Vegan sago pudding

Sago pudding is one of my favourite desserts. I always thought it was super-complicated to make, and impossible to make vegan. I have never been so happy to be wrong!

While it’s not a quick dessert ( there is some soaking required), it is really easy and relatively flop-proof (even for me, famous for burning things on the stove). So perfect for beginners or cooks who are easily distracted 🙂

A little sago goes a long way, so depending on where you shop, and your choice of plant milk, this can be a really frugal dessert option.

Step 1: Soak your sago

Rinse about a cup of sago (for about 4-5 people) and soak in either water or 3 cups plant milk of choice. You need to leave the sago soaking at least 4 hours, if not overnight.

Imbo sago

I have soaked in both water and milk, and it doesn’t make much difference to the end result. But if you soak it in a pot with milk, you can cook it in the same pot so less effort.

Step 2: Bring to a boil

Nothing much to say here. If you soaked the sago in water, drain and rinse and add the sago to a pot with about 3-4 cups of plant milk of choice. if you soaked the sago in milk, just transfer your pot to the stove.

I recommend coconut milk for a really creamy indulgent pudding. I have used a cashew/rice milk blend which was also good. I dont recommend soy unless you love the flavour. Not everyone in my household is vegan, so although i like soy milk, I use coconut for a mixed crowd.

Step 3: Add flavouring

You can do this while you are bringing the mixture to a boil. I add the following as a minimum

  • a stick of cinnamon
  • about a tsp of cinnamon powder
  • pinch of salt
  • a teaspoon of vanilla essence

Depending on my mood, I sometimes also add some ginger powder, cardomom pods, applesauce or other spices I like. Some people also add sugar, apricot jam or raisins. These are all optional extras, but I say experiment and see what you like.

Step 4: Simmer for about 20 minutes

Bring the heat down low and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, till the consistency is the way you like it. Stir it occasionally. I tilt the lid to let steam escape.

Step 5: Serve

Everyone has their favourite way of eating sago pudding. I like golden syrup drizzled over the top. Some people swear by custard (heathens). Others eat theirs with jam, brown sugar, or even evaporated milk (weird?). To each their own!

And that’s it! Dessert done while you are eating the main course with no fuss.

Yours in veggies

Deidre Johnson profile pic
Deidre Johnson profile pic


If you live in Cape Town, feel free to join my meetup group – we meet for dinner about once a month.

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