• There’s nothing better than a helping of fresh, out-of-the-oven, sago pudding. Suffice it to say, sago pudding is a South African staple for the cold winter afternoons. Most of us grew up on the traditional, straight-off-the-box recipe, but did you know that there is an easy no-bake sago pudding recipe too?

    Whichever way you prefer, we’re here to guide you with the traditional sago pudding recipe, according to Fatima Sydow, as well as the no-bake option.

    Fatima Sydow’s Traditional Sago Pudding


    1 cup of sago soaked in 3 cups of water for 30 minutes
    1/2 a cup of sugar (or according to your taste)
    800 ml hot milk
    1 cinnamon stick
    A pinch of salt
    2-4 tbs of custard powder stirred into 200 ml of cold milk ( the amount depends on how set you want the pudding)
    3 eggs
    1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
    2 teaspoons of sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of fine cinnamon, to sprinkle over pudding after 20 minutes of baking and then put back into oven, in order to form a sweet crispy crust. Alternatively, you can use 2 tablespoons of fine apricot jam mixed with 2 tablespoons of hot water. This is to pour over pudding just immediately after taking out pudding from the oven.


    First, grease your pudding Pyrex bowl or deep pan with a little butter, next drain all water from the soaked sago.

    Next, in a large pot add your hot milk, sago, sugar, and stick cinnamon and cook on medium to high heat until the sago is translucent.

    Remove the pot from the heat and add the pinch of salt, custard mix and vanilla essence and stir well.

    In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs well, then add half a cup of the hot milk and sago mixture to the eggs and stir well.

    Add the egg mixture to the rest of the mixture in the pot and stir well. Pour into the greased pan or bowl and bake in a preheated oven at 150°C and bake for 25 minutes, remove from the oven and sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the hot pudding and put it back into the oven to bake for 10 minutes at 180 °C or until the sugar has melted and turned a golden brown. You can also set your oven on the grill for the last 2 minutes to create a sugar crust, make sure to watch the pudding to prevent the burning of sugar.

    Remove from oven and allow to sit for 15 minutes to set further and serve.

    You may omit the sprinkling of sugar and bake for the full 35 minutes and pour over the jam mixture while it’s still hot. Allow pudding to sit for 15 minutes before serving.

    You can omit the baking part and cook the mixture on the stovetop until very thick. Dish it into bowls or cups and sprinkle some cinnamon sugar and a dollop of butter and enjoy while it’s hot.

    ALSO SEE: Malay sago pudding with coconut sugar

    Malay sago pudding with coconut sugar

    By Marian Volkwyn for Woman&Home Magazine

    Feature image: Getty