Saffron Sago Payasa / Saffron Sabudana Kheer

Luscious, sweet, decadent and rich! This pudding is an absolute delight and perfect for any festive season.

Ok. So, this is kind of a late post.

I made this delicious payasa for this Diwali, which came and went in a flash! This year, Diwali was slightly low key for us. But, I still made some, just for a little festive flair. 🙂


This easy pudding is made by cooking sago (tapioca pearls) in milk and sugar until the milk has reduced and thickened. To make it rich, extravagant and flavorful for the festive season, I added cardamom and also the most expensive spice in the world. Saffron! The smell of saffron is so unique and the color it brings into any dish is truly marvelous! A pinch of saffron goes a long way.


Begin by soaking sago pearls in water for 30 minutes. They absorb water and become slightly soft. Drain out the water. Meanwhile, saute some nuts and raisins in ghee until golden brown and set them aside. Add milk into the same pan and boil it. Add the drained sago and sweeten with sugar. For flavor and color, add ground cardamom and saffron. Saffron releases it’s beautiful color when added into hot milk. Gently simmer while stirring occasionally. As the sago cooks, it becomes completely transparent. That’s when you know it’s cooked through. If the pudding seems super thick, you can add water to adjust the consistency. Lastly mix in the golden brown nuts and raisins and it’s ready to eat.


This dessert can be served hot or chilled. I personally love it chilled. It tends to thicken even more once chilled and sets almost like a custard.

Check out my other similar recipes:

Double layered Sago Payasam

Strawberry Yogurt Basil Seed Pudding





Total PREP TIME : 45 Mins 

Prep PREP TIME : 30 Mins                                        

Cooking PREP TIME : 15 Mins

Serves 5 – 6 people


  1. Sago Pearls – 100 Grams
  2. Water – 1½ Cups (to soak sago)
  3. Ghee – 1 Tsp
  4. Slivered Almonds – 1 Tbsp
  5. Raisins/Sultanas – 1 Tbsp
  6. Milk – 500 Ml
  7. Ground cardamom – ¼ Tsp
  8. Sugar – ½ Cup
  9. Saffron – A pinch


  1. In a bowl, soak sago pearls in water for 30 minutes and drain.
  2. Heat ghee in a sauce pan. Add almonds and raisins. Saute until they turn light brown. Spoon them into another bowl and set them aside for later use.
  3. In the same pan, add milk and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and add drained sago pearls, ground cardamom, sugar and saffron. Simmer for 7 – 8 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  4. Milk thickens and sago becomes transparent and soft. Turn off flame. Add in sauteed nuts and raisins. Serve it either warm or chilled.



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5 Comments Add yours

    1. Thank you Ronit. Those spices bring life to a boring milk pudding. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Chitra! So glad you liked it. 🙂


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