Many countries in Southeast Asia have a variation of this colourful and textural dessert and this recipe includes sago, sweet potato and taro. Taro are brown-skinned tubers covered in rough ridges – their flesh comes in various colours but is often white flecked with purple. You can find them at Asian grocery stores.






Skill level

Average: 4.3 (22 votes)


  • ½ cup grated light palm sugar 
  • 750 ml water 
  • 1 pandan leaf, tied in a knot 
  • 200 g taro, peeled and cubed 
  • 200 g sweet potato, peeled and cubed 
  • 75 g large coloured sago 

Coconut soup

  • ½ cup grated light palm sugar 
  • 125 ml water from the coconut 
  • 1 pandan leaf, tied in a knot
  • 750 ml coconut cream
  • pinch of salt 

Coconut crips

  • 1 coconut, cracked (water reserved) and peeled

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time 1 hour

Put the palm sugar, water and pandan leaf in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the taro and sweet potato and simmer until just soft. Remove the taro and sweet potato with a slotted spoon, leave to cool, then chill in the refrigerator.

To make the coconut soup, add half the coconut water to the palm sugar and pandan syrup and boil until lightly caramelised. Remove from the heat while you pour in the remaining coconut water. Return to the heat and simmer for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and stir in the coconut cream and salt. Leave to cool, then chill.

Meanwhile, to make the coconut crisps, preheat the oven to 150°C. Shave thin slices of coconut with a knife. Place the coconut on an oven tray and bake for around 1 hour, until light golden and dry. Leave to cool.

Boil the sago in plenty of water until soft, then drain and rinse in cold water. Tip into a bowl, fill with cold water and set aside.

To serve, put pieces of taro and sweet potato into bowls. Scatter with sago and spoon over a little coconut soup. Garnish with coconut chips.