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.
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.