SAGO IN COCONUT MILK WITH PALM SUGAR SYRUP
7 oz (200 g) palm or dark brown sugar
1 cup (250 ml) water
2 pandan leaves or 2 drops pandan essence (not green pandan paste) (optional)
8 oz (250 g) fine pearl sago
2 cups (500 ml) medium-thick coconut milk or 14 oz (400 ml) can of “pure” coconut milk
Pinch of salt
Break up the palm sugar and bring it to a boil with the water, dissolving the sugar into a syrup. Add one knotted pandan leaf or a drop of pandan essence. Pour into a jug and set aside to cool.
Fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Wash the sago well and drain it. Cover the sago with more cold water and soak it for a few minutes then drain it again. Put the sago into the boiling water and cook until it is transparent, stirring to prevent sticking. When it is cooked, strain it through a colander and rinse thoroughly under a cold tap, draining well. Put the sago into rinsed single-serve pudding molds or into one big bowl and set aside to cool and set.
Bring the coconut milk to a boil with a knotted pandan leaf or a drop of pandan essence and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until it thickens. Remove and set aside to cool. To serve, unmold or spoon the sago into stemmed glasses and pour syrup and coconut milk over it to taste.
For an interesting contrast try pouring warm syrup and coconut milk over chilled sago or vice versa.