Rose, Saffron and Pandan Panna Cotta
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.
ROSE,SAFFRON AND PANDAN PANNA COTTA
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)
a few strands of saffron
1 tbsp pistachio slivers
a few edible rose petals
- Soak the saffron in hot milk for 20-30 minutes.
- Add 1 cup milk and cream into a pan.
- Place the pan over medium heat.
- Mix the cream and milk mixture till it becomes hot.
- Add the agar agar flakes and keep on stirring till the flakes dissolve.
- Add sugar or honey and stir well.Take the mixture off the heat.
- Divide it into 3 parts. Put the mixture in heat proof containers or jugs.
- To one part add the saffron milk and mix well.
- To the second part add the rose syrup and mix well.
- To the third part add the pandan essence and mix well.
- Take 4 small glasses or bowls.
- Fill all glasses ⅓ of the way with one colour pan cotta mixture or use different colors.
- Put the glasses in the freezer for about 15 minutes for the 1st layer to set.
- In the meantime keep the remaining liquids warm by placing the containers in a hot bath. (I used a tray filled with hot water)
- 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.
- Return the glasses in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Place the remaining mixture with its containers in the hot bath. Heat the water again if it has become cold.
- Add the final layer and let the panna cotta set in the fridge.
- 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.
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