Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Palm Sugar Sago (Sagu Gula Melaka)

Sago |(sagu in Malay) is a versatile, palm starch based food. Often shaped like pearls, small and large (as found in bubble tea drinks), they are most commonly used in Malaysian desserts. Sago also comes in green, noodle-like shapes (called cendol) which is used in a dessert-drink of the same name.

Palm sugar sago is a delectable, warming desert you can prepare with ease. Alternately, you could also prepare it in advance and allow it to chill in the fridge for a few hours before serving.

1/2 cup sago
700ml water

Sugar syrup
3 heaped tablespoon of grated palm sugar
1-2 pandan (screwpine) leaves or 1 teaspoon pandan essence
150 ml water

Coconut milk
250ml of coconut milk

Simmer the water and sago over medium fire for about 20 minutes, adding more water is necessary. The sago would absorb all the liquid and expand into clear pearls. Cool the sago slightly before serving, or for a cold dessert, chill in the fridge for a few hours.

Melt the palm sugar in some simmering water and flavour with the pandan leaves/essence. 

Extract 1 cup of coconut milk from fresh grated coconut (or if using tinned milk, dilute with warm water- you want a medium-rich coconut milk mixture, a bit like semi-skimmed milk). Season with some salt.

To serve, place about a few spoonfuls of the chilled sago in a saucer of coconut milk and drizzle the palm sugar syrup over it to taste. Tuck in! The above recipe serves 4.

Tips: You could separate the sago into portion-size moulds or bowls. It makes for cute presentations for your dinner guests.

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