Javvarisi Payasam / Sago Kheer / Tapioca Pearl Pudding

Javvarisi Payasam

Sago kheer happens to be one of my favorites as long as someone else makes it for me. Both the kheer and myself never got along well until a few years back and to be particular, before my marriage.  We both date back to my school days and this kheer just curdled into one lumpy, ugly mess when I made it for the first time. My brother had called me to inform me that he won in a big competition and I wanted to surprise him upon reaching home. I was in 9th grade myself and I had never made it before but had of course seen my mom make this kheer and had a tough time explaining the mess to my mom when she got back from work. Fast forward a year, another occasion, same kheer which once again bombed and I promised myself never again.

Despite several assurances from my mother, prior to my marriage, I had never wanted to try it again. Everything changed drastically once I got married, the reason being my MIL makes only this kheer for all the occasions and no one including my dear hubby liked vermicelli or dal kheer. In fact none of the shops in their small town sell vermicelli at all and so I had no other choice but to give it a try and have been making this successfully for the past few years without any mishaps.

Javvarisi Payasam / Tapioca Pearl Pudding

Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 20 mins | Serves: 4-5





1. Soak Javvarisi / Tapioca pearls in 1 cup of water for 1 hour. After the time out you can find that the water had been absorbed and the pearls have become big and fluffy.

2. Heat a pan with ghee and roast the cashew nuts and raisins till golden brown and keep aside.

3. Heat 1 cup of water and add the soaked peals to it and let it come to a boil over low flame and let it cook till it becomes soft to the touch.

4. Meanwhile heat milk in a sauce pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes till it gets reduced to 3/4th in volume.

5. When the pearls have cooked, add the reduced milk, sugar and bring it to a boil again.

6. Finally add the crushed cardamom seeds, roasted cashews and raisins, cream (if using) and give it a good mix.

7. Simmer for 2-3 minutes and take off stove. Serve in individual bowls either hot or chilled.

Shortcut method:

1. Heat a pan with 1 tsp of ghee and roast the pearls in it over low flame for 2-3 minutes or till they puff up. Pressure cook for 2 whistles in enough water and continue to proceed from step 4 to the last.


1. If you do not happen to have cream but want a thick version of the kheer, reduce the sugar and instead 1/4 cup of sweetened condensed milk to the kheer.

2. You can also add roasted vermicelli/semiya along with sago for making this kheer.

3. Adjust the sugar according to your taste buds.

4. You can also use a pinch of nutmeg powder for an enhanced taste.

5. If you want to add a touch of color ad flavor, soak a few strands of saffron in some warm milk and add it to the kheer in step-6.

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