Looking for a sumptuous dessert to serve to your guests this Holi? Then nothing better than Thandai Panna cotta!

Thandai Panna cotta is a wonderful fusion dessert where Indian Thandai meets Italian Pannacotta and hence becomes Thandai Pannacotta. It is bursting with the flavours of Thandai in the smooth silky cream which is set using agar.

Since they are meeting at the festival of colours, Holi, so an array of colours is there to celebrate their meeting.


Panna Cotta Agar Agar In Indian Flavour

Thandai Panna Cotta without gelatin
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Thandai Panna Cotta Dessert for Holi

Thandai & Holi

Thandai is a summer drink with all the ingredients which have a cooling effect on the body. But still, the moment you name Thandai, the festival of colors, Holi, pops up.

So, for the Blogging Marathon’s Festival theme while I was thinking as to what to post, after Dahi Vada and Kanji Vada, the obvious choice was Thandai. But I have already shared the Thandai recipe in the past. So, after a bit of brainstorming, I decided to make this Thandai Panna cotta.

I settled for Thandai Panna Cotta for many other reasons too.

You can also treat your loved ones with Thandai Kulfi which can be easily prepared a few days in advance too.


What Is Panna Cotta?

Panna Cotta is an Italian dessert meaning cooked cream. For making Panna Cotta, the cream is cooked on slow heat for about 5 minutes or till bubbling around the edges. It is then thickened with some setting agent like gelatin 

But today, we are making Panna cotta without gelatin and using Agar-agar, which is nothing but vegetarian gelatin.

What is Agar Agar

  • Agar is also known as agar-agar or china grass or kanten.
  • Unlike gelatin, Agar is a vegetarian product and is also known as ‘ vegetarian gelatin’
  • Agar is derived from algae and is used to gel many food products, such as puddings, desserts, jelly candy, soups, sauces, and more.
  • Being plant-based, agar is 80% fibre without any fat or protein.
  • It comes in different forms, namely, strands, grass, powder, etc.
  • Agar is stronger than gelatin. Unlike gelatin, agar sets beautifully at room temperature also. Thus refrigeration is not required.
  • Since it has a high melting point, therefore, it is first added to a liquid and then needs to be boiled for 2 to 3 minutes to activate it. If added without boiling then the jelly or pannacotta will not set.
  • Sets at room temperature. But return to its liquid state when reheated
  • The correct proportion of agar is very important. If added less, the pudding will not set. If added more then the pudding will be hard. 


A Perfect Party Dessert

Apart from Holi, you can serve it anytime to anyone. It is an excellent party dessert that can be easily prepared ahead of time. I have set these to be apt for individual servings but you can set it one big bowl also. The flavours are very much Indian, so it is best to serve this with nuts only. Though you can use fruit coulis also.

And if you are wondering as to what is Thandai, then, Thandai is actually prepared with a mixture of milk, nuts, seeds and spices, flavoured with rose water or kewra water. It is therefore considered to be God’s drink also and hence similar to nectar. It is a drink that cools and refreshes not only our body but also our minds. You can read more about it in my Thandai recipe post.


Why You Will Love This Recipe


 Step by Step Recipe

  • Heat milk and heavy cream


Mix in thandai powder, saffron and rose petals


Prepare Agat Solution


Set Thandai Panna Cotta in moulds


Thandai Panna Cotta Dessert



Q) Can I make this with dairy cream?

Heavy cream gives the best results but you can use Amul or Nestle cream also. In that case, be careful while cooking the cream seeing that it is not overcooked as it may curdle then.

Q) What to use if I do not have Thandai Powder?

Though Thandai powder can be made easily by using this recipe. But still, in place of this, you can use readymade Thandai syrup (but remember that it is loaded with sugar).

Q) Is Agar and Agar Agar same?

Yes. In fact, it is also known as China grass or Kanten.



Let’s Connect

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you have liked this easy Thandai Panna cotta recipe.

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Thandai Panna Cotta With Agar Agar

A wonderful fusion of Indian Thandai with Italian Panna Cotta. It is bursting with the flavours of thandai in the smooth silky cream.
Cook Time 10 minutes
Setting Time 2 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine Fusion


My 1 Cup Measures 240 ml

  • 1 Cup 240 ml Milk
  • 1 Cup 240 ml Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tsp Thandai Powder
  • 10-12 Strands Saffron Optional
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Rose Petals Optional
  • 2 Tsp Agar Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • For Garnishing
  • 2 Tbsp Dried Rose Petals
  • 2 Tbsp Slivered Almonds Pistachios etc
  • Mocktail Syrups Optional


  • Take milk and heavy cream in a pot.
  • Add Thandai powder, saffron milk and rose petals. Heat it for 4 to 5 minutes on medium flame till it starts bubbling around the edges.
  • Simultaneously, take 1/2 cup water and mix agar powder on it. Heat it on low flame for 3 to 4 minutes. Soon, it will be transparent. Just give it a final boil and switch off the flame. Ensure that it is dissolved completely and there are no tiny granules left undissolved.
  • Add hot agar solution to the hot cream mix passing through a sieve. Heat it for a minute or two and then switch off the flame.
  • Add honey and mix it nicely.
  • Arrange ramekins or moulds in a tray. You may use silicon or glass or aluminum or steel moulds. Can even use a steel bowl used in day-to-day cooking. Grease these with a brush and put the above mix in these.
  • You may now keep these in the refrigerator otherwise these will set within half an hour at room temperature only.
  • After about 2 hours, take the bowl out, run a knife around the edges. Put a plate on it and invert it. The pannacotta will slide on the plate. If, by chance, it doesn’t, then put the bowl in warm water for 30 seconds or so and then invert i
  • Decorate with dried rose petals or chopped nuts or mocktail syrups.


  1. Heavy whipping cream is preferred. But if you are using Amul/Nestle cream then take care that it is not overcooked as then there are chances of its curdling.
  2. Saffron milk and rose petals are added just for additional flavourings and can be easily avoided.
  3. Honey can be easily replaced with sugar or jaggery.
  4. Add 3 tbsp sugar in the milk and cream mix and heat it till sugar dissolves completely.
  5. If using jaggery powder then mix 3 tbsp of it in milk and churn it in mixie so that it dissolves fully. Then add cream and proceed by heating the mix together.
  6. I have used homemade Thandai powder. Check the recipe for the same here.
  7. In case, agar solution sets before you pour it into the cream then do not panic. Heat it again and soon it will be liquidy.
Keyword How To Make Panna Cotta, Panna cotta recipe without Gelatin

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#98

17 Responses

  1. That is a super interesting dessert for Holi. I love to create fusion desserts mainly with Indian flavours. This one is one of the delicious flavourful recipes I have come across.

  2. I would say an awesome fusion. Thandai and panacotta, yum. Wish I would have seen this before holi, but I can always make one be it holi or not 😀 😀

  3. OMG!!!! can imagine the flavors in this pannacotta! a true fusion dessert!! Looks delicious dear!

    1. Ma’am would love to try this recipe..could you please tell me which heavy cream you have use…is it the red amul pack ?

      1. Hi, Heavy cream is suggested as it doesn’t curdle easily when heated. You can use red Amul pack or even the regular Amul cream 200 g pack.

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