The simplest pudding you will ever make, but absolutely delicious.

The simplest pudding you will ever make, but absolutely delicious.

This pudding is very common in our hometown, specially made for occasions like Eid or Ramadan. It is so simple to make and there’s no exact recipe for it followed by all. There are only 3 ingredients to it: milk, sugar, and China Grass, and the quantity for each one is up to the maker.

Our mums and grandmums just add the China grass (or agar agar) little by little until they are satisfied. Some people prefer it firmer and some people prefer it barely set, so each one adds as much as they like. We fall into the latter camp, although even within the house there are differed opinions on which is better.

But don’t worry, I have managed to wrestle a workable recipe out of my mum and I’m sharing it with you!

Frequently Asked Questions About China Grass or Agar Agar

What is China Grass or Agar Agar?

China grass or Agar Agar is a jelly-like substance that is derived from red algae. Simply put, China grass or Agar Agar is the vegetarian version of gelatin. In the same manner that gelatin is used as a setting agent in puddings, pies, and other desserts, China grass gets you the same result.

What is the difference between China Grass and Agar Agar?

They are the same! China grass is often found in its natural dried form, which looks like stringy, transparent noodles, and Agar Agar is sold in packets of powder or flakes. Both of these can be used interchangeably. Just make sure to weigh whatever you use out in grams.

Where to buy China Grass or Agar Agar?

You can find China grass or agar agar in pretty much any supermarket! Here’s what they look like:

Agar Agar (left) and China Grass (right)

Does China Grass or Agar Agar need to be soaked before using?

Most places I’ve read online say this is a necessary step, but I can attest to the fact that every relative I have ever known has made this pudding for generations successfully without soaking the China grass first. I’m going to trust their expertise, and cut out an unnecessary step, and say no, you do not need to soak China grass or Agar Agar before using it in this recipe!

What are the ingredients needed to make China Grass Milk Pudding?
  • 1 liter of milk,
  • 7 grams China Grass or Agar Agar,
  • 400 grams of sugar,
  • food coloring of choice (optional),
  • raisins and cashews/almonds (optional)

You can use any of your favorite colors, but traditionally, we use pastel colors such as light pink, blue, or green. If you like, you can skip adding color and leave it as is – it would still be beautiful!

How to Make China Grass Milk Pudding?

As I said, this is the easiest pudding to make. Here’s how you make it:

  1. Heat the milk on the stovetop.
  2. Add the China grass and keep stirring until it melts.
  3. Add the sugar and keep stirring until it melts.
  4. Simmer the pudding mixture for at least 30 minutes, stirring once in a while to avoid burning.
  5. Add coloring, pour into serving cups, and garnish with raisins and nuts.
  6. Chill and serve!

This pudding is best when set in individual serving cups. Don’t pour the whole lot into a large dish, intending to cut pieces – it is too delicate and will fall apart! It is also best served straight out of the fridge.

Bonus: Watch that jiggle!

Here’s the step-by-step guide to making China Grass Milk Pudding at home

China Grass Milk Pudding Recipe

Prep Time: 0 min

Cook Time: 40 min

Serves: 8-10

Step 1: Make the pudding.

  • 1 liter of milk,
  • 7 grams China Grass or Agar Agar,
  • 250 grams of sugar,
  • Food coloring of choice (optional)
  1. Pour the milk into a saucepan and place it on the stove over a low flame.
  2. Add the Chinas grass and allow it to melt, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the sugar and allow it to melt, stirring constantly.
    Tip: Taste the mixture to see if the sweetness is up to your liking. You can add more sugar if you feel it needs it.
  4. Once the sugar melts, increase the heat to medium. Once it boils, turn the heat down and allow it to simmer for a minimum of 30 minutes, stirring regularly to avoid burning.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the food color, if you like.
    Tip: Separate the pudding mixture into 2-3 portions and make different colors of it.

Step 2: Set, garnish, and serve.

  • Raisins and cashews/almonds, to garnish
  1. Pour into individual serving cups and garnish with raisins and nuts.
  2. Refrigerate for a few hours until set.
  3. Serve chilled, straight from the fridge.
    Note: You can turn them out on a plate just before serving but don’t do it earlier or the pudding will start losing water.


– See the FAQ section above or click here for questions regarding China grass or Agar Agar.

Love simple desserts? Then these recipes may pique your interest:

Have you made this recipe? I would love to hear your feedback in the comments below! I would also love to hear your thoughts, questions, or doubts.

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