I love tapioca pudding--even the super gloopy kind. How about you? I imagine you must be willing to give it a chance if you're still reading this. I know many are turned off by its weird texture, but that's what I like about it. It's certainly not the flavour, as tapioca really doesn't have much. You won't find any vanilla, eggs or milk here, because this is not your granny's tapioca, or at least not my granny's. It's made with small pearl tapioca, not instant, and flavoured with coconut and topped with bananas. Mango or pineapple would also be wonderful here, so just use what you've got. I originally developed this recipe for Food52, where it was an Editors' Pick. I don't really know what that means, but I think it means someone liked it. I hope you do too.
2 cups water (you may need to add more, depending on your brand of tapioca and how loose you like it)
4 pods green cardamom, cracked but whole (optional)
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup small pearl tapioca
3 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup thick coconut milk (skim from the top of an unshaken can), plus extra for serving, if desired
- Bring water, cardamom and salt to a boil in a medium pot.
- Add tapioca, and bring back to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to keep mixture at a gentle boil.
- Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently as it tends to stick. Tapioca is ready when most of it turns clear, without a white dot in the centre.
- Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add thick coconut milk and stir in. Divide amongst dessert bowls and let stand while you prepare the bananas. It will thicken as it cools. Serve slightly warm. Do not refrigerate, as it will turn to glue!
2 bananas, ripe but firm, quartered
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Heat butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add bananas, cut side down. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Turn when browned and brown other side.
- Place bananas atop tapioca and drizzle with pan juices and/or extra coconut milk to serve.