Coconut Tapioca Pudding

I made this because I was heading to a BBQ with guests that, between them, had allergies to bananas, peanuts, wheat, dairy and eggs, which rules out almost every pudding in the world, other than plain fruit. Tapioca is made from cassava so I assume is technically a veg. I’d never eaten it before, associating it with old fashioned school puddings (I was a packed lunch girl). I based the recipe on this one, with some adjustments because of a) the allergies and b) because it seemed way too liquid, perhaps because of non-standard cup measurements, or perhaps because of non-standard tapioca. Was mine less absorbent maybe? And I used mango instead of melon because the mango I bought was deliciously ripe, and the melon pretty bland.

It’s very delicious, and very unlike any other pudding I’ve had. Like a sweet, fragrant coconut soup with fruit and nuts. Yum.

Vegan. Serves 6-8.


  • 300g medium tapioca pearls
  • 250g sugar
  • 150ml water
  • 250ml almond milk
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 mangos
  • handful pistachios or pistachio praline


  • Cook the tapioca pearls according to the instructions on the packet. My packet (TRS) didn’t have any, and the instructions from the original recipe didn’t work – they were still solid – so by trial and error I worked out that 30 minutes soaking in cold water followed by five minutes of boiling did the trick. Then I drained them and rinsed in cold water. Any residue in the pan or colander turns into a gluey substance very difficult to get off, so do wash up as you go.
  • Put the sugar and water in a pan and dissolve the sugar, then bring to the boil.
  • Take off the heat and stir in the almond and coconut milks. Add the cooked tapioca and pop in the fridge and leave to cool. It should be absolutely cold before serving.
  • To serve, ladle into bowls and add chunks of mango to the top.
  • For added crunch a sprinkle of pistachios or pistachio praline is also nice. To make pistachio praline put equal weights of sugar and pistachios into a heavy bottomed pan and heat until the sugar has melted and turned brown. Then tip into an oiled sheet. Once firm you can chip into fragments.

Coconut tapioca pudding