This recipe was born out of having to improvise during the COVID-19 lock down. The house-mates wanted Sunday dessert, but I was in a bit of a sloth mood. Eventually, I decided to make panna cotta – a quick, no bake, easy option. Checked the pantry for a tetra-pack of cream and vanilla essence, only to find that we were out of both! Checked the fridge, thinking maybe we could have fruit instead.. but then decided on a little experiment. What if I replaced cream with coconut milk, and substituted Lime for vanilla? Am pleased to report that the experiment was a success.
Recipe: Coconut & Green Lime Panna Cotta
- A saucepan
- A microplane or fine grater
- 1 cup Coconut Milk
- 1/4th cup Milk
- 2 tsp Gelatin / Agar Agar (for a vegan version)
- 1/8th cup Sugar
- 1 Large Lime
- The best bit about this dessert is that it requires only 5 simple ingredients1 and an active cooking time of no more than 20 mins.
- Pour the quarter cup of cold milk into a bowl and sprinkle the gelatin / agar agar over the surface. Allow this to rest for about 10 mins so that the gelatin / agar agar softens.
- While the gelatin soaks in the milk, warm the coconut milk and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Stir gently, so that all the sugar dissolves completely. Turn the heat off when you see small bubbles forming on the sides2.
- Add the softened gelatin / agar agar to the warm coconut milk and stir until all the gelatin is dissolved.
- Now, using a microplane or fine grater, grate the rind off the lime right into the coconut milk3.
- Transfer the mixture into serving glasses or bowls, cover the tops with cling film and refrigerate for 8 hours, or freeze for 2 hours4 before serving.
- Decorating5 your Coconut Milk panna cotta is totally optional; use fruits / edible flowers or any other toppings of your choice.
1Here’s a snapshot of the ingredients:
2Coconut milk, if cooked on high heat, tends to split. Keep the flame low!
3This part is a bit tricky. Make sure to only grate off the outter yellow/green bits of the lime; be gentle. The underlying white bit of the lime rind is quite bitter and can be unpleasant.
4The best results I’ve had are with chilling the cups of coconut milk panna cotta overnight (roughly 8 hours). But you could try this with 4 – 6 hrs of chilling in the fridge or stash the glasses in the freezer for about 2 hours.
5Used some candied lime slices, bits of musk melon and coriander flowers, that were on hand, to decorate. A few other toppings that might work are finely chopped mint & mango, passion fruit or pineapple.
Give this a shot if coconut-y delights are your thing, and let me know how it goes in the comments below. 🖖