m. c. de marco: The New Kitchen Cookbook

Tapioca Pudding

This is a coconut milk tapioca pudding from one of those giant Indian cookbooks. I increased it from the original recipe up to one can of coconut milk, but also included the original, smaller recipe plus a size in between. It’s especially handy for Passover.

The full recipe can be made in a 2 quart pot, if you’re careful and don’t oversoak the tapioca.

I usually use Bob’s Small Pearl Tapioca, but any pearl tapioca should work.

I have not tried any other kind of coconut milk but the canned kind. You don’t need to homogenize the coconut milk before adding it (if you’re using the whole can), but be careful not to squirt yourself with the water when breaking through the layer of fat. Or shake before opening like you’re supposed to…

Total time: 1 ½ hours


Full can

Serves 8–10.

  • 1 1/9 c. tapioca
  • 3 ⅓ c. water
  • 1 ¼ c. sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 ⅔ c. (1 can, 13.5 oz.) coconut milk

1 ½ cups coconut milk

Serves 6.

  • 1 c. tapioca
  • 3 c. water
  • 1 heaping c. sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 ½ c. coconut milk

1 cup coconut milk

Serves 4.

  • ⅔ c. tapioca
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 scant c. sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 c. coconut milk

Toppings (optional)

  • tropical fruits (12 oz./9 oz./6 oz.) or blueberries
  • rind of 1 lime
  • coconut shavings


  1. Soak tapioca in water (not the measured ingredient) for 1 hour.
  2. Drain.
  3. Boil water (the measured ingredient).
  4. Stir in sugar and salt, then add tapioca and coconut milk.
  5. Simmer 10 minutes.

Serve warm or cold, decorated with any optional toppings.