There’s nothing difficult about making sabudana kheer (sago pudding), and with the onset of summer, I actually crave desserts that won’t take ages to come together in the kitchen. This means I’m going to stay far far away from making multiple tiered cakes. The sweltering inferno outside just gets me anxious about cake decoration. I’m not a professional baker or run a cake studio, so I will choose to wait it out. In the meantime I think making treats like marshmallows, summer puddings, flan, sorbets, sheet cakes, brownies and of course, ice cream are great to get down with in April. If you’re only just feeling the tropical vibes, I suggest making this super quick banana sago pudding that’s impressive in more ways than one.
To start, I used red bananas instead of the regular variety. Then I swapped out milk in favour of coconut milk, infused it with kafir lime leaves, and swirled a delicious bit of nolen gur or date palm jaggery in there to get a really deep, rich flavour going. You could swap nolen gur for regular gur of course, but if you didn’t know it already, this is a winter ingredient that’s worth seeking out, buying tons of, and freezing. All those times when a banana bread recipe insists on using rich, dark muscavado sugar? A small frozen sachet of Nolen gur will take that and any other dessert to the next level. Really, it’s better than crack, and perhaps the only super seasonal thing I covet the year round.
To this heady, aromatic, cream-coloured pud, you add the mashed bananas and serve cold, or warm. It comes together in mere minutes on the stovetop and it’s faraal friendly too, if you just happen to be fasting for Navratri.
Red Banana and Sago Pudding
This sago pearl pudding brings red bananas, kafir-scented coconut milk and Nolen Gur, the earthy, wintry date jaggery together in a small cup of bliss.
Sabudana or Sago pearls 3/4 cup, rinsed and soaked, covered for 3 hours in water that's 1 cm more than the soaked sago
Coconut Milk 2 x 200ml packets (I like Kara coconut milk)
Kafir Lime leaves 3-4
Nolen Gur 50g or Regular gur
Red Bananas 3
Store-bought chikki/brittle to serve
Fresh coconut shavings to serve
Add the coconut milk, kafir lime leaves and nolen gur to a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Add in the sago pearls and turn the heat down to very low.
Let the sago pearls cook till transparent, or till the mixture is quite thick and take it off the heat. Remove the kafir lime leaves and set them aside. Mash the red bananas and add them to the pudding. Stir.
Divide the mixture into little serving glasses and top with store-bought brittle and fresh coconut shavings to finish. Serve immediately if you'd like to have it hot, or chill before serving.
Don't forget the step where you take the lime leaves out of the pud as this might overpower it and give your pud a bitter finish.