Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mani Payasam - Sago Dessert

Mani Payasam (Jevvarisi Payasam) - Sago Dessert

Jevvarisi or Sago (Sabbakki / Sabudana) was our first solid baby food in the days when cereal food tins for babies were still a long way off in the market. Mother roasted the sago and ground it to a smooth flour and stored it for her babies. Two or three table spoons of this flour was cooked in water to a gruel (koozh) like consistency. Though I don’t remember my ‘jevvarisi koozh’ days, I cannot forget the way my younger siblings relished the koozh, sometimes with milk and sugar, and other times with mashed lentil and thin rasam. The way they chuckled with the koozh smeared all over, when mother turned away her face in mock fright to avoid their koozh filled kisses! This still remains a happy picture etched in my mind.

Jevvarisi payasam has been an all time favourite among the children in our family. The Sago or tapioca pearls look like transparent glass beads when cooked, and tastes heavenly in the creamy milk and sugar payasam, thus earning its pet name “Mani Payasam” (bead payasam).
Sago, a product derived from the tuber tapioca is full of starch. It is also said to be a good coolant. The addition of milk and sugar makes this heat buster and energizer into a refreshing drink on hot sweltery days.

Sago – 1 cup

Milk – 3 cups
Sugar – ¾ cup
Ghee – 2 tsps
Raisins – a few
Cashew nuts – a few
Cardamom powder – 1 pinch


1. Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan and roast sago until all the pearls pop up.
2. Boil milk with one cup of water and add the roasted sago.
3. Cook on low flame stirring now and then until all the pearls become transparent like glass beads.
4. Add sugar and cook till it blends well.
5. Add cardamom powder and roasted cashew nuts and raisins.
This Mani Payasam can be served warm.

If you want to covert this to a cool and exotic dessert add a drop of vanilla essence instead of cardamom powder and chill it. Raisins and cashew nuts are optional. Serve the chilled payasam in tall glasses topped with a scoop of vanilla or kesar pista ice cream.

18 Post your Comments:

A_and_N said...

I didn't know this was Mani payasam!! :) I love sago and its been ages since I had some!

Cilantro said...

My husbands favorite. I usually mix them with semiya. Looks delicious.

anudivya said...

Dibs, I made this last week, and I guess I missed the sago popping part because mine turned into a big mass after a day in the fridge. It kinda clumped, which was not pretty to look at.
Yours is like what I expected.

S.R.Ramachandran said...

I enjoy Javersi payasam with ice cream very much. The sample i got was fantastic. appa

Cham said...

The clear jevvarisi is very tempting :)

Lakshmi said...

I love hot and cold sabbakki payasa..cold dessert in tall glass looks good.

jayasree said...

Never tried it at home. I would love to try it with ice cream.

Priya Suresh said...

Just love the name u have given to you sago payasam...yummy dessert!!

YOSEE said...

Mani Payasam always makes me think of childhood days. I remember we used to have it for the tuesday fasts. The Falooda idea is excellent for summer.

Uma said...

mmm. yummy payasam! Looks toooo tempting :)

passionforlife said...

Hey.. I would love to try this one, the chilled version! :) looks absolute yum!


kittymatti said...

oh my!!! very very looks so good!!

Janaki Gopikrishna said...

woow this is like the south indian falooda. u should have tried some colourful syrups on it as an experiment

bee said...

i have some sago and would like to try this with jaggery. thanks for the recipe.

Indian Khana said...

That so perfect for this summer.....looks yum

Vaishali said...

Yum, Dibs, I remember sabudana payasam. It was so amazing. I don't make it any more because Desi hates sago, and it's too tedious to cook for myself. But your recipe's really tempting. I'll have to try it without the ghee and with almond milk.

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Shilpa said...


I tried this one today. I had never tried any sago dishes before. It was yummy. But I think the milk thickened too much but nevertheless, it tasted good. Thanks for the recipe:)