Sago Gula Melaka, the name itself is something foreign. I only learnt about the existence of this Malaysian dessert or as quoted by my friend a traditional nyonya dessert a few days back! This dessert came into conversation when i was actually at work working while exchanging emails talking about food, now that's what i call multitasking! When i saw the photo attached in the email i was like OMG! i need to learn how to make this! What was so OMG with the pic? Nothing big a deal really , its more like i was intrigued by how easy it looks and yet i've no idea how its made and there and then i got this really itchy bug in me that wanna try my hands on making this dessert. Hence, a lot of sms exchanging done with my friend to find out on the texture and everything else he could remember about the dessert!
I've tried searching for the origin of this dessert but it was a bittersweet experience for me. I was disappointed for i failed to find out the history/story of how this dessert came about nonetheless it was a sweet ending for i managed to find some useful tips that came together with the recipe. As usual, i don't usually stick to a recipe, especially something i've no idea on how it taste like. So i begun my journey of a lot of research and a lot of reading before finally deciding on how i should do. I love it when i could just figure it out or picture the whole process inside my head before actually executing it.
*1 cup of sago pearls
*5 cups water
*4 pcs screwpine leaves
1) Put screwpine leaves and water into a pot and boil for 10-15mins so that the water will be infused with the screwpine leaves flavour.
2) Throw in the sago pearls and keep stirring it so they don't clump together. Let it simmer for 10-15minutes.
3) The sago pearls will turn transparent but there will still be a dot of white in the middle. So in order to get it all to turn transparent, turn off the heat and cover the pot with the lid and leave it for about 5minutes and if you can still see the white dot , just leave it a lil longer.
4) Once its all transparent , remove it from the stove and pour in some water and start sieving the sago pearls from the pot and transferring it into a bowl before filling up any moulds or cups. Before filling up the moulds/cups with the pearl , be sure to rinse it so that it will be easier to turn the sago out of the mould when its time to serve.
5) Let it cool completely before transfering it into the fridge to chill.
6) Sago pearl is best served chilled, preferably a few hours in the fridge.
Gula Melaka Syrup
*150gm gula melaka (coconut sugar)
*100ml thick coconut milk
1) Shave the gula melaka and put about 1tsp water of hot water or you can put the shaved gula melaka in a bowl, add a tsp or 2 of water, depending on the thickness/consistency of the gula melaka you like and microwave it. Let it cool and chill it.
2) Pour the coconut milk in a bowl and microwave it to heat it up and let it cool before transferring it into the fridge.
When its time to serve , turn the sago out from the mould and pour some thick gula melaka on it and top it up with a spoon or two of coconut milk. This dessert is best served chilled.
The above picture is my second time making this dessert. The first time i served it with coconut milk but this time around i omitted the coconut milk for i don't have any available at home.
By boiling the screwpine leaves and doing this your sago might turn out slightly yellowish for the leaves taint the water with its natural green colour. So for those that want a white transparent sago pearl , its advisable to omit the leaves.
You can let your sago pearls settle down in any mould you fancy , the above picture is a modified and shrunk version of the original size. I used the tea cup where they serve chinese tea in as the mould for i want it to be of bite size.
You can also toast some grated fresh coconut and top it up or you can serve this with caramelised banana, which i'm gonna try next time when i get around in making this dessert again.