Monsoon is officially here in western India. After multiple forecasts of heavy showers and a no show by the clouds, it's cool, cloudy and wet everywhere. There's an earthy smell in the air and it's the perfect weather to enjoy nature at its best. It's the best season to head to the hills on the weekends to catch the waterfalls that suddenly spring up. Or if you’re at home, you can enjoy some warm food while watching it pour outside or if you're like me, whip up a quick and light dessert. In keeping with the cloudy color tones outside, I wanted to make something that would remind me of the clouds. I could've made cotton candy, but that’s not exactly what I was looking for. A healthy Panna Cotta was the next best thing I could think of. All of the ingredients of the "original" Panna Cotta are things us vegans choose not to eat and fortunately this dessert can be made so much healthier with easily available ingredients. When it’s ready, it is light with a mild lime flavour which still manages to overpower the coconut. So for those who don't like the strong coconut flavour, don't worry because you won't taste it.
Lime and Coconut Panna Cotta [Vegan]
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon agar agar powder
- 1/2 teaspoon lime extract
- 3 tablespoons or more agave nectar/ jaggery
- Lime zest
- Green food color (optional)
- Chopped pineapple or berries
- Dissolve the agar agar powder with 1/4 cup water in a saucepan. Let it stand for about 5 minutes. Warm the coconut milk in another saucepan.
- Put the saucepan with the dissolved agar agar over a low flame and stir continuously. When it comes to a boil, add in the warm coconut milk, rest of the water, lime essence, sugar, zest and colour. Stir till all the ingredients are incorporated. Taste it and add more sweetener if you desire.
- After 3 or 4 minutes take it off the stove and put it into small bowls to set. This usually sets at room temperature, but tastes better when it is cold. So let it set in the fridge for a while and serve cold with chopped pineapple, berries or some berry coulis if you like.