Saffron Tapioca Pudding

September 28, 2020mayurisjikoni
Blog post




What is Saffron Tapioca Pudding?

Saffron Tapioca Pudding is a sweet dish prepared by cooking soaked tapioca pearls or sabudana in milk till it becomes thick. The pudding can be enjoyed hot or cold. Once the tapioca pearls are soaked well enough making this pudding is very easy. I generally soak them for 4 – 6 hours in plain water. Adding saffron is optional but I’m a huge fan of saffron so look for any opportunity to use it whenever I can.

What is Tapioca Pearls?

Known as tapioca pearls as they look like little tiny pearls or sabudana. Dana in Hindi means small round beads or grains. They also go by the name of tapioca balls. The tapioca balls used in bubble tea(aks Boba tea) in SE Asia are so much larger than the ones we commonly use for Indian Cuisine. Tapioca pearls are made from the starch of cassava. 

Difference Between Sago and Tapioca Pearls

Tapioca pearls are a much cheaper version of Sago but definitely not the same. Sago though it looks like tapioca pearls is actually made from the edible spongy  starch that is present in the pith of different palm trees. Mainly  the spongy pith of the palm Metroxylon Sagu is used and thus the name sagu, or sago. 

Adhik Maas/ Purshottam Mahina

I regularly fast on  Ekadashi days and occasionally make Sabudana Kheer as an incentive for my hubby to fast too. However, this year 2020 I decided to fast the whole of Adhik Maas or Purshottam Mahina as we know it. This auspicious month comes every two and half  years, its more like a leap month for those who follow the Hindu Calendar. Hindu Calendar is lunar based so to keep the solar and lunar calendars this extra month is added. 

While this extra month or Adhik Maas is not auspicious for weddings, starting new businesses, entering new homes, celebrating birthdays, etc, it is a month when one can feed cows, recite the Bhagwad Gita, donate essentials to the poor, bathe in the Holy Rivers, listening to religious scriptures, and fasting. While some fast by having only one meal, others fast on fruits and milk only or follow the Ekadashi rules of no grains, beans, onion, garlic or any intoxicating foods and drinks. I’m following the latter.

My Breakfast

As I’m following the Ekadashi rules for the whole month, that doesn’t meal I feast on several dishes. I usually plan one meal which is filling, healthy and nutritious. I made Saffron Tapioca Pudding as my Sunday Brunch. The advantage is that I was able to load it up with chopped fruits which made it more filling.  I replaced sugar with honey to make it more healthier. 

Difference Between Sabudana Kheer and Saffron Tapioca Pudding

While both terms are interchangeably used by many Food Bloggers, but there is a difference. While my Sabudana Kheer is a bit liquidy as the ratio of tapioca pearls and milk used is different and its generally pretty sweet. On the other hand tapioca pudding is usually made with an egg added to the mixture. However, I’ve made an egg free version by adding a bit more tapioca pearls for the set like pudding. Also as I mentioned I’ve not used refined sugar. Because I used saffron for this pudding, I didn’t add any other spices as I wanted the strong distinct flavour of saffron to come through completely. 

FoodieMonday/ Bloghop Group

While tapioca pudding is not restricted to the usage of saffron, I used saffron or kesar as that’s the theme for this week. I suggested that my friends come up with a recipe where Exotic Saffron shines in their dishes, either sweet or savory. As some of my followers may know, Mondays are when this awesome group brings out new recipes according to a theme suggested by the members.

What is Saffron?

Saffron is a precious spice that has tags like exotic, exquisite, elegant, superb, delicious, fragrant, aromatic, luxurious and so much more. What makes it very expensive is that where it is sourced from. Saffron comes from the flower Crocus Sativus also known as Saffron Crocus. Saffron is the threadlike or stigma of the flower. Each flower has only three of these threads! These threads are harvested by hand. Technically it takes a thousand flowers to produce just one ounce of saffron. No wonder my grandmother use to guard it like gold!

How to Make sure you’re buying the real Stuff?

  • The fragrance – should be sweetish and a bit heady. 
  • The threads are not yellow but all red. 

Some Recipes where Saffron is used:

Ingredients Required for Saffron Tapioca Pudding:

  • Tapioca Pearls – also known as Sabudana
  • Milk – for vegan version can replace dairy milk with nut milk of your choice
  • Saffron – I’ve used the strands. Usually to use saffron, you need to crush it and allow it to soak in a hot liquid
  • Water – for soaking the tapioca pearls
  • Fresh Fruit – chopped and any fruit of your choice. I had strawberries and pomegranate so used those. You can add chopped mangoes, banana, peaches, nectarine, grapes, chikoo, papaya, apples, pears, etc.

Dietary Tips for Saffron Tapioca Pudding:

  • Gluten Free
  • Diabetic Friendly as you can replace the honey with stevia 
  • For Vegan version, replace dairy milk with nut milk
  • Makes a filling and nutritious breakfast option for all including the elderly





Saffron Tapioca Pudding is a delectable, healthy, filling and nutritious pudding that can be enjoyed for breakfast or as a dessert.
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 15 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine International
Servings 4 people


  • ½ cup tapioca pearls
  • 3 cups milk
  • pinch of saffron
  • 3-4 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup chopped fresh fruit of your choice



  • Soak tapioca pearls in enough water for 4 - 6 hours.
  • Drain out the water using a strainer or sieve. Wash the tapioca under running water.
  • Heat milk in a pan over medium heat till it comes to a boil.
  • Add the soaked tapioca pearls.
  • Kee stirring the mixture for 5 - 7 minutes or till the mixture becomes thick and starts to bubble.
  • Take the pan off the heat.
  • Add saffron and mix well. Allow the pudding to cool down.
  • Add honey according to your taste and mix well.
  • Spoon the tapioca into serving bowls or cups.
  • Allow it to chill in the fridge for at least one to two hours.
  • Top it with chopped fruit and serve.


  • I usually make the pudding the previous day and allow it to set and chill overnight.
  • Add fruits of your choice.
  • Add spices like cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg if you want.
  • If you want to add an egg then mix all the ingredients in the pan and then stir continuously till it thickens.
  • This pudding can be served warm or cold
Keyword Eggfree tapicoa pudding, sugar free tapioca pudding

Pin for Later:


A little request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
  • send a picture to my email
  •  tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962


  • Priya vj

    September 28, 2020 at 10:13 pm

    5 stars
    simply wow. I Usually make the kheer using Sabudana but have to try your pudding. Looks absolutely creamy and delicious with a melange of fruits ,honey and cream

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 29, 2020 at 6:20 pm

      Thanks Priya, I make this way as my diabetic hubby too can enjoy it. If he doesn’t want honey then I drizzle some on mine and he adds stevia to his.

  • Poonam Bachhav

    September 29, 2020 at 8:24 am

    5 stars
    I always thought sago and tapioca are the same. Your tapioca pudding with saffron looks so creamy and delectable. Love that it is refined sugar free.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 29, 2020 at 6:15 pm

      Thank you so much Poonam. I got to know the difference from my son when we were in Bali.

      1. Sujata Roy

        September 30, 2020 at 5:19 am

        5 stars
        Pictures of pudding looks just awesome. I don’t like sabudana kheer but your pictures tempting me to try this pudding. Looks so creamy and delectable. I always thought tapioca and sago are same. Got some new info. Loved the use of stevia and honey. A healthy treat to enjoy on fasting day.

      2. mayurisjikoni

        September 30, 2020 at 2:32 pm

        Thanks Sujata, and we are a family of sabudana kheer or pudding lovers. Even when the kids were young, I use to give them sabudana kheer as a meal. I make sabudana pudding often for breakfast even when not fasting.

  • The Girl Next Door

    September 29, 2020 at 8:12 pm

    5 stars
    Wow, wow, wow, I totally love this pudding! It’s a great idea to use sago in pudding – I would never have thought of that. I also love that it is free of refined sugar. 🙂 The pale yellow colour is so pretty too!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 29, 2020 at 8:35 pm

      Thank you so much Priya.

  • Hem lata srivastava

    September 30, 2020 at 10:16 am

    How wonderfully you have made a simple dessert. Looks so creamy and delicious.
    Thanks mayuri for sharing such wonderful fasting recipes.
    Very well explained.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 30, 2020 at 2:28 pm

      Thank you so much Hem lata, glad you like the recipe.

  • Superduper kitchen

    September 30, 2020 at 10:20 am

    5 stars
    The tapioca pearl looks absolutely filling & delectable. I didn’t know that tapioca pearl and sago are different. Also how to select the saffron is very informative. Above all you have used honey as the sweetener which makes it more healthy.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 30, 2020 at 2:27 pm

      Thank you so much Niranjana. And yes there is a difference between sago and tapioca pearls.

  • Jayashree T.Rao

    September 30, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    5 stars
    Tapioca pudding looks creamy and ideal treat for anyone. Its a good idea to make pudding of this one, loved it

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 30, 2020 at 2:27 pm

      Thanks Jayashree.

  • Swati

    September 30, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    5 stars
    I always make kheer using sago pearls never tried the thicker pudding version. This looks so irresistible and can served as a dessert too to guests on special occasion.. Kesar had added a royal touch and a beautiful yellow hue to it.. Shall try it soon..

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 1, 2020 at 3:51 pm

      Thank you so much Swati. Yes, its perfect to serve at parties and dinners.

  • Usha Rao

    October 3, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    5 stars
    Saffron pudding is so colorful with fruit topping. I usually make sago/sabudana pudding as that is always in my pantry.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 3, 2020 at 4:12 pm

      Thank you so much. Glad to hear you make tapioca pudding often.

  • Preethicuisine

    October 4, 2020 at 6:05 am

    5 stars
    Saffron tapioca pudding loaded with fresh fruits is so nutritious and refreshing breakfast. Best part is it is refined sugar free. A guilt free pudding perfect to have anytime. The clicks look so royal.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 4, 2020 at 4:41 pm

      Thank you so much Preethi. It definitely is a guilt free dessert and a healthy breakfast option.

  • Maria

    October 4, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    5 stars
    This looks utterly delicious! I could never have imagined such an elegant and delightful dessert with tapioca. The most awesome bit is that it’s so easy to make with any seasonal fruit.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 4, 2020 at 4:37 pm

      Thank you Maria and yes its so easy to make and very delicious with any seasonal fruit.

  • Vasusvegkitchen

    October 4, 2020 at 8:50 pm

    5 stars
    Saffron tapioca pudding looks very delicious with lovely presentation di. Loved the way you made it sugar free, we can add any seasonal fruits in it and enjoy. I always learn many new things by reading your post, I thought tapioca and sago are same, today I came to know the difference, good information di.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 5, 2020 at 6:39 pm

      Thank you so much Aruna. And yes can use any seasonal fruit. In India I’ve also used chikoo, fresh figs.

  • Kalyani

    October 6, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    5 stars
    What a lovely, delectable pudding this is… the idea that tapioca pearls and sago are different made for an interesting read.. and so many saffron based recipes to try from 🙂

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 6, 2020 at 8:04 pm

      Thank you so much Kalyani. I love using saffron whenever possible.

  • Archana

    October 8, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    5 stars
    Thanks to you I now know the difference between Tapioca and sago pearls and both are not something interchangeable. This is so delicious as a child I made sabudana kheer when Amma was not there. It was our treat! Love the beautiful presentation and the flavours here in this what I can have for a meal full day.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 8, 2020 at 5:04 pm

      Thank you so much Archana. It sure is a filling meal option especially for breakfast or even to serve as a healthy dessert.

  • Sasmita

    October 10, 2020 at 8:21 pm

    this tapioca pudding with saffron looks so so so creamy as well as delectable di.
    the no use of sugar here is a nice choice . the clicks are simply droolworthy !

    1. mayurisjikoni

      October 10, 2020 at 11:28 pm

      Thank you so much Sasmita.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Post Next Post

Example Colors

%d bloggers like this: