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Sago Gula Melaka, or Sago Pudding, or Tapioca Pudding is quite literally, a Sweet and Simple dessert. Sweet - from the full bodied, rich flavour of the brown palm sugar syrup, and simple - because, well... it's really simple to make. And to top it off, this dessert never ever fails to draw copious oohs and aahs from the family or dinner guests alike as you walk towards the dining table with the bowl of wobbly sago in one hand and the accompanying creamy coconut milk and caramelized Gula Melaka in the other; and more often than not, many guests will hint at wanting to tah pow some home.

Growing up, I always thought that this dessert was a Singaporean/Malaysian concoction. But lo and behold. I just found out that there exists variations of this and that it is commonly enjoyed in New Guinea, the UK, and of course, various other parts of South East Asia.

So let's get down to it! Here's how!

1) Gula Melaka

2) Sago Pearls

3) Pandan Leaves

4) Coconut Cream


1) Chop Gula Melaka into small pieces to make melting it easier.

2) Clean Pandan Leaves then knot them

3) Put both into pot, add a little water and bring to bowl

4) Let simmer till the sweet fragrance and flavour of the Pandan leaves permeates the caramel syrup

5) Set aside to cool


1) Bring water to a rolling bowl

2) Add sago pearls

3) Boil till beads are mostly clear

(Pictured below - almost there but not quite there yet! Still some beads that are all or partially white.)

(Much better! Sago pearls are now mostly clear)

4) Remove from heat, pour into a big bowl of water to immediately cool the pearls, then scoop out portions into a sift and wash till the pearls are not sticky and coagulated and are free from the sticky boiled water

6) Spoon into serving dish right after washing.

7) Let set in fridge

8) Serve with cold coconut cream and the Gula Melaka syrup.

9) Assemble and ENJOY!


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