Chavvari Payasam ~ Sago/ Tapioca Pearls Kheer

I have had a love-hate relationship with sago. I love it in any of my dessert but when I try to cook it, I end up getting messed up lumps or thickened concoctions with no sign of the beautiful pearls in it. How much I hate that! When I was going through blogs, I was feeling satisfied that even experienced blogging cooks were facing this problem! Finally now, I have learned what kind of sago to go for, and how to cook it to ensure that those beautiful pearls are there when you need them. A big thanks to my FB friend, Afsath, for being very patient with my umpteen number of questions and answering them in detail. Finally, I am back to being in love with sago! 🙂


Here is a delicious payasam, very simple to prepare (provided your sago does not sink into oblivion!), yet very flavorful. The time my B saw the payasam, he asked sarcastically, “Ethentha?” (“What is this?”). At the end, he was the one who wiped off whatever was remaining after serving everybody.




Updated with new pictures and recipe on July 28, 2017: This is one of the first recipes on the blog, during a time when I wanted to make sure that recipes appeared on the blog. Sometime ago, a friend of mine messaged me saying that she tried the recipe and it didn’t work out for her, the sago sank to the bottom of the pan. Since then, I have been wanting to re-do this recipe, try it again. Like I mentioned at the beginning, sago is something that I love, yet conquering it takes a little time and patience. Finally after a long time, I re-did the recipe. When I went through it, I did sense it needs a little bit of tweaking. Tweak, I did. And it turned out even more amazing, Alhamdulillah… I have re-written the recipe with more details, so that it will help you make the most amazing sago kheer or payasam you have ever had. Just like any payasam, this one needs a little bit of patience too.


I hope you like the new look of this delicious payasam… 🙂




Old picture below… which I thought was not as terrible as some of my other pictures but still… 😀


By the way, a big thank you to my dearest Humi for this beautiful background, that she painted for me. Looks amazing, right?





Sago Payasam - Tapioca Pearls Kheer

Course Payasam/ Kheer
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 4
Author Rafeeda


  • 3/4 cup sago
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • A fat pinch of saffron crushed
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 10-12 cashew nuts
  • 10-15 raisins


  • Soak the sago in 3/4 cup water for one hour, till the sago absorbs all the water and it plumps up.
  • Bring milk to heat in a thick saucepan along with the cardamom powder and salt.
  • As soon as the milk is hot, add in the plumped up sago.
  • Continue to cook, stirring occasionally till the milk reduces, the sago gets transparent and the payasam thickens. The process will take at least 30 minutes.
  • Add in the crushed saffron and cook for a few more minutes. Switch off.
  • Heat ghee and fry the cashew nuts. Switch off and add the raisins, which will plump in the heat.
  • Add in the hot payasam and allow it to rest.
  • Serve warm.


As the payasam sits, it thickens.

Join the Conversation

  1. Yummy payasam dear, luv it.

    1. Thank u dear…

  2. very healthy i love it…

    1. Thank u dear…

  3. yummy creamy kheer….

    1. Thank u dear…

  4. I love the way the sago pearls are all distributed in the cup and not settled down. Thanks for sharing the technique.

    1. I know it's a problem…i was so glad it turned out well… Thank u dear…

  5. The sago pearls makes the dish looks so delectable..Well made love this payasam 🙂

    1. Thank u so much dear…

    1. thank u sona… 🙂

  6. Super. Awesome… Loved it..

    1. Thank u divya… 🙂

    1. Thank u Roshan… 🙂

  7. wow yummy payasam..there are real pearls in the mouth..

    1. Thank u ruxana…

  8. Stunning photography my dear. Absolutely love it

    1. Rafeeda AR Author says:

      Thank you so much dear…

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