The Maldives – Traditional Saagu Bondibai (Sago Pudding)

by Fariha Saeed

About the dish

Sago Pudding is one of the most appetizing and famous desserts in the Maldives. It is basically a sweet pudding with sago in it which is cooked with milk or water. Another name of sago pudding is sweet pudding. This is the specialty of the Maldives. The texture of it is so soft, light, and fluffy and the taste is so appetizing. The sago in it is little balls that are cooked in the milk and it rises in it. Sago is a kind of starch that is extracted from different kinds of tropical palm trees. In many countries, it is called saksak. Sago is the main ingredient of the dish. The significant part of the dish is that the sago should not be overcooked. If you overcooked it will become a cluster and ruin the taste and the look of it. The sago pudding is so heavy and thick. People like to eat this as a breakfast, snack, and dessert. You can serve this to any occasion like parties, gathering or even at weddings. This is not very sweet, it has the perfect amount of sugar in it. You can garnish it with some fresh fruits, honey, chocolate glaze, strawberry glaze, and fresh herbs. This is available at all the restaurants in the Maldives. Some people like to eat it hot. This is the most special dessert of the Maldives. To make the perfect sago pudding then you have to follow all the instructions very well. You can also buy it at street vendors. The other most important part of the dish is the sago has to risen enough in the milk. Sago is available in many flavors like:

  • vanilla
  • strawberry
  • chocolate
  • mano
  • banana
  • watermelon
  • dry fruits
  • guava

You can also add coconut, coconut cream, coconut milk, and coconut water to it if you like it because coconut is a must ingredient in all the dishes of the Maldives. The coconuts add some kind of sweetness and island flavor to the pudding. The raw coconut will taste so good in the thick pudding. The color of the pudding is usually white but if you add any flavor is it it will change the color of it. If you add coconut to it it will taste so much better and unique.

Nutrition list

  • Calories 231
  • fat 4 g
  • carbohydrates 210


  • 1 cup sago
  • 2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 cup coconut


Take a pan and turn the heat on low and then add the milk. When the milk starts to boil add the sugar to it. Now add the sago in it and cover it with a lid for 25 minutes. Now take a bowl and mix the egg very well. Now add the eggs to the sago mixture slowly while adding the eggs in it keep the string the mixture otherwise it will become a cluster.

Now add the coconut and vanilla to the sago pudding. Take some fruits and place them in the center of the pudding and serve hot or cold whatever you like.

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