Rhubarb and apple coconut sago puddings

Sago pudding is such a humble, comforting dessert and it’s slightly retro! Here Nadia Lim has modernised it a bit, using coconut milk and layering it with stewed fruit to create sago parfaits.

By Nadia Lim
  • 10 mins preparation
  • 15 mins cooking
  • Serves 6
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Stewed rhubarb and apple
  • 4 stalks rhubarb, chopped
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1½-2½ tablespoons golden syrup, pure maple syrup, honey or sugar
Coconut sago
  • 1/2 cup ago pearls (use the tiny balls similar in size to couscous, not the larger balls) or tapioca
  • 400 gram can coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or seeds from 1 vanilla bean pod
  • 2-4 tablespoons golden syrup, pure maple syrup, honey or sugar, to taste
  • 1/2 cup or so of milk (eg cow’s, almond, or more coconut milk or even cream if you like a creamy texture; avoid cow’s or cream for dairy free)
To serve
  • whipped cream, or coconut yoghurt for dairy free
  • ground cinnamon, for sprinkling


  • 1
    Place rhubarb, apple, water and cinnamon in a pot, cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until fruit collapses. Add a little more water if it looks like it is drying out. Remove cinnamon stick and sweeten to taste with syrup, honey or sugar.
  • 2
    Rinse sago in a sieve then place in a pot with coconut milk, water and vanilla. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Simmer on low-medium heat for 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until sago is cooked (when most of the white balls are clear and the texture is thick and quite gluggy). Sweeten to taste with syrup, honey or sugar. Stir in enough milk to loosen the sago and make it less gloopy.
  • 3
    Divide just over one third of the stewed fruit between 4-6 serving glasses. Top with half the sago, another equal layer of fruit and the rest of the sago. Top with any remaining fruit and a dollop of cream or coconut yoghurt. Dust with cinnamon just before serving warm.

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