Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sticky Sago/Tapioca Pudding

Halawet Sago ( sago sweet) is a traditional Qatari dish. If ever you are fortunate to be invited for dinner at a Qatari household, chances are you will be served this hot,  tummylicious treat (among many other delicious dishes)

The thing about this dish is that it's relatively easy to make, but it needs a lot of stirring and mixing. By the end of it, your arms will be tired I can guarantee it- but suck it up. You'd be missing out big time if you're too much of a wimp to handle some arm exercise.
I now present to you the next best thing to chocolate...and ice cream...and donuts...Anywho- you get the point.


500g sago/tapioca pearls (soaked)
600g white sugar
2 liters water (boiled)
20g ground cardamon
15g saffron threads soaked (preferably overnight to get more color)
2 tbsps ghee or clarified butter+ 1 tbsp extra


Put half the sugar in a deep pot (preferably stainless steel so you can monitor the coloring of the sugar easier) and melt over medium low heat.
This will take time and constant stirring.

 Now that you've melted all the sugar, let it color into a deep carmel brown. Stirring all the while.
Now you need to add the boiled water. BE CAREFUL, don't burn yourself. The sugar will splutter and make a fearsome sizzle. 

This is what you should have now. Raise the heat and bring the sugar water to a boil.

Now add in the 2 tbsps ghee, cardamon and the saffron threads (with their soakings)

Let it boil a little more.
Now drain the sago/tapioca pearls and add to the pot.
Mix, mix, MIX.

Continue mixing until the pearls have been completely saturated (around 10-15 minutes of constant stirring). Now the pearls will have soaked up the sugar water and should have a sticky, heavy  almost solid consistency.

Oil your selected serving dish with the remaining ghee. Pour in the halawa, garnish with some ground cardamon making sure to not put too much.


  1. I have been looking for this recipe fore AGES,
    thanks so much!

    1. You're most welcome, glad I could help.


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