Rose, Saffron and Pandan Panna Cotta

February 26, 2018mayurisjikoni

Happy Holi

   I’m not going to go into why Holi is celebrated as I’ve already mentioned that in my other Holi posts. However, I still believe that everyone can enjoy a more environmentally friendly Holi by not using artificial colors. Not only do those awful reds, blues, greens and yellows not come off our skin and hair for days but it affects the plants, makes the roads look messy and dirty. Its also a waste of water which is fast becoming even more precious than any metal on earth. At the same time please please please leave your pets out of this celebration. A hug should suffice and not coloring the poor creature’s fur with all sorts of colors! 

   When I was growing up in Nairobi we went to the ceremony where a huge bonfire or pyre is burnt which signifies the power of Bhakti(faith).We would throw some millet or sorghum, sesame seeds and a coconut into the fire. After the bonfire or pyre dies, we would be given some popped sorghum (jowar) and the burnt coconut as prasad. We’d be so happy to get tiny popcorns and warm coconut flesh.  Next day was like a normal day. Its nowadays that we have groups of people getting together to play with colors. Previously it was just small amounts of colors that were used and people respectfully just colored each other on the cheeks or applied a tilak. Nowadays its like who can get the most colour on them and in the process people get hurt, clothes get torn. I seen people rub their eyes as they’ve got too much colour in them and kids have drunk the colored water by mistake. Surely there are safer ways to enjoy Holi.

   I celebrate Holi by making delicious food. Here’s one more fusion Holi dish which I’ve prepared for FoodieMonday/Bloghop’s #133th theme which is #HoliOnMyPlatter. We could either prepare a traditional Holi dish or a colorful one. I decided to prepare colorful panna cotta. During my recent visit to Bali, my son had bought me a bottle of pandan essence. I wanted to use that so thought of  tricolored panna cotta. For the pink layer I used rose syrup, the one we usually use to make rose milk.  For the yellow colour I used saffron but after adding it to the creamy mixture, the color became really pale. However, there’s been no comprise on the taste. Each spoonful had 3 flavors and they actually complimented each other. 

Serves 4

400 ml(2 cups) fresh cream 
200 ml (1cup) milk 
2-3 tbsp sugar, honey or any natural sweetener
2 tbsp rose syrup ( I used Dabur brand)
6-7 strands of saffron
2 tbsp hot milk
3 tbsp agar agar flakes (or 3 tsp agar agar powder)
1-2 drops of pandan essence (I used koepoe koepoe brand)

Hot water

For topping:
a few strands of saffron
1 tbsp pistachio slivers
a few edible rose petals

  1. Soak the saffron in hot milk for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Add 1 cup milk and cream into a pan.
  3. Place the pan over medium heat.
  4. Mix the cream and milk mixture till it becomes hot.
  5. Add the agar agar flakes and keep on stirring till the flakes dissolve.
  6. Add sugar or honey and stir well.Take the mixture off the heat.
  7. Divide it into 3 parts. Put the mixture in heat proof containers or jugs.
  8. To one part add the saffron milk and mix well.
  9. To the second part add the rose syrup and mix well.
  10. To the third part add the pandan essence and mix well.
  11. Take 4 small glasses or bowls.
  12. Fill all glasses ⅓ of the way with one colour pan cotta mixture or use different colors.
  13. Put the glasses in the freezer for about 15 minutes for the 1st layer to set. 
  14. In the meantime keep the remaining liquids warm by placing the containers in a hot bath. (I used a tray filled with hot water)
  15. Remove the glasses from the freezer. Add the second layer. Pour the mixture over an inverted spoon so that it does not break the first layer. 
  16. Return the glasses in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  17. Place the remaining mixture with its containers in the hot bath. Heat the water again if it has become cold.
  18. Add the final layer and let the panna cotta set in the fridge. 
  19. Before serving sprinkle some pistachios, saffron and rose petals on the top.
  • My saffron layer did not come out deep yellow as I did not add any artificial coloring. You may add egg yolk colour if you want.
  • Use rose syrup of your choice.
  • If you want to use gelatin then use 3 tsp. Soak it in cold water for 10 minutes before adding to the hot cream and milk mixture. 
You may want to check out my other Holi Recipes:

Kuzhi Paniyaram
Thandai Malpua with Strawberry Compote

Sending this recipe to the following event:



  • Kriti Singhal

    February 26, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    What a beautiful treat .. Loved it Di! This surely gives a clear glimpse of colors of holi as well as hot summers ahead… Will try for sure!

  • Priya Suresh

    February 26, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    Stunning pannacotta and this dessert looks absolutely ultimate. Those mild colour of this dessert will definitely brings the romantic atmosphere for the sure.

  • Poonam Bachhav

    February 26, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    The tricolor Panna cotta looks so delightful di.. beautifully colored making it a perfect Holi treat !

  • Priya Iyer

    February 26, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    So beautiful and colourful! 🙂

  • Sharmila- The Happie Friends Potpourri corner

    February 26, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    Awesome they are.. Cant stop starring at those yummy panacotta.. Love them..

  • Vanitha Bhat

    February 26, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    Lovely colors and flavors! I totally agree; no artificial colors ever! Happy Holi to you and your family 🙂 🙂

  • Shobha

    February 26, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    I usually dislike sweets but pannna cotta is one dessert I love to eat. Lovely pastel shades and flavours must be awesome.

  • sushma

    February 27, 2018 at 12:08 am

    Awesome dish, looks beautiful.

  • Drashti Dholakia

    February 27, 2018 at 2:59 am

    Beautiful and colourful dessert. I loved the combination of colours. Perfect treat for Holi


    February 27, 2018 at 4:59 am

    What delicious looking Panna Cotta!I so love those beautiful glasses.they are so cute

  • Aruna

    February 27, 2018 at 5:53 am

    Except for the bonfire, I do not look forward to any part of Holi celebrations. 😀
    Oops, I forgot the food. I loved how you have incorporated the Holi colours into this silky Panacotta.

  • Masala Chilli

    February 27, 2018 at 6:14 am

    Firstly, the pannacotta look absolutely lovely and so fit for the theme. Great colours, flavours and eggless too. What I liked most was the write up and how Holi has changed over times. I share the same feelings. Growing up what seemed to be fun and frolic has now turned into something else where the essence of the festival is lost. People get drunk and high on Holi instead of celebrating it being sober. Water wastage is absolute pity. Hopefully things will change and people behave in a way that saves the environment and its resources, before everything we have is gone one day!

  • Rafeeda AR

    February 27, 2018 at 9:51 am

    I haven't seen such a beautiful dessert in the near future… the colors compliment them so well and since you say that the flavors too, I am sure… rose and saffron is a winner for me anytime! Just looks gorgeous…

  • priya satheesh

    February 27, 2018 at 10:43 am

    It is so hot here and feel like having this delicious pannacotta now. Absolute feast for our eyes and lovely colour.. so divine !

  • Ruchi's Veg Kitchen

    February 27, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Wow beautiful pannacotta… So delicious. Superb

  • Nivedita Thadani

    February 27, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Holi hai bhai holi hai. Perfect serving on holi day and even holiday.
    Happy holi dear.

  • Pavani N

    February 27, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Mayuri, this is such a pretty looking dessert. Looks so colorful and absolutely delicious — perfect for Holi.

  • Sujitha Ruban

    February 27, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    These colours are very pleasant and attractive Mayrui.. Perfect for Holi..

  • Vanitha

    February 27, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Beautiful colors and flavors; love the layering!! Awesome share; must try this one soon 🙂

  • Sujata Roy

    February 27, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    So beautiful and colourful treat. Perfect for holi celebrations 👌👌

  • Sapana Behl

    February 27, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Such a beautiful and colorful panacotta. I am imagining all the flavors just by looking at the pics.

  • Nayna Kanabar

    February 27, 2018 at 9:05 pm

    This dessert looks so very pretty and delectable. I am drooling over the photos which are gorgeous.

  • Jagruti Dhanecha

    February 27, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    Perfect and colourful dessert for Holi celebrations, I have never used pandan flavours in anything, intriguing!

  • Sonal Gupta

    February 28, 2018 at 3:16 am

    nice colorful recipe representing the colors of holi… just amazing

  • waagmi Soni

    February 28, 2018 at 10:17 am

    The pana cotta looks so delicious and inviting dee:) lovely post

  • Bhawana Singh

    February 28, 2018 at 10:18 am

    rose saffron pannna cotta looking absolutely stunning and so inviting. Wish if I could have got them out of my screen. Beautiful clicks u have taken.

  • jayashree

    February 28, 2018 at 10:32 am

    Love those colours, they are so pleasing. Ideal panacotta for the season. Happy Holi

  • Swati Goyal

    March 1, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    What a beautiful looking panacotta this is,perfect or the Holi festival

  • Nisha Ramesh

    March 2, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    The mix of colours, all three are fantastic and it is so festive. A very interesting recipe.

  • seema doraiswamy

    March 6, 2018 at 6:19 am

    Lovely colours. so festive, i am going to try this on the next upcoming birthday this week.

  • Preethi Prasad

    March 18, 2018 at 4:30 am

    Colourful and flavourful panna cotta so beatifully presented. I am sure it tasted delish

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