Cardamom (Elaichi) Sago Pudding

In good taste

This recipe is about taking Sago out of the realm of breakfast and transforming it into dessert mode. Much thicker than regular porridge, creamy with milk and full of fragrant cardamom, it is easy to cheat on rice pudding with sago pudding.

Sago pudding is a very popular dessert around the world. In South

Sago & Cardamom (elaichi) Photo by Cynthia Nelson
Sago & Cardamom (elaichi) Photo by Cynthia Nelson

Africa it is a favourite when baked and served with custard or ice cream. The baking makes the pudding firmer and gives it a golden topping.

You can try baking it if you like – check the notes for details.

I find it to be a pudding that begs for some sort of topping, and what I did in this case was to take some ripe bananas (speckled-skin) and lightly sauté them in butter with a sprinkling of cinnamon.




½ cup sago pearls

1 cup boiling water

Cardamom-Sago Pudding Photo by Cynthia  Nelson
Cardamom-Sago Pudding Photo by Cynthia

4 green cardamom (elaichi) pods, lightly crushed

2 cups whole milk

1 egg, room temperature, lightly beaten

½ cup white granulated sugar

A pinch of salt




1.  Add water to a large saucepot along with the cardamom pods and sago, stir, cover and let soak for 15 minutes.


2.  Add milk, egg, sugar and salt to a large bowl and stir to mix well.


3.  Add the milk mixture to the sago, place on medium heat and stir to mix thoroughly. Once everything is fully mixed, reduce the heat to low; it is important that the mixture does not scorch.


4.  Cook on low heat stirring often (about 15 minutes) or until the pudding has thickened.


5.  Transfer to individual serving bowls and serve warm or chilled. Top with sautéed bananas, fruit compote, or ice cream.





●           If you would like to bake the pudding, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 2-quart ovenproof dish or you can use ramekins. At direction number 4, cook the mixture for 10 minutes then transfer it to baking dishes and bake 20 – 25 minutes or until firm and golden.


●           Serve warm, room temperature or chilled.


●           Cardamom can be replaced with cinnamon

sticks (2).

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