Magical sago puddings

Known as sago gula melaka, these are popular in Malaysia and Indonesia, where they are served cool. I adore them! Even if you’re not a big fan of sago, I urge you to try them.

By Nici Wickes
  • 40 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs cooking
  • Serves 4, Makes 150 millilitre
  • Print


Magical sago puddings
  • 10 cup water
  • 2 cup sago
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • pinch salt
  • chopped fresh fruit (mango was used here), to serve
  • 2 tablespoon long thread coconut, toasted, to serve
Palm Sugar Syrup
  • 1/2 cup crushed palm sugar (or use brown sugar)
  • 1/4 cup water


Magical sago puddings
  • 1
    In a large saucepan, bring the water to a rolling boil. Gradually add the sago, stirring as you go, making sure it doesn’t clump.
  • 2
    Cook for 5-7 minutes, turn the heat off, cover and let sit for 10 minutes until the sago is translucent. Drain and rinse with cold water in a sieve. It may appear very “gluey” at the start, but as you wash the starch away, the little sago pearls will appear.
  • 3
    Put the sago into a bowl, then add ¼ cup coconut milk and the salt, then mix through. Pour into little tumblers, leaving 2-3cm at the top for the fruit, and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • 4
    Pour sugar syrup over each pudding, leave for 15 minutes (the syrup will sink), then pour over a little coconut milk.
  • 5
    To serve, top with fruit, toasted coconut and more coconut milk if you like.
Palm Sugar Syrup
  • 6
    Put the palm sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Swirl, keeping an eye on it until it begins to bubble and thicken to a syrup. If it gets too toffee-like, add a small amount of water to loosen it.


Palm sugar comes in small domes or tablets in most supermarkets. Keep it at room temperature and either grate or crush to use in cooking.

read more from