Friday, February 14, 2014

Masala Dudh & Fresh Strawberry PannaCotta (Veg)

Today is Valentines Day - well, its the day of love and hearts - Its a day of red and pink overdose. Come to think of it........ why should we celebrate love only on one day???? Why cannot everyday be a celebration of love???? 
Well, Valentines Day has no particular significance at our place - According to my hubby........ everyday is Valentines Day if we can make it happen - and I agree with him.
Well - everyone was making something special for Valentines Day - and I wanted to try this dessert for ages. So, took the opportunity and made it. Very happy with the way it turned out. Hubby is not a great fan of milk based desserts - the only one he likes is rasgullas. Even he gave me a thumbs-up for this.
I remember as a kid we used to get these packets called 'china grass' - there were various flavors available - pista, chocolate, strawberry, mango. kesar, elaichi and many more. I used to love the milk jelly - yes, thats what we called it.
After I started cooking, I found out that china grass is actually 'agar agar' a veg substitute for gelatin and is used to make vegetarian jelly, pannacotta and many other such desserts. It is actually a seaweed used in Southeast Asian cuisine. That is what I have used in this too. Makes it fully vegetarian.


9 strawberries
6 tablespoons sugar - divided (add more if you want it more sweet or less if you want it less sweet)
1 cup water
1 & 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
1 tablespoon dudh (milk) masala (I used Everest)
7 grams agar-agar flakes


Quarter the strawberries and add 2 tablespoons of sugar to it. Let it sit for about an hour. In the meantime, bring the 1 cup water to a boil and add the agar agar to it. You have to be patient as the agar agar will take some time to get completely dissolved - almost 15 minutes. Once it is dissolved, you will get a nice liquid without any particles. Keep this aside. In another saucepan, add the milk and the remaining 4 tablespoons of  sugar and bring it to a boil. To this, add the dudh masala and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
Now, back to the strawberries - In the one hour that the strawberries were left with the sugar, they will have released some water and the sugar gets dissolved. Grind this into a fine paste and set aside.
Now divide the agar agar solution into 1/4th cup and 3/4th cup. Add the 1/4th cup to the strawberry mixture and mix well - add the 3/4th cup to the milk mixture and mix well.
Now to assemble them - I had used 4 medium sized ramekins - you can use small ramekins too or you can even use a silicon mold which has those beautiful flower or any other designs. I am still awaiting my silicon mold, thanks to the weather - its taking its own sweet time coming to me. Here is the link - Rose Mold
Add the milk mixture about 1/2 of the ramekin/mold. Let it set for about 15 to 20 minutes at room temperature and then in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes. Now add the strawberry mixture to the top of the milk mixture - just to form a small thin layer, about 1/4th inch. Now let it set in the refrigerator for about 3 to 4 hours.
Before serving, dip the bowl in some hot water, then run a knife along the edge of the pudding/pannacotta and invert onto a plate. And enjoy this yummy goodness.


Manasi said...

I used to love china Grass as a child, but now I find the store brought packets a tad too sweet for me.
It's make at home now.
Love the idea of using milk masala.

Manjula Bharath said...

wow very innovative panna cotta with yummy combo :) looks fantastic !!

Samta said...

I so agree with you on the sweet part. Funny that we find the store bought chips a tad bit too salty for our taste too.

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