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Sabudana Kheer – Tapioca Pudding with Coconut milk

Have you ever tried the sticky rice in coconut milk and mango at a Thai restaurant? I have and I love it! This pudding is my take of that dessert, I have used tapioca pearls instead of sticky rice and served it with mangoes, kiwi and plums. Loved the mild flavor of coconut milk and the soft but firm texture of tapioca. This puddings can be served hot or cold, as you wish! It is incredibly easy to make, you just need to be a little careful while cooking the tapioca pearls. They can turn mushy and soggy if not prepared correctly. Worry not! I do have some tips from my friend Megha’s mom to help you. I have flavored the pudding with some cardamom, because I am a true desi :) But you Can definitely use cinnamon, nutmeg or vanilla,or a combination of these if you are feeling adventurous ;P

Tip: Soaking the tapioca pearls is key to cooking them perfectly. First wash the sabudana once or twice with water and drain completely. Next, preferably in a wide bottomed vessel, place the tapioca pearls and add just enough water to barely cover the top. Keep this to soak for atleast 2-3 hours for this pudding or 5-6 hours if you are making khichdi. Also, if possible, fluff the pearls using a fork every 1 hour. Just mix gently so that the pearls in the top go to the bottom and vice versa. This is a foolproof way to cook perfect sabudana!


Sabudana (Tapioca pearls) – 1 cup (uncooked)
Evaporated milk – 1 cup ( substitute with whole milk)
Coconut milk – 2 cups
Sugar – 3/4 cup
Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
Water – 1 1/2 cups
Ghee/ butter – 3 Tbsp


  • Wash and soak the sabudana for about 2-3 hours. Use water to barely cover the sabudana. Fluff the grains using a fork every 30 minutes.
  • Heat the ghee/ butter in a non stick pan or a heavy bottomed pan. Drain the sabudana if it has any excess water. Add the sabudana to the ghee and gently coat all the pearls. This way the pudding will not be starchy and gummy. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  • Add the water and cover the pan and cook until the sabudana is tender and cooked completely. Keep checking every 5 minutes and add more water if required.
  • Add the sugar and evaporated milk and cook until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Add the coconut milk and simmer for 5-10 minutes on low heat. Mix in the cardamom powder just before you switch off the heat. I like the pudding to be on the thicker side. If you like yours thinner, add some more milk.

Chill the pudding and serve with some cut mango. You can also use some kiwi and plums. If you are serving the pudding warm, serve with only mango.

Note: Please note that the pudding will thicken a lot as it is cooling due to the starch in the tapioca. So add more milk than you think necessary while making the pudding, or add some cold/warm milk to adjust the consistency while serving.

You might also like:

Sabudana (Sago/Tapioca) Khichdi

Mchicha – Tanzanian Spinach & Peanut butter curry

Chakkara Pongal/Sakkarai Pongal (Rice-Jaggery Pudding)

Chocolate Bread Pudding – with Nutella, Cardamom and Nutmeg

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