oil for frying the garlic.
  9. Let the filling cool completely, or preferably till chilled. While the filling cools, I recommend making the fried garlic and prepping for the dough.
  10. Once cooled, roll the filling into 6-7 g. balls (or a little more than a tightly packed teaspoon.)

Make the fried garlic and garlic oil:

  1. In a small pot or a wok, add ¼ inch of oil and turn the heat on to medium. Add one piece of garlic as the “test”, and once the test garlic starts to bubble add the remaining garlic and turn the heat to medium low.
  2. Fry the garlic slowly, stirring frequently, until golden and the bubbling has subsided. Drain the garlic from the oil through a metal sieve and keep them separate. The oil will keep in the fridge indefinitely, but the garlic won’t remain crispy if stored.

Make the dough:

  1. Put butterfly pea flowers into a bowl, then measure out ¾ cup of off-the-boil water and pour it over the flowers. Steep for at least 15 minutes, or until the water is at most lukewarm.
  2. Prepare the steamer. Cut the parchment into a circle a little bit smaller than the steamer rack, then cut/punch several holes in it to allow steam to come up through the paper.
  3. Remove the flowers from the water pressing out as much water as possible. Add lime juice to turn the water purple.
  4. Prepare your work station: combine about ¼ cup of rice flour and 2 Tbsp tapioca starch in a bowl; this is your dusting flour. Prepare a clean work surface and dust it lightly with the flour mix.
  5. Cook the dough: Off heat, add all the flours into a non-reactive pan, preferably non-stick. Add the cooled butterfly pea water and coconut milk then stir to completely dissolve the flour. Turn the heat on to medium-low and stir constantly with a rubber spatula; scraping the bottom and folding it onto itself until it clumps into a rough dough. It shouldn’t be smooth at this stage, but it should not be wet anymore.
  6. Transfer the dough onto your prepared work surface, dust with a little more flour on top and then knead just until it’s smooth. The dough will be hot, but the trick is to do this fast so you’re not touching the dough for a long time. You can also use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to help knead it if it’s too hot. Knead just until smooth. It shouldn’t stick to your hands, but you can add a little flour if it feels a bit sticky.

Wrap the dumplings:

Note: You can wrap the dumplings a day in advance of serving and store them in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.

  1. Pat the dough into a ¾ inch thick rectangle and cover the dough with a damp towel or plastic wrap  to keep it from drying while you’re not using it.
  2. Pinch or cut off a 7-8 gram piece of dough. Roll into a ball and flatten the dough into a 1½ inch circle, then flatten only the edges so that it expands into a 2-inch circle. Dip your fingers in the dusting flour as you work if the dough sticks to your hands.
  3. Place one ball of filling in the flattened dough, closing the seam well, then push the seam side against the counter to flatten so you have a sort of a bell shape.
  4. Dust the exterior of the dumpling with flour, then pinch with the chor muang tweezer into petal shapes; dipping the tweezers into the flour about every 3 tweezes to prevent sticking (you’ll probably need to watch the video for this technique).
  5. Place the formed dumplings directly onto the lined steamer. Repeat with the rest of the dumplings.
  6. When ready to serve, steam the dumplings on high for 5-6 minutes, the dough will become more translucent once cooked. Remove them from steamer onto a serving plate and immediately brush with garlic oil to prevent them from drying out.
  7. When ready to serve, top with fried garlic, and serve with green leaf lettuce, cilantro, and sliced Thai chilies if desired. This is best served warm, but room temp is okay too.

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Keywords: appetizers,dumplings, gluten free