Saffron Tapioca Pudding

It can be easy to overdue tapioca pudding. Once it is somewhat thick and the tapioca pearls are clear, take it off the stove and let it thicken some more. 

makes ~3.5 cups


1 cup tapioca pearls

6 cups of milk

generous pinch of saffron threads

½ tsp ground cardamom*

1 ½ cups of sugar

2 Tbsp pistachios

1 cup of chopped fruit - mangoes, berries or figs  


  1. Soak the tapioca in hot water for 2-3 hours or overnight. Drain & set aside.
  2. In a heavy bottom stockpot, cook the milk with saffron threads until reduced by two thirds stirring frequently.  
  3. Add the tapioca and cook on medium heat for 25 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add sugar and cardamom. Continue to cook until the tapioca pearls are translucent and cooked through. Remove from heat and let it cool. Stir it occasionally to prevent a solidified layer from forming on top of the pudding. 
  5. Serve warm or cold with chopped pistachios and fresh fruit on top.


* Be sure to sprinkle the cardamom on top, rather than add with the sugar which sinks to the bottom. This will prevent the cardamom from clumping.  

ideas / variations