All posts by alakanandas

Layered Mango Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta is a popular Italian dessert which means “cooked cream”. It is easy to make and the process involves no complications that are usually associated with making desserts. All you need to make panna cotta is a setting agent, lots of time and a whole lot of love!

Mangoes are the seasonal delights during Indian summers. So I set out to make this mango panna cotta which has  a layer of mango and a layer of panna cotta. The setting agent I have used is gelatin powder (easily available in supermarkets). This dessert sets by a combination of the gelatin and refrigeration. Do plan for it keeping this in mind. Now let’s see how to make this.

Layered Mango Panna Cotta

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: medium
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For the mango layer

  1. 3 medium-sized mangoes
  2. 1 1/2 tbsp. of unflavoured gelatin powder
  3. sugar as required
  4. warm water

For the panna cotta

  1. 250 ml milk
  2. 250 ml cream (Amul cream works fine)
  3. sugar as required
  4. 2 tbsp. of unflavoured gelatin powder
  5. 2-3 tsp of vanilla essence
  6. a pinch of salt
  7. 4-5 moulds/glasses for setting the panna cotta


The main thing to remember is you need lots of time for this dessert. Make sure the mangoes are sweet and juicy to avoid adding too much sugar

Step 1: Prepare the mango layer

Heat a little water and when warm add the gelatin powder to it and mix with a spoon. Set aside. Extract the pulp of the mangoes with a spoon and puree in a blender. Add a little sugar if required. Add the dissolved gelatin to this mango puree.

Now this mango puree-gelatin mixture has to be poured into the moulds for setting. I have used glasses and tilted them for an interesting twist (see image below). To do this, I balanced each glass in a tea cup at an angle. Then I poured the mango mixture till it fills half of each glass.

Once the puree is equally divided into the moulds/glasses, place the assembly on a tray (flat surface) and pop them into the fridge for setting.

This mango mixture will take 2-2.5 hrs to set in the fridge.


Step 2: Panna Cotta

Once the mango layer is set or almost set, we start making the actual panna cotta layer.

Start by heating a small amount of water and adding the gelatin powder to it when warm. Mix and set aside.

In a deep bottom pan/saucepan heat the milk. In a separate bowl pour all the cream and give it a quick whisk to remove lumps. To the milk, add this cream while stirring. Add the sugar (as per taste), the dissolved gelatin and the vanilla essence. Add a pinch of salt. Keep stirring till the mixture comes to a boil and thickens slightly. Remove from heat and keep it aside to cool down.

Once it is cooled, pour it into the moulds/glasses to fill them till the brim. Put the mould/glass assembly back into the fridge to set for another 2-3 hours.


Step 3: Garnish and serve

Once both the mango and panna cotta layer are firmly set, its time to serve. If you are using moulds, you can unmould the panna cotta onto a plate or you can serve directly in the glasses.

Chop some mango into little cubes. Top the layered panna cotta with the mango cubes and a drizzle of honey (optional).

Your panna cotta is ready!!

This is an easy to make set and frozen dessert with minimal ingredients. It tastes creamy and delicious with a hint of the fruit used.

Some Tips

  1. If the cream appears to be too thick (Amul cream for e.g.), mix two spoons of the heated milk to loosen it before adding to the pan
  2. You can set this in the fridge overnight if planning for the next day
  3. Garnish with berries or pomegranates for the pop of colour
  4. If you are serving on a plate, unmould the panna cotta by dipping the mould in warm water for a few seconds. The panna cotta should have a silky surface and a slight wobble!



Chicken Tikka Skewers

Are you scouring the internet for the perfect pre dinner snack recipe? These chicken tikka skewers are going to be your friend. So simple, so easy and so yummy!

Ideally you require an oven/grill to make these. This recipe however is the simple one with no fancy ingredients or equipment. All you need are everyday kitchen ingredients and a stove top tawa and the skewers ofcourse! You can also replace the chicken with paneer or plain veggies for vegetarian varieties. Read on to make these beauties tonight.

Easy Chicken Tikka Skewers

  • Difficulty: Easy
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  1. Chicken breast boneless  [300gm]
  2. Onion [1], Capsicum [1], Tomato [1]
  3. Refined oil
  4. Curd – 1 cup
  5. Lemon Juice – 1/2 lemon
  6. Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  7. Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  8. Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  9. Kashmiri red chilli powder – 1 tsp (for colour)
  10. Black pepper powder – 1 tsp (preferably freshly ground)
  11. Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
  12. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  13.  Salt to taste
  14. Pinch of kasuri methi (optional)
  15. 6-10 bamboo skewers


The first step in this recipe is to soak the bamboo skewers in water. This is done so that they dont get burnt while cooking. Set aside the bamboo skewers to soak in water in a long neck bottle or a tray for 15-20 mins. Now let’s get on with the chicken tikka.

Step 1: Prep and marinate

Cut the chicken breasts into bite-size roughly cube shaped pieces. Dice the onion and capsicum into quarters or eighths to match the size of the chicken pieces. Cut the tomato, take out the seeds and slice into quarters.

Combine in a wide bowl, ingredients #4 to #13 for making the marinade. Mix together curd, lemon juice, ginger garlic paste and all spice powders in the bowl. Add a few drops of oil. Whisk the mix (or mix it thoroughly with your hand) to ensure no lumps. Alternatively you can mix the ingredients in a blender jar.

The final marinade should be a reddish orange colour and free of lumps. Add kashmiri chilli powder/turmeric powder to adjust the colour.  Taste the marinade to check salt and adjust accordingly.Some of us like it more spicier while some may like the marinade to be tangier. Adjust the marinade according to your taste.

Once the marinade is ready , dip the chicken pieces and diced vegetables in the marinade so that they are completely covered by the marinade mixture. Cover the bowl with a lid or foil and place it in the fridge for 30 mins to 2 hrs. Note that the longer it marinates the tastier it will be.

If you are in a hurry, leave it for 30 to 45 mins in the fridge while you fix drinks for your friends!

Step 2: Cooking the tikka

Take the marinade bowl out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature. Line up your bamboo skewers on the chopping board or a tray.  Depending on the length of your skewers,  thread 3 -4 chicken pieces with alternate vegetables in each skewer. Leave about 1.5 inch free at both ends of the skewer. This is for holding the skewers while turning them.

Heat a tawa (non-stick is preferrable) and add about a tbsp of oil. Spread the oil evenly on the tawa. Place 4-5 skewers on the tawa, depending on the size of your tawa and let the outer edges of the chicken and veggies char till they get a nice charry colour and smell.

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Turn them regularly to cook all the sides evenly. Add drops of oil as required. Once you get the char, reduce the heat, and cover it with a lid/kadhai. Cook till the chicken is tender and all the sides are charred to your satisfaction. Your chicken tikka skewers are ready!

Serve the chicken tikka skewers with freshly cut onion rings and lemon wedges. 

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This is a simple yet delicious recipe for a party starter or evening snacks. You can use this on the pre-dinner menu and try out the vegetarian options with paneer. Add a twist by introducing mushrooms/pineapples in your skewers. Serve with a pudina dip, spicy mayonnaise or a simple salad.