I have always wanted to try creating one of those perfect desserts, which once sufficiently chilled, could be coaxed on to a serving bowl without losing it’s shape, thus ending up with a perfectly-set, beautiful-to-look-at dessert. Oh wait, isn’t that stuff called jelly? Or panna cotta? Or something fancy like that? Oh, did I tell you? I didn’t want to use gelatin. Or any of it’s vegetarian substitutes like agar-agar or china grass.
Hmmm… what else would work? That’s where these beauties come in.
These are sabudana (in Hindi) or javvarisi (in Tamil) or tapioca pearls. They are similar to sago, a product derived from palm. Sago and tapioca pearls may be used interchangeably (both the name as well the products themselves), as they are both mainly pure starch – the perfect binding and thickening agent. In fact, the Tamil name should clue you in to it’s behavior. ‘Javvu-arisi’ or’javvarisi’ literally means gelatinous rice. Upon boiling in water, these tiny white pearls turn translucent, almost jelly-like, with just a touch of bite in them. The boiling liquid meanwhile, is left starchy and thick – perfect to try creating a pudding-like dessert.
Sago or tapioca pearls are used extensively in Asian and African cuisine. In India, they are mainly used to make kheer. I loosely followed a kheer recipe, purposely lessening the amount of milk used, so that I would end up with a thick pudding.
A sago/tapioca pudding, while quite delicious, could definitely benefit from some sort of fruit sauce to go with it. I found these fresh, juicy blueberries at the grocer. I saved a small tub, meaning to create a sauce or coulis with it. It would be perfect on pancakes or vanilla ice cream.
But when paired with my tapioca pudding, it’s like a match made in food heaven! Look at that glorious color, will ‘ya?!!
And yes, I got my perfectly set dessert, umolded onto a bowl and served with a generous topping of delicious blueberry sauce.
Let’s prepare the blueberry sauce first. It helps to rest the sauce in the refrigerator for as long as you can, before eating it. Feel free to use your favorite berries – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or blackberries.
You will need:
- Blueberries – 2 cups
- Water – 2 cups
- Sugar – 1/4 – 1/2 cup (depending on the berries and your taste)
- Lemon juice – a generous squeeze (orange juice works as well)
- Corn flour – 1 tbsp
- Vanilla extract – 1/2 tsp
- Dissolve the corn flour in 2 tbsp water. Whisk well to ensure there are no lumps and keep aside.
- Place the blueberries, water, sugar and lemon juice in a deep pan and start heating it. Start with 1/4 cup sugar, you can always add more later on.
- When it starts to boil, add the cornflour paste and vanilla extract. Simmer for a few more minutes, breaking open most of the berries with the back of a spoon. The sauce is done when it coats a metal spoon thickly.
- Once you are satisfied with the consistency, remove and allow to cool. One cooled, store the sauce in a clean jar or bottle in the refrigerator. The flavor matures and becomes even better the next day.
SAGO/TAPIOCA PEARL MILK PUDDING
You will need:
- Sabudana/sago/tapioca pearls – 3/4 cup
- Water – 2 1/4 cups, divided
- Milk – 2 cups
- Sugar – 1/4 – 1/2 cup (as per taste)
- Rice flour or cornflour – 1 heaped tsp (if needed)
- Vanilla extract – 1/2 tsp
- Salt – a small pinch
- Wash sabudana under running water a couple of times. Soak them in water for at least 15-20 minutes.
- In a deep pan, add the sabudana and 2 cups water. Cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes. The sabudana will turn translucent as they cook and the water will thicken and look starchy. Keep stirring it often.
- Once most of the pearls are cooked, add the milk and bring to a gentle boil. Turn the heat down, add 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla extract and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
- If you’d like to thicken the pudding faster, add rice flour or corn flour dissolved in 1/4 cup water now. Keep stirring constantly and you will see that the pudding starts to thicken faster. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes, stirring almost constantly.
- Taste and add more sugar if needed. Finish with a pinch of salt (it helps to bring out the flavor in a sweet dish). The pudding should thickly coat a metal spoon dipped in it.
- Cool it slightly and pour into small bowls, glasses or dessert molds. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Carefully unmold the set pudding onto a shallow serving bowl, top generously with the blueberry sauce and serve. Alternately, you can serve the pudding in the original bowls/glasses with the berry sauce on top.
Sit back and dig in!
This dessert is just perfect – creamy, perfectly sweet, with the freshness of berries! You can replace the berry sauce with your favorite chopped fruit as well.
I really hope you try this delightful pudding. We loved it and I am sure you will too!
I am linking this up at these awesome blogs.
- A Blossoming Life
- Skip To My Lou
- The Dedicated House
- Between Naps on the Porch
- Home Stories A To Z
- My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
- A Stroll Thru Life
- Cedar Hill Ranch
- Coastal Charm
- Elizabeth & Co
- House On The Way
- Savvy Southern Style
- The NY Melrose Family
- The Turquoise Home
- Living Well Spending Less
- Design Dining and Diapers
- The Novice Gardener
- The Shabby Nest
- French Country Cottage
- My Romantic Home
- The Charm of Home
- Thirty Handmade Days
- Crafts a la Mode
- Love of Family and Home
- DIY Show Off
- Nifty Thrifty Things
- By Stephanie Lynn