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Gula Melaka – Sago Pearls with Coconut Milk and Palm Sugar Recipe

Gula Melaka - Sago Pearls with Coconut Milk and Palm Sugar Recipe

Gula Melaka – Sago Pearls with Coconut Milk and Palm Sugar Recipe

Smooth sago pearls bathed in creamy coconut cream and golden brown Palm Sugar Syrup make this one of Singapore’s best-loved desserts. The name literally means “Malacca Sugar”, although any type of palm sugar (also known as gula merah or “red sugar”) or maple syrup may be used.

Ingredients :

  • 11/2 cups (150 g) dried sago pearls (see note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pandanus essence or 3 pandanus leaves, tied in a knot
  • 12 cups (3 litres) water
  • 1 cup (250 ml) Palm Sugar Syrup
  • 11/2 cups (375 ml) coconut cream Crushed ice, to serve (optional)

Method :

  1. Rinse the sago pearls and place in a pot with the pandanus essence or pandanus leaves. Add the water and bring to a boil, stirring constantly for 15 minutes. If using pandanus leaves, remove and discard them. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Dram the sago pearls, discarding the water. Rinse the sago under cold running water and drain again. Spoon the sago pearls into individual serving bowls and refrigerate until set.
  3. To serve, drizzle Palm Sugar Syrup and coconut cream over the sago and top with crushed ice, if desired.

Note : Dried sago pearls are white pearls of sago starch. They must be rinsed in water and drained to remove excess starch before use. When cooked, they are transparent and have little taste. Sold in the dried form in grocery stores.

Serves 6-8
Preparation time : 5 mins
Cooking time : 20 mins

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Source :
the food of Singapore
Simple Street Food Recipes from the Lion City
by David Wong & Djoko Wibisono
photos by Luca Invernizzi Tettoni
introduction by Lee Geok Boi

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See also Singapore Cooking “Sweet Red Beans with Coconut Cream Recipe”