Sago pudding

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


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Appears in

Old Food

Old Food

By Jill Dupleix

Published 1998

  • About

In Malaysia, this popular dessert has taken the name of the palm sugar that sweetens it, gula melaka. Look for the small-grained pearl sago in the supermarket. Make your own coconut cream (Pantry), or use the thick, rich ‘cream’ that has risen to the top of a can of coconut milk.



  • 100 g ( oz) palm sugar
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) water
  • 6 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup pearl sago (small grains)
  • 100 ml ( fl oz) thick coconut milk from top of can
  • pinch of salt


Combine palm sugar and water in a small pot and heat, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Continue simmering until liquid reduces to around three quarters of a cup. Allow to cool.

Bring 6 cups of water to the boil. Add sago in a slow, steady stream, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring, for around 10 to 15 minutes, until sago is soft and transparent. Strain, and rinse under cold running water to wash off excess starch. Drain well.

Mix sago with half the palm sugar syrup, half the coconut milk and salt, and ladle into pour into six 100 ml (3½ fl oz) moulds. Cover and chill for an hour or two.

To serve, unmould sago onto individual serving plates, and top each one with a spoonful of the remaining palm sugar syrup and chilled coconut cream.