Sabudana Kheer / Javarisi Payasam (Sago Pearl Kheer)

Sabudana (javvarisi or sago pearls) – 1/2 cup
Water – 2 cups
Whole milk – 2 cups, warm
Sugar – 1/3 – 1/2 cup (as per taste)
Cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp
Rose water – 1/4 tsp
Saffron – a small pinch
Pistachios or almonds – 8-10, chopped
Dried rose petals – for garnish (optional)

Wash the sabudana or sago pearls in water 3-4 times or until the water runs relatively clear. Soak sabudana in 2 cups of water for at least 20 minutes.

Take sabudana and water in a medium saucepan and cook on medium heat until they begin to turn translucent.

Add warm milk and continue cooking until all the sabudana are cooked and soft. The sago pearls will rise to the surface once cooked. Keep stirring often to prevent milk from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Add sugar and cardamom powder and simmer until the kheer thickens slightly, not more than 25-30 minutes of overall cooking time. Stir the kheer once in a while.

When almost done, stir in rose-water and saffron. Remove kheer from heat and serve immediately or cool it slightly before serving. Garnish with chopped nuts and dried rose petals, if desired.

Store leftover kheer in the refrigerator. If kheer has thickened too much, warm it with a few spoons of milk before serving.

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