Sago pudding with mace

Sago pudding with mace

My Feast
Chris Chen

Indonesia is famous for its spices, and nutmeg and mace are the jewels in its crown. Mace is the outer skin of the nutmeg seed, surrounding that is the flesh, which is candied and used in desserts.

While we were filming the sorting process in the Banda Islands I was sitting on a large set of scales watching the boys work inside a very hot house. All of a sudden the scales started to shake violently, and the boys just disappeared. There was also a large audience of kids peering through every opening in the building who disappeared too. The reason for the exodus was that a large earthquake was on the way and the locals had a sixth sense about it. Two weeks after we left the island, its live volcano blew its top, spewing rock, ash and lava two kilometres into the sky. We were lucky to escape such a close call.


Quantity Ingredient
300g sago
1 litre water
pinch ground cinnamon
3 pieces fresh or dried mace, plus extra to serve
30g grated dark palm sugar
100g white sugar
1 litre coconut cream


  1. Place the sago and water in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until it comes to the boil.
  2. When it starts to thicken, add the cinnamon, mace, sugars and all but 2 tablespoons of the coconut cream. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly (or the mixture will stick to the base of the pan), for 8–10 minutes or until the sago is translucent.
  3. Remove from the heat and divide among bowls. Drizzle with the remaining coconut cream and scatter with the extra mace. Serve immediately.
My Sri Lanka
Island Feast
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