Javvarisi Payasam | Sago Payasam

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Javvarisi Payasam is a creamy delicious sweet made with sago, ghee, milk and sugar from the South Indian cuisine. It is also called as saggubiyyam payasam (in Telugu language) or sago payasam and is a gluten-free recipe.

javvarisi payasam served in a white colored blue rimmed bowl with 3 saffron strands in the center

About this recipe

Sago are round shaped pearls made from tapioca root or yuca root. They are also called as tapioca pearls in English and sabudana in Hindi.

In Tamil, these are known as Javvarisi, in Kannada as Sabakki, in Telugu as Saggubiyyam and in Malayalam as Chowari.

I make javvarisi payasam similar to the way I prepare Poha Payasam with a few differences. In this recipe you don’t need to soak sago, but do note that cooking sago without soaking takes more time than if they were soaked earlier.

My method is very helpful when you want to make javvarisi payasam any time or you have forgotten to soak sago.

Saggubiyyam payasam can be made two ways – one is by soaking sago and the other is by roasting sago and then further cooking it. I usually choose the second method which is also how this sago payasam recipe is made.

When I offer javvarisi payasam as naivedyam to the deities, I add edible camphor, but it can be easily skipped.

Saggubiyyam payasam can be served as a sweet dessert after meals.

Adding jaggery in javvarisi payasam

In this recipe, I have added raw sugar, but I also make saggubiyyam payasam with jaggery.

To add jaggery, follow my recipe entirely without adding sugar. Remove the pan from stove-top and set it aside for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add ½ cup grated jaggery or chopped jaggery. If jaggery is added to boiling hot milk, it will curdle the milk. So it helps to reduce the heat a wee bit in the javvarisi payasam before adding jaggery.

If your jaggery has impurities, then first dissolve it in some warm water. Then filter it and add to the javvarisi payasam. You can even add palm sugar, coconut sugar and palm jaggery.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Javvarisi Payasam

Frying cashews and raisins

1. In a heavy kadai or pan, take 1 tablespoon ghee and heat it on a low to medium flame.

ghee addd in a cast iron pan

2. When the ghee melts, add 10 to 12 cashews.

cashews added in melted ghee

3. Begin to fry the cashews on a low flame.

cashews being fried in ghee

4. Fry cashews till they become golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set them aside.

cashews golden

5. Then add 1 tablespoons raisins.

raisins added in ghee

6. Stirring often fry the raisins, till they swell and become plump.

raising getting fried in ghee

7. Remove fried raisins with a slotted spoon and keep them aside with the fried cashews.

cashews and raisins set aside in a steel plate to make javvarisi payasam

Roasting javvarisi (saggubiyyam)

8. Add ½ cup javvarisi.

sago pearls added in cast iron pan

9. Mix the javvarisi well with the ghee and begin to roast on a low flame stirring often.

sago mixed with ghee

10. Roast for 2 to 3 minutes on low flame.

sago being roasted

Cooking Javvarisi

11. Then add 3 cups of water.

water being poured

12. Mix well and simmer on low to medium flame.

water mixed

13. The sago pearls will begin to get cooked and start floating on the top.

mixture is simmering

14. When cooking the pearls, there will be some scum on top. If you want you can remove the scum with a slotted spoon.

removing scum with a slotted spoon

15. Do stir at intervals, so that the sago does not stick at the bottom of the pan.

sago cooking in water

16. Simmer until you see the sago pearls becoming translucent and floating on top.

sago pearls beginning to float on the surface

Making Javvarisi Payasam

17. Then add 2 cups whole milk.

milk being added

18. Mix very well.

milk mixed evenly

19. Add ½ cup sugar.

raw sugar being added

20. Stir well so that all the sugar dissolves.

mixing with a slotted spoon

21. Add ½ teaspoon cardamom powder.

cardamom powder being added

22. Next add 1 pinch saffron. You can skip saffron strands also.

saffron strands added

23. Simmer the javvarisi payasam on a low heat until the sago pearls have cooked well and softened.

javvarisi payasam being simmered

24. Do stir often so that the javvarisi does not get stuck at the bottom of the kadai or pan.

stirring saggubiyyam payasam

25. Simmer until all the sago pearls have cooked well. This takes about 20 to 25 minutes on a low heat. Do remember to stir sago pearls so that they do not stick and become lumpy.

sago payasam simmering

26. Check the pearls and press them between your fingers. They should be completely softened and look translucent. The milk will also thicken by the time the sago pearls are cooked.

softened and cooked sago pearls in a slotted spoon

27. Some milk solids will be stuck at the sides. Scrape them with a spoon or spatula and add back to the javvarisi payasam. Sago payasam thickens after cooling. So if you want a thin payasam, then you can add some more hot milk and sugar as required at this step.

javvarisi payasam ready

28. Lastly add the fried cashews and raisins along with 1 pinch edible camphor. Edible camphor is an optional ingredient. Mix well.

fried cashews and raisins added and mixed with slotted spoon

29. Serve javvarisi payasam hot or warm or chilled as a dessert after meals. If offering to your deity, then first offer the payasam and then serve it to your family as prashad.

javvarisi payasam served in a white colored blue rimmed bowl with 3 saffron strands in the center
Tips

Expert Tips

  • Milk: Use whole milk of full fat milk for better consistency and taste.
  • Nuts: You can add almonds, pistachios, walnuts or any nuts that you like.
  • Type of sago: Use the sago that we add in Sabudana Khichdi and Sabudana Vada. Do not add the large nylon sago.
  • Sugar replacements: You can easily replace sugar with jaggery, palm jaggery and coconut sugar. Do read my method on how to replace it above the step-by-step guide.
  • Consistency: Javvarisi payasam thickens as it cools. If you want a lighter fluid consistency, then add some milk before serving or cook it to the right consistency you prefer so that on cooling it does thicken too much. For a thin payasam, add more milk and increase the amount of sugar accordingly.
  • Scaling: Make easily a large batch of this saggubiyyam payasam for festive occasions.
  • Storage: Leftovers stay well in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Before serving, gently warm or heat it.
  • Pressure cooking: For faster cooking, you can cook sago in a pressure cooker for 1 to 2 whistles with 2 to 2.5 cups water. Then add milk and stirring at intervals cook until the saggubiyyam payasam thickens.
  • Vegan version: Make the javvarisi payasam with coconut milk or almond milk. Cook sago until softened completely and throughly in water. Add sugar, cardamom powder, saffron and mix well. Then add coconut milk or almond milk. Gently heat through until warm or lightly hot – do not boil. Finish with the fried cashews and raisins.

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sabudana payasam recipe, javvarisi payasam recipe, sago payasam recipe

Javvarisi Payasam | Saggubiyyam Payasam

5 from 4 votes
Javvarisi payasam or Saggubiyyam Payasam is a sweet creamy pudding made with sago(tapioca pearls), milk, ghee, sugar, raisins and cashews.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins

Cuisine South Indian, Tamil Nadu
Course: Desserts, Sweets
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level: Easy

Servings 4
Units

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Ghee (clarified butter)
  • 10 to 12 cashews
  • 1 tablespoons raisins
  • ½ cup javvarisi (sago, saggubiyyam or tapioca pearls)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup sugar or add as required
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 pinch saffron – optional
  • 1 pinch edible camphor – optional

Instructions

Frying cashews and raisins

  • In a heavy kadai or pan, take 1 tablespoon ghee and heat it on a low to medium flame.
  • When the ghee melts, add 10 to 12 cashews (kaju).
  • Begin to fry the cashews on a low flame.
  • Fry cashews till they become golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep them aside.
  • Then add 1 tablespoons raisins (kishmish).
  • Stirring often fry the raisins, till they swell and become plump.
  • Remove fried raisins with a slotted spoon and keep them aside along with the fried cashews.

Roasting javvarisi (saggubiyyam)

  • Now add ½ cup sago.
  • Mix the sago well with the ghee and begin to roast on a low flame stirring often.
  • Roast for 2 to 3 minutes on low flame.

Cooking javvarisi in water

  • Then add 3 cups water.
  • Mix well and simmer on low to medium flame.
  • The sago pearls will begin to get cooked and start floating on the top.
  • When cooking the javvarisi pearls, there will be some scum on top. If you want you can remove the scum with a slotted spoon.
  • Do stir at intervals when the sago pearls are cooking, so that they do not stick at the bottom of the pan.
  • Simmer until you see the sago pearls becoming translucent and floating on top.

Making javvarisi payasam

  • Then add 2 cups full fat milk. mix well.
  • Add ½ cup sugar and stir well so that all the sugar dissolves.
  • Add ½ teaspoon cardamom powder and  1 pinch saffron. You can skip saffron strands also.
  • Simmer the payasam on a low flame till the sago pearls have cooked well and softened.
  • Do stir often so that the javvarisi does not get stuck at the bottom.
  • Simmer until all the sago has cooked well. This takes about 20 to 25 minutes on a low flame. Do remember to stir so that the sago does not stick to the bottom of pan and become lumpy.
  • Check the pearls and press them between your fingers. They should be completely softened and look translucent. The milk will also thicken by the time the sago pearls are cooked.
  • Some milk solids will be stuck at the sides. Scrape them with a spoon or spatula and add back to the payasam. Saggubiyyam payasam thickens after cooling. So if you want a thin payasam, then you can add some more hot milk and sugar as needed at this step.
  • Lastly add the fried cashews and raisins along with 1 pinch edible camphor (optional). Mix well.
  • Serve javvarisi payasam hot or warm or chilled as a dessert after meals. If offering to your diety, then first offer the sago payasam and then serve it to your family as prashad.

Notes

  • Milk: For a richer and creamy payasam use whole milk or full fat milk.
  • Nuts: Add nuts that you like – almonds, pistachios, walnuts or any nuts.
  • Type of sago: Use the regular variety of sago that we add in Sabudana Vada. Do not add the large nylon sago.
  • Sugar replacements: You can easily replace sugar with jaggery, palm jaggery and coconut sugar. Do read my method on how to replace it above the step-by-step guide in the main post above. 
  • Consistency: As the payasam cools it thickens. If you want a lighter fluid consistency, then add some milk before serving or cook it to the correct consistency you want so that on cooling it does thicken too much.
  • Pressure cooking: For faster cooking, cook the sago in a pressure cooker for 1 to 2 whistles with the water. Then add milk and stirring at intervals cook until the payasam thickens.
  • Scaling: Make easily a large batch of this saggubiyyam payasam for festive occasions.
  • Storage: Leftovers stay well in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Gently warm or heat before serving. You can even serve chilled.
  • Vegan option: Use coconut milk or almond milk. Cook the sago pearls in water until they are softened completely. Add in the sugar, cardamom powder, saffron and mix well. Add coconut milk or almond milk. Gently heat through until warm or lightly hot – do not boil. Finish with the fried cashews and raisins.

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Nutrition Facts
Javvarisi Payasam | Saggubiyyam Payasam
Amount Per Serving
Calories 297 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 20mg7%
Sodium 89mg4%
Potassium 214mg6%
Carbohydrates 50g17%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 33g37%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 200IU4%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin B12 1µg17%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Vitamin D 2µg13%
Vitamin E 1mg7%
Vitamin K 2µg2%
Calcium 146mg15%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 6µg2%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 26mg7%
Phosphorus 129mg13%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This javvarisi payasam recipe post from the archives (August 2017) has been republished and updated on 13 December 2020.

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7 Comments

    1. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi. Yes, you can use jaggery. But add jaggery once the payasam is done. Wait for 3 to 4 minutes and then add jaggery so that the milk does not curdle.

    1. thanks shubha. those are ladoos made with fresh coconut, jaggery and cardamom powder. its a bengali recipe of ladoos known as narkel naru. this version is also called as gurer narkel naru.