No Bake Desserts/ Recipes

Strawberry panna cotta and a kahani – almost classic

Updated with a note on gelatin in recipe section

Morning friends, hope you had a lovely weekend.  Morning is dull today, in fact weather here at N.Carolina is pretty much un predictable, but after the rains it looks so green and vibrant, air is cool and breezy. It rained yesterday, incessantly the whole day long but we enjoyed it, we watched three movies back to back,  gorged on homemade pizzas and relish on some tastiest dessert – strawberry Panna cotta which turns out almost classic.

strawberry panna cotta

Among the three movies that we watched, one was “Kahani” by Sujoy Ghosh, must say it is one of the best movie I have seen in recent years (in Bollywood), powerful, absorbing with a gripping storyline in the backdrop of modern and vintage Kolkata and yes I adore the infectious Durga puja aura in the city, red and white play of colors simply amused me. Chai, garma garm phulko luchi, lazy tram rides, Victoria memorial, traffic congestion, choking metro rides, yellow-black taxis, dingy lanes / by lanes, durga puja all played their part with such conviction that the city itself arise as a main protagonist in the kahani. Though the story starts by taking a cue from “the usual suspects” but it has able to retain its originality to a large extent, much relief to the cine goers like me where every Bollywood flick is copy of this and that International movie. So “kahani” acts much like a refresher. Nimboo pani ! any one !

The statutory warnings against smoking seems to be little out off place as now in India public smoking is banned but then may be the director chose to show how the law makers breaks and twist the laws as per their whims (or puffs), and smoking in front of a pregnant women may highlight the ruthlessness (read careless ness) of an IB agent.

For a change this thriller has no item songs or dance bars where our IB agents might have enjoyed some “sheela ki jawani” while exchanging some information from the informers but this time the poor informer chose to be a sculptor of Kumartuli who makes idols of Ma Durga. Some fresh ideas !
fresh strawberries
And when Agnes (HR of NDC) invited Vidya / Bidya to Mocambo, I thought both the ladies will now gorge down on the sumptuous lunch at Mocambo but alas that was for such a brief moment. Poor Vidya can’t relish on the “Devil’s crab” or “Chicken a la mocambo” leaving the scene with just a sketchy information. I understand Mocambo has an iconic status but then Flury’s would have much better option, both the ladies can gorge down on some delicious cakes, pastries and can exchange info over some Lipton tea, given that our protagonist is a pregnant women, she needs to eat more, just drinking water wont help much, okay I know she was faking the pregnancy but then faking should have that realistic appeal too.

And don’t forget the LIC (life insuarance) agent “Bob Biswas” who do the double duty as a contract killer, what an ironical way of portraying the characters, so next time beware of your LIC agents too 😀 And the archaic lift through which he came and shot poor old Agnes excellently portrays the complexities of modern-day Kolkata in the vintage backdrop. In short “Kahani “ belongs to those rare breed of Indian Cinema with near perfect execution. A good story has been told with somewhat clumsy climax (justifying the Vidya’s motives) and A Must Watch !
strawberry panna cotta
And in all these fuss of thrilling moments I almost forget to mention my strawberry panna cotta which again has very fancy name but ridiculously simple to make only if you know your way thorough the nuisances of gelatine or agar-agar. So if you have not used gelatin or agar-agar before, first make something simple like jelly (by jello) and then only proceed to make the panna cotta. It will be then a smooth and silky ride for you.

For a perfect Pann cotta you can always refer to the recipe here.

Strawberry panna cotta and a kahani - almost classic
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Simple strawberry panna cotta which turns out almost classic
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 2
  • Strawberry puree (strained) : ¾ cup
  • Heavy cream or half and half : 1 cup
  • Unflavored gelatin : 1 tsp
  • Sugar : ¼ cup or as per taste
  • Milk : 2 tbsp
  • Fresh strawberries to garnish
  1. In a cold milk, sprinkle the gelatin and keep it for 10 minutes until the gelatin become soft .
  2. Dissolve the sugar in strained strawberry puree and keep it aside.
  3. In a heavy bottom pan, pour the heavy cream or you can use half and half too, heat it on low to medium heat.
  4. Dont let the cream bubble.
  5. Once the cream is evenly heated, add the gelatin and gently stir it till the gelatin dissolve completely.
  6. You can do this step while keeping the pan on lowest heat .
  7. Take off the pan from the heat and stir in the strawberry puree (which must be strained).
  8. Mix them gently and pour on your dessert bowl and chilled in the refrigerator until set.
  9. This may take from 4- 6 hours, so better to keep it overnight.
  10. Serve the strawberry panna cotta simply garnish with some fresh strawberries or with some compote or syrup as you may wish to.
I prefer simple panna cotta but you can serve it with compote or any sauce you wish to.

This is in response to the readers queries:

Gelatin : Gelatins are essentially animal protein derives from the collagen present in skin and bones and contains peptides and proteins which when mixed with water helps to form gel like substances. In USA most of the gelatin is derived from pigs.

People with religious restrictions or vegans can go for plant based gelatin like Agar – agar and carrageenan, both are seaweeds, in some countries this also known as Japanese gelatin and pectin which is extracted mostly from citrus fruits.

However, different types of gelatin (plant / animal) base sets at different temperature, agar-agar sets at higher temperature than animal gelatin. So always test the gelatin before uses in a recipe.

And ratio and proportion of gelatin to the ingredients in the recipe also matters. If you are in doubt, then use the entire or half packet of gelatin for 2 cups of milk or cream. With more trial and error you will be able to nail down the exact ratio.

Enjoy !!! and Have a sunny day, because we don’t have and do forgive me for intermixing the movie review with food, but hey I do mention the food in the movie too. 😉


This post is also linked to Radhika’s Chilled delights.


  • Reply
    April 23, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    yes thats an awesome movie. after 5 years we finally managed to go to a PVR to watch it as a couple. loved every bit of the experience…now I can see someone being nostalgic for Kolkata food too.
    the pannacotta looks declicious. I tried this once and failed badly. most probably the gelatine here was not upto the mark. you nailed the ratio.

  • Reply
    April 24, 2012 at 12:33 am

    awesome pannacotta. and superb clicks.. Yes, I loved Kahaani too !! I have never worked with Gelatin before, but this seems too simple and yummy to pass … bookmarking this, Sukanya !!

    Sizzling Tastebuds
    Event : Pickles & Preserves Fest + Giveaway
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  • Reply
    April 24, 2012 at 1:54 am

    I am yet to come across a good mordern day film like kahaani. Each and every character was good to watch. And that Bob Biswas was haunting me;-) Perfect looking absolutely delicious….last click ta darun hoyeche

    Hamaree Rasoi

  • Reply
    April 24, 2012 at 2:54 am

    Oh what a gorgeous recipe! It looks so smooth and decadent 🙂

  • Reply
    April 24, 2012 at 3:07 am

    Even I want to watch tHis movie ,,,pan cotta looks yum..

  • Reply
    April 24, 2012 at 3:37 am

    A perfect summer dish. I love the colours, Sukanya. 🙂

  • Reply
    April 24, 2012 at 6:10 am

    Sukanya, any substitute for gelatin?? Not so easily available here.
    How bout strawberry jelly?

    • Reply
      April 24, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      I have updated the post with a note on gelatin, hope it will help you.
      Agar-agar, pectin and carrageenan are all plant and fruit based substitute for gelatin. Strawberry jelly does contain pectin but it also contains other compounds and enzymes so I dont think that will help much. Though I havnt tried it.

  • Reply
    April 24, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Mindblowing and super irresistible pannacotta..stunning clicks!

  • Reply
    Saraswathi Iyer
    April 25, 2012 at 1:11 am

    Looks tempting and delicious.

  • Reply
    April 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Looks absolutely divine..!

  • Reply
    Vicki @ WITK
    April 29, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    You made me want to go online and rent that movie, it sounds so interesting! Your strawberry panna cotta looks delicious. It’s perfect for this time of the year!

  • Reply
    May 3, 2012 at 11:51 am

    panna cotta is made perfectly. love it

  • Reply
    BArbaros HAyrettin
    August 1, 2013 at 4:42 am

    I tried this recipe. Turned out to be totally tasteless. Proposed gelatin amount is too much. Resulting texture=hard boiled egg white with sugar. ewww

    • Reply
      August 1, 2013 at 9:41 am

      Oh my my ! What I have done ? Thank you so much for pointing out the error. Gelatin in the recipe should be 1 tsp. The texture of the pannacotta definitely should not be like hard boiled egg 🙂 but smooth and silky as shown in the picture.
      I have corrected the error. Thanks for trying out the recipe and am so sorry that because of this error, your dish turned out not good. My sincere apologies.


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