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Sweet interlude: Tapioca pearl pudding

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The fact that I can walk out of my flat or office and find good local snacks and desserts makes me a lazy cook. Granted, some of these desserts are not easy to make and are best left to the people who have been making them all their lives. But there are some desserts that I like to eat and are easy to make that I should really try to prepare at home.
Sago Gula Melaka (many recipes online) is one of those easy desserts. However, I don’t find hawkers selling it very often so it’s the perfect dish to try at home.
There are only a few components: sago pearls, coconut sauce, palm sugar syrup. But I had a couple of bananas in the fridge that were already starting to speckle, so I decided to include them as well. I sliced them and cooked ithem in the coconut milk which makes it a pengat pisang – a banana porridge-like pudding.
I actually used tapioca pearls instead of sago pearls but there is little difference in the taste or texture.
Tapioca pearls: (from left) raw; partially cooked; and fully cooked - they turn translucent 
Boil the tapioca pearls in at least twice the amount of water with a pinch of salt. When they pearls turn translucent, they're done. Drain them and rinse out some of the excess starch (they will still be gummy and stick together) and then use them loose or mould them into shapes. Some recipes call for combining the pearls with sugar to taste, but I think the finished pudding is sweet enough from the palm sugar.
To assemble, put the banana pudding in a small dish or ice cream glass, put one of the tapioca pearl mould on top and drizzle with palm syrup. Black-and-white layers will form.
Every layer is delicious
The pearls can also be cooked in coconut milk just like the bananas. Cook them first in water and then combine them with coconut milk. Instead of cooking the bananas in the coconut milk, fry slices in a little butter and palm sugar to caramelise them and then add them to the tapioca pearl mixture.
Loose tapioca pearls combined with the coconut milk and served with caramelised banana

Tapioca Pearl Pudding with Coconut Cream Bananas
Serves 2-3

½ cup tapioca pearls
2 large bananas
1 cup coconut milk
1-2 tbsp caster sugar
¼ cup palm sugar
2 tbsp hot water

Tapioca pearl moulds: Bring about 3 cups of water to the boil in a large pot of water. Add a pinch of salt and the tapioca pearls, stir and leave to simmer until tapioca pearls turn translucent. Drain into a sieve and put under running water to wash off excess starch. Place into moulds and chill.
Banana pudding: Slice the bananas on the diagonal. Place them in a pan with the coconut milk and caster sugar. Cook over high heat and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and cook a further 2-3 minutes.
Palm sugar syrup: Dissolve the palm sugar in the hot water.
To serve: Divide the banana pudding in individual serving dishes, top with a tapioca pearl mould and drizzle with palm sugar syrup.

1 comment:

  1. Can find this dish in hi-tea buffets:D Delicious with the banana pudding, must mix some in when I next go for hi-tea lol!


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