A very traditional and comforting dessert from South Africa. I would however recommend that you use sago and not tapioca for this dish.  Contrary to what people may believe, there is a difference between sago and tapioca.  Sago is a starch extracted from the spongy center of the pith of tropical palm stems, whereas tapioca is a starch derived from cassava trees.  Confusion between the two is understandable; the only difference between them is the starch source.  Tapioca will also need to be soaked for a few hours or overnight before use.

You’ll need

  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 cup sago
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ ground cinnamon
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2 star anise
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 75g butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 75g apricot jam
  • 1/2 cup sugar (extra)


  1. Heat oven to 160ºC. Grease a large ovenproof pudding dish with butter or 6-8 individual ramekins, depending on size.
  2. Heat milk to almost boiling, add the sago, salt and spices – nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom and star anise.
  3. Stir continuously over low heat until the sago is transparent. (This is an important step to prevent the sago from burning at the bottom of the pot)
  4. Add the sugar, butter and vanilla and stir well. Remove from heat and remove the cardamom pods and star anise.
  5. Separate the eggs and whisk the yolks. Add yolks to the sago mixture stirring continuously. Pour the mixture into your prepared oven dish. Place blobs of apricot jam over the sago mixture.
  6. Whisk the egg whites until just stiff and add the extra ½ cup sugar slowly, whisking until incorporated and stiff. Spread the meringue over the sago pudding and bake for 45 minutes until set and the meringue is a light golden brown colour.

This dessert can be served, hot, warm or cold with custard or stewed fruit. (See recipe under collection)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *