Savboro – Sri Lankan Sago Coconut Cookies

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Last Updated on December 14, 2020 by Chef Mireille

Savboro - Sri Lankan Sago Coconut CookiesThese Savboro – Sri Lankan Sago Coconut Cookies are super crispy cookies, perfect for dunking in your tea/coffee or milk. Made from sago, coconut and bread crumbs, this unusual combination of ingredients yield a super delicious cookie.

Sago is one of the main ingredients in these cookies. Here in the west, sago is non existent in our diet. It’s cousin, tapioca, we generally only eat as tapioca pudding, a dessert. However, sago is used as a grain in South Asian cuisines and our used in everything from appetizer and side dishes to desserts. So what is the difference between tapioca and sago? Many use them both interchangeably. I too was guilty of this in the past, but they are not the same. Sago is extracted from the pith of various tropical palms, but tapioca is extracted from cassava root, also known as yuca or manioc.

To find sago here in the US, you will need to go to an Indian or Asian market. Be careful not to pick tapioca, which are much larger pearls, although instant tapioca pearls will be of almost similar size to sago.

Are you ready to experiment with sago? Try my other sago recipes!

Sago Recipes

These cookies are made with an unusual combination of ingredients and can be flavored with any combination of vanilla, fennel, cumin or mixed spice. You can find mixed spice bags in Sri Lankan markets (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, cardamom).

Sri Lankan is a very flavorful cuisine – a fusion of both Indian and Southeast Asian cuisines. I find it very similar to Indonesian cuisine, which is something close to my heart with part of my family being Indonesian.

I hope you enjoy these unique cookies as much as I did.

Before we get to the Savboro recipe, do check out some of my other Sri Lankan recipes!

Sri Lankan Recipes


Savboro 2 -edit

These cookies are VERY CRISPY. Perfect with a cup of tea or milk.

Savboro -edit

Savboro - Sri Lankan Sago Coconut Cookies
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3 from 1 vote

Savboro – Sri Lankan Sago Coconut Cookies

a very crispy cookie from Sri Lanka, perfect for dunking into milk or coffee/tea
Prep Time15 hours
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: Sri Lankan
Servings: 8


  • 1 cup sago
  • 1 cup frozen coconut defrosted (or freshly grated coconut)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Line a cookie sheet with a baking sheet or parchment paper.
  • Combine all ingredients and mix with your hands until mixture sticks together, adding 1-2 tablespoons of water if necessary. Depending on the moisture in the coconut will determine if you need the additional water.
  • Place a cookie/biscuit cutter on the baking sheet. Add a few tablespoons of the batter and using the back of a spoon, press down until tight and compact. Carefully remove the cookie/biscuit cutter.
  • Repeat until all of the batter has been used.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden, rotating tray half way through cooking.
  • Note: When you remove from oven, they will appear to be soft. As they cool, they become very crispy.
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Reader Interactions


  1. I used to think that sago and tapioca pearls are the same, too, and I’d keep wondering how it is that bubble tea sellers have access to such huge tapioca pearls. I know better now 🙂 The cookies are highly unusual, as in, they use a combination of ingredients that you wouldn’t expect in a cookie, but the final product looks delicious. By the way, is the prep time really 15 hours or is that a typo?

  2. Add me to the guilty list of not knowing that sago and tapioca pearls are different. What a great recipe this is. I am a failure at cooking sago dishes. I can never make them the right consistency. This recipe should be right up my alley and hopefully I won’t mess up.

  3. Thats a unique recipe Mir and I appreciate and love how much you research before posting. Wealth of information on everything. I love the pictures.

  4. Baked these today, I found them too hard, especially the sago. Didn’t taste too bad would be better if a little salt is added, more fennel, replace the vanilla with cardomom.

3 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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