With the most major and vibrant festival of India round the corner the Indian blogosphere is buzzing with delicacies.Yes ,I am talking about the festival of colours Holi, the festival of sharing love, the festival of fun and frolic.The use of colours symbolises the prosperous and colourful spring after the winter. Its a joyous celebration of the rejuvenation of nature, of happiness and peaceful coexistence.
This festival overcomes the barrier of language, caste and creed and portrays love and brotherhood. Smearing of colours on each other's faces, throwing water filled balloons, dousing buckets of coloured water on each other, music, dance, loads of sweets and of course the Holi special Bhaang and Thandai is what this festival is all about.
Thandai is a very popular drink of North India served during Mahashivratri and Holi. Its a cold drink prepared from a mixture of almonds, watermelon seeds, fennel seeds, cardamom, pepper, vetiver seeds, rose petals, saffron, milk and sugar. Its taken in chilled form and is terrific when the temperatures soar and cools you down, as the name suggests. Thandai is available off the shelves in the form of powder or paste or else can be prepared at home and stored.
The 31st Foodie Monday Bloghop Theme is Thandai special and Fusion. I love the racking of my brains when the word fusion crops up in the food world. And after quite a bit of nerve wrecking thinking about what our guests would love to gorge on after playing Holi in the piercing, scorching
heat of Goa, I finally zeroed down on a chilled Yogurt Panna Cotta flavoured with Thandai with a rose syrup drizzle on top.Yogurt, Thandai and Rose, all have cooling properties and I am sure this platter of chilled dessert is going to soothe their system as well as give a stylish fusion touch to my Holi buffet table.
Panna Cotta is an Italian dessert prepared by cooking cream, sugar and gelatine. I have used Greek yogurt in the recipe with a little cream which gives a nice creamy texture to it and the addition of Thandai gives a spicy edge to it because of the pepper present in the Thandai and the cooling rose syrup imparts the desired amount of sweetness.The garnish of pistachios, almonds and saffron with fresh rose petals gives the Italian Panna Cotta a gorgeous Indian look. I have used store brought Thandai paste but for making at home, the best Thandai powder recipe is available in my talented friend Alka's Blog Culinary Xpress.
( serves 4,in small ramekins)
For the Panna Cotta
7 fl oz Cream
10 oz Greek Yogurt/ Hung Yogurt
3 Tbsp Fine Sugar
1 Tbsp Gelatine
1/4 C hot water
1/4 C Thandai Paste,store brought
For the Garnish
4 tbsp Rose Syrup ,store brought
A handful almonds and pistachios,chopped
A few strands of saffron
A few Fresh rose petals or dehydrated rose petals
- For the Panna Cotta mix the gelatin with the hot water properly till no lumps remain and keep aside.
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan gently heat the cream with sugar over low flame just enough for the sugar to dissolve, stirring all the time.
- Remove from heat and add the gelatin mixture and mix till incorporated, set aside for cooling for 10 mins.
- Meanwhile loosen the thick yogurt with a whisk in a bowl.
- Once cool add the cream mixture and the Thandai paste to the yogurt and whisk gently together.
- Now pour the cool creamy yogurt mix in ramekins evenly filling them up,cover them with cling film and refrigerate for 5-6 hours to set properly.
- For plating the Panna Cotta, dip each ramekin in warm water for a minute and invert it onto a serving plate .
- Add a few drops of water to the rose syrup if you feel it's very thick and drizzle on the Panna cotta.
- Serve garnished with slivered almonds,pistachios,saffron strands and rose petals.
This version of Panna Cotta can also be made in individual glasses, garnished and served.
Other than this fusion Panna Cotta I have Pomegranate Jelly and vanilla Yogurt Panna Cotta and Poached Peach and vanilla Panna Cotta recipes in my blog.
Enjoy the heavenly fusion dessert and a happy vibrant Holi to you all!