Saffron Tapioca Pudding
THEME: #266 EXOTIC SAFFRON
RECIPE: SAFFRON TAPIOCA PUDDING
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.
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:
- Iced Chai Saffron Latte
- Orange Saffron Semolina Cake
- Rose, Saffron and Pandan Panna Cotta
- Rose and Saffron Yogurt Mousse
- Gajar Halwa with orange and saffron
- Mini Saffron and Fruity Chum Chum
- Saffron Pistachio Muffins (eggless)
- Kesar Sooji Phirni and Mango Jelly
- Kashmiri Kahwa/ Kashmiri Tea
- Kesar Shrikhand
- Thandai Makhana Phirni
- Paneer Kundan Kaliya
- Qubani Naan
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
- ½ cup tapioca pearls
- 3 cups milk
- pinch of saffron
- 3-4 tbsp honey
- 1 cup chopped fresh fruit of your choice
PREPARATION OF TAPIOCA PUDDING:
- 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
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