Sago Pudding With Gula Melaka (4 ingredients, 20 minutes)

Sweet And SimpleSago gula melaka is one of our favourite Malaysian desserts. We love the texture of chewy pearl sago drenched in combination of sweet gula melaka (palm sugar) and fragrant santan (coconut milk).


It’s so easy to make we’re surprised how it’s not widely available in many Malaysian eateries. To make sago pudding, we only need four main ingredients: sago, palm sugar/gula melaka, coconut milk and pandan leaves. We’ve found a recipe from Eat Light Asia, a website with wonderful vegetarian recipes, and simplified it.


What is sago?
Pearl sago is a starch that comes from sago palm. As it is plant-base, we thought that it should be generally nutritious. However, it contains little protein, vitamins or mineral. Having said that, we still value this whole, unprocessed food. Sago is also used to make keropok lekor (source: wikipedia).


> Sago x 200 g or about 1 1/2 cup
> Palm sugar / Gula melaka, chopped x 200 g
> Coconut milk x 250 ml (If you can’t get fresh coconut milk, you can use packet ones)
> Pandan leaves x 3

> Water x 700 ml/3 cup and 3 tbsp
> Salt

HOW-TO: Step-by-step tutorial


  1. In a pot, add sago and water. Cook sago on low fire.
  2. With a whisk, keep stirring so that the pearls do not clump. Cook until sago becomes translucent. It should take about 15 minutes.
  3. Pour sago into a strainer and wash off excess starch in running cold water.
  4. Pour into small dessert bowls in which you’ll serve your dessert. This is to avoid having to transfer it to a serving bowl. You can also put it in muffin tray/small bowls oiled with vegetable oil, for easy removal. Then, put into the fridge to set and chill for an hour.
  5. In a saucepan, pour in coconut milk, pandan leaves and salt. Boil in low fire until it bubbles. Stir constantly. Set aside to cool.
  6. In another pot, melt palm sugar and three tablespoon of water on low fire. It should take about 5 minutes.
  7. Serve pudding with palm sugar syrup and coconut milk.JewelPie

If you use a regular muffin pan mould, this recipe should make about ten delicious sago puddings. Enjoy!

What’s your favourite Malaysian dessert?

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14 Responses to “Sago Pudding With Gula Melaka (4 ingredients, 20 minutes)”

  1. Anissa
    March 14, 2014 at 8:19 am #

    Thank you for sharing this recipe,it’s true what you said about sago pudding so nice yet not easy to find here in Msia..will try yoyr recipe and get back to you with the result ;-)

  2. Sara
    March 15, 2014 at 10:53 am #

    Hello Anissa! Do let us know how it turns out. If you have the time, use fresh coconut milk. Have fun!

  3. David
    October 21, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

    Sara, thank you for the recipe and instructions. Going to try tomorrow. (Did you mean 250 ml of water rather 250 gram?)

  4. David
    October 21, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

    sorry, i meant the coconut milk — g or ml?

  5. David
    October 21, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

    love the hack of muffin tray :)

  6. Sara
    October 23, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    Hey, you’re right! It’s ml. I’ve edited it. Yes muffin tray hack is cool! Good luck! :)

  7. David
    November 4, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    Sara, I made it and it was terrific! I don’t have Asian stores near by, so, sadly, I didn’t have pandan and palm sugar. Instead od palm sugar I used coconut sugar, and it was still delicious!

    The main change that made is that I cooked the sago with some sugar (1/3 cup sago + 1 tbs sugar) and a dash of salt. So it was lightly, pleasantly, sweet. And when i dipped each spoonful in the syrup and topped it with little thick coconut milk, I tasted paradise! :)

    Thank you and best wishes!

  8. Sara
    November 12, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

    How creative! Now I feel like tasting your version. Have fun in the kitchen! :D


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