Saturday, May 21, 2022

Tropical Mango, Lime and Coconut Sago Pudding

Bring a little sunshine back into your life with this delicious Mango, Lime and Coconut Sago pudding. Sago pudding and Kensington Pride mangoes pureed with lime juice, are a perfectly balanced combination in this gorgeous dessert. 

Mango, lime and coconut are all flavours of the tropics and are absolutely perfect for a Summer pudding. I made this dish in our Southern Hemisphere Autumn, as I needed to make some space in my freezer. I used frozen Kensington Pride Bowen mangoes, sourced locally from nearby Bowen, as we slice the fruit and freeze bags of them each year in December. We can then eat frozen mango all year round. So whilst fresh mango can be difficult to find now, frozen mango which is always available from supermarkets, can be used for this dish.

 Sago has the magical ability of being able to set a cold pudding without any gelatine. Sago is now commonly confused as Tapioca Pearls in supermarkets, tapioca pearls are often used to make bubble tea drinks. However Sago is traditionally smaller than Tapioca. A good Health food store will stock sago. I suppose you could call Sago puddings a vintage style dessert, as sago was used as the basis for many desserts in the 1950's and 1960's, it's making a big comeback and is a very sustainable carbohydrate to cook with, and stretches the dessert budget. Children love milky sago puddings. We often also ate Lemon Sago at home when I was growing up, which was always delicious in Summer. This is the link to my Mum's recipe for Lemon Sago, which I wrote ages ago.

Mangoes have a relatively short harvesting window from about November to January where we live, however the Northern Territory mangoes where it's much hotter, are hitting the markets in October during some years and many are exported. We are very lucky to have good mango growing conditions here in North Queensland and by Christmas time we are buying buckets of  delicious Bowen mangoes for $7.00 a bucket, they don't get any cheaper than that. However every year is different for the mango producer and the year before last, there were hardly any mangoes at all because of the dry conditions. This year, very strangely, small common mangoes can be found on trees already, so I could be making my annual batch of Mango Chutney early.

I found these cute little Serving dishes at an Op (thrift) shop here where I live for only $5.00 for 6 of them. Great deal, don't you think?


Serves 4-6

80 g sago

2 cups (500 ml) coconut milk

1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthways and seeds scraped

Finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes

2 medium or 1 very large ripe mango

1 tablespoon very thinly sliced mint

3 tablespoons toasted coconut flakes


Into a medium sized saucepan, tip the sago, the coconut milk, vanilla bean seeds and scraped vanilla bean. Pour in 3/4 cup (180 ml) water and let this mixture stand for 30 minutes, this very important to soften the sago.

Bring the saucepan to a boil on a medium heat, stirring occasionally to ensure the milk doesn't stick to the pan. Reduce the pan to low heat, and cook stirring often for 10 - 15 minutes. By this time the sago will be tender and almost translucent. Remove from the heat, remove the vanilla bean, and stir in most of the lime zest. Spoon the mixture into your serving dishes, then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. 

Mango Puree Topping

Puree one third of the mango and any remaining flesh from around the mango seed. Place this puree in a bowl and add the finely sliced mint and stir together. 

When ready to serve, spoon the mango puree over the sago puddings, and top with the mango slices. 
Decorate with a few toasted coconut flakes, and some of the  remaining finely grated lime zest.

Cook's notes:
  • I loved the contrast of flavours of the coconut sago pudding and vanilla with the tangy lime and mango flavours, however taste the sago halfway through cooking and if you would like more vanilla flavours add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of organic vanilla bean paste. If you have trouble finding vanilla beans in your part of the world, then add 1 teaspoon of organic vanilla bean paste instead of the vanilla bean.
  • I used frozen mango from local Bowen (Kensington Pride) mangos which we had frozen ourselves , which worked beautifully, however the colour of the mango in the photos is slightly darker, because it has been frozen. The fruit of the fresh Kensington Pride mangoes are golden in colour.
  • Use any good eating mangoes that are available to you for this dish
Here are a couple of links to other Sago and Tapioca Pearl Puddings:

Thanks to the amazing Australian cook Maggie Beer who published this delightful recipe in her Maggie's Recipe for Life cookbook, a collection of 200 delicious recipes to help reduce your chances of Alzheimer's and other lifestyle diseases. I've tried to do it justice Maggie x

Warm wishes, 


  1. wow This is my kind of pudding that I would indulge myself during the mango season! The combo of lime, mango and coconut is just unbeatable, Judee.

    1. Thanks Angie or Judee? Yes this is a delicious pudding, great for Summer.

  2. i love mango. I've never had a pudding like this, though - mango or otherwise. Sounds reallly interesting!

  3. Thanks Jeff, I was really surprised at how delicious it was, the addition of lime juice to the mango really brings it to the party.

  4. Pauline, this is my third try to leave a comment. No comment option on my iPad and my comment wouldn't publish on my phone. No idea what is wrong. Anyway, I was brought up eating Sago and Tapioca and loved the desserts Mum made with them.

    1. Thanks Chel, yes I grew up with sago desserts too. I just sent myself an anonymous comment from my phone to test it and it worked really well, so not sure what the problem could be with your phone. Sometimes the publishing can be slow, but very fast here at the moment. Thanks for persisting.

  5. This looks like a delicious dessert. Love mangoes.

  6. I never had the chance to try sago pudding but I should maybe simply try to make it myself at the end :)

    1. Thanks so much food trotter, I know you could could wonderful things in your cooking with sago.

  7. I have never seen sago for sale, but I will look next time I’m at the health food store. You are correct… If anyone is to have it, they will! I love the combination of flavors — it’s perfect for the summer!

  8. David, how things have changed, it used to be really easy to find, but now you really need to look for it. Actually I think the Indian supermarkets probably stock it as well. Hope you can find it.


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