One of my favorite desserts growing up in the warmth of Asia was a bowl of chilled Coconut Sago pudding. This light, yet deliciously creamy dish, always made up for the heat of the day. On my recent trip back to Dhaka, I had a big bowl of Coconut Sago pudding with fresh pomegranate and coconut flesh, and I have not been able to stop thinking about it ever since. I thought it was high time I give it a go, especially given that summer is officially here!
Sago is basically tapioca pearls and it is very commonly used in desserts in countries like Thailand or China. My fondest memory of this coconut sago lies in the streets of Bangkok. I had the traditional street style dessert, where they serve cooked sago in a bowl made of banana leaf, and top it off with this rich, sweet, and creamy coconut milk. It really was a life changing moment and became an all time favorite.
It is such a versatile dish, that you can pair it with any fruit or fruit puree, and it will taste delicious. Out of the many combinations I’ve had, I would have to say that Mango with Coconut sago is definitely my favorite. Mango’s back in Asia are crazy sweet this time of year and the choices are endless. So in hopes of finding something similar, I was pleasantly surprised when I spotted these beautifully ripe Mexican Mangoes in my local market, and I knew I had to go with it.
Today I am going to share a few combinations of this Coconut Sago pudding and I hope you will like what you see. Also to not forget, given that this is the Holy month of Ramadan, I really hope my Muslim friends will give this recipe a try. It’s super light but creamy and paired with your favorite fruits, it is the perfect way to satisfy those sweet cravings after a long day of fasting. Let me know what your favorite combinations are and Make It Your Way!
1 cup sago (tapioca pearls)
4 cups of water to boil sago
1 1/2 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup of water for milk mixture
Few mint leaves (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Zest of half a lime
1 ripe mango
zest of 1 lime
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsps finely chopped mint (optional)
1/2 cup of blackberries
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla essence/bean paste
3 tbsps water
1 Granny Smith Apple (green apple)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sugar
Thinly sliced mint (few leaves)
First, in a medium-sized non-stick pot, boil 4 cups of water. Once water is boiling, add in tapioca pearls. Let your pearls cook for around 7-10mins and stirring occasionally to prevent from sticking to the pot. Keep an eye on this because you basically want to cook it till all the pearls turn translucent. If you see that there are still quite a few pearls which are white, let it sit for a few more minutes till they’ve changed in color.
Once completed, strain the pearls and rinse it under cold water and set aside to cool. While your sago is cooling off, in a new pot heat sugar and 1 cup of water over low heat. Once your sugar is fully dissolved, add your coconut milk, cinnamon, mint leaves and zest of half a lime. At this point, let it simmer over low heat for 2-3 mins. If your milk mixture is too thick, and you want to lighten it a little, add in 1/4-1/2 cup of water as desired. Alternatively, if your milk mixture is too sweet, you can add a little water (1/4 cup) and also a little more coconut milk (1/4 cup) to balance the flavors out.
Now take your milk mixture, off the heat and let it cool down completely. While your milk is cooling, you can start prepping your fruits. For the mango puree, you simply add everything into a blender and blend till it becomes a smooth puree.
For the Blackberry Sauce, add all ingredients into a blender and blend until nice and smooth. Now Blackberries are as thick as mangoes, so you can either strain it and serve it as it is (more like a thin sauce), or thicken it up for 2-3 minutes over low heat on a stove top. Finally for the Cinnamon Apple, cut apples nice and thin and place it in a bowl. Now sprinkle the cinnamon, mint, and sugar and just give it a nice toss.
Once your milk mixture is cooled and you have your fruit condiments ready, mix the tapioca pearls into the milk mixture. At this point, you can either let it all cool in the fridge separately or, as I have done, place a little bit of Coconut Sago mix in a cup, add a bit of the fruit/puree and place in the fridge.
I prefer my Coconut Sago to be chilled well, so I let it sit for at least an hour before I serve. Once ready, garnish with mint or crushed nuts and serve.