Sago pudding with gula melaka

1 cup sago pearls (or tapioca pearls)
1.5L water (for boiling)

Gula melaka syrup:
100g gula melaka (palm sugar or gula kabung in Malaysia), roughly chopped
100ml water
2 pandan leaves

Coconut milk:
1 cup coconut milk with pinch of salt added, chilled

sago pudding Photo credit: CY Phang

Prepare sago :
Wash sago well with tap water to remove as much start as possible. Drain well.
Boil water in a medium pot. Add in the drained sago. Stir often to avoid sago sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Remove from heat when sago pearls turn transparent. Drain excess water using a sieve.
Spoon sago pearls into moulds and leave to cool before chilling in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Prepare syrup :
Boil water for the gula melaka.
Put pandan leaves and gula melaka in water. Keep continuously until fully dissolved.
Pour out and leave to cool. Keep syrup chilled.

Assemble :
When the sago pearls have set in the mould, turn them over into a dessert bowl.
Spoon 1-2 tbsp of chilled gula melaka syrup over the sago pearls, and 2-3 tbsp of coconut milk on top.

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Pulut Inti

The colouring in this Nonya desert is from Bunga Telang or Blue Pea Flower. It is commonly used as a natural food dye in Nonya dishes such as Pulut Inti, Pulut Tai Tai, Kueh Salat/Kueh Seri Muka and Nasi Kerabu. However, blue is not a colour used by the Chinese. The plant flowers all year round and blooms in 6 weeks from seed.

RicePulut Inti 20131230
20 petals bunga telang
2 pandan leaves
600g glutinous rice
250ml coconut milk
2 tsp salt

Coconut topping
100g gula melaka (palm sugar)
40g sugar (optional)
300g grated coconut
3 tbsp glutinous rice flour mixture

16 banana leaf squares, 15x10cm each

Makes 16

Preparation for blue colouring: bunga_telang_pea_flower
Boil  ½ cup of water. Add bunga telang petals. Cook till water turns blue. Strain.

Preparation for Rice:
Rinse and soak rice for 2 hours. Drain.
Add salt and pandan leaves and mix well.   Steam for 30 minutes.
Add coconut milk slowly to loosened rice.  Add bunga telang juice. Colouring does not have to be even. Pulut Inti.f 20131230
Set aside to cool.

Preparation for Coconut topping:
Boil  ½ cup of water.  Add gula melaka and sugar. Cook till sugar dissolves.
Add grated coconut and a pinch of salt.
Cook till mixture is nearly dry.
Add glutinous rice flour mixture. Stir and cook till dry.
Set aside to cool.

To assemble:
Boil banana leaves till soft.
Add a portion of rice in the middle of a leaf, and top with filling.
Bring both sides of banana leaf to centre and fold edges down, under the rice.

Pulut Inti.a 20131230 Tip: Glutinous rice flour mixture is made by mixing 1½ tsp of glutinous rice flour to 2 tbsp of water.
 Tip: Make sure coconut mixture is dry. Drain any excess moisture to prevent rice from becoming sticky and wet.