Vanilla and Sweet Basil seed Panacotta with Mango base

‘Panna cotta’ (Italian) means “cooked cream”. A basic recipe of cream, cooked with sugar and eggs has been modified and ‘Indianified’ in infinite ways to suit our variety loving palates. My simple variation in this, along with pairing with mango is adding basil seeds/Sabja. Basil seeds/ sabja resemble chia seeds,but are different from them.Chia, which the westerners are ga-gaing as superfood has a very late entry in the sceneriao as compared to  our sweet Indian basil which is no less miraculous.  Not only were the medicinal values of the plant established by our ancestors ages before, but also the seeds of basil are known to have many beneficial properties, besides their most popular use in ‘falooda lassi’. So combining the flavours of the season, here’s presenting a super easy, soft velvetty yummy dessert for the summers.

The basic recipe has been adapted and modified from

Ingredients for vanilla panacotta:

  • Milk (preferably full fat)- 1 cup
  • Heavy cream- ½ cup ( I used amul fresh)
  • Granulated sugar- ¼ cup (increase/decrease according to taste preference)
  • Seeds from vanilla pod/ vanilla essence- 1 teaspoon
  • sweet basil seeds/ sabja – 2 tablespoons soaked in 1 cup water
  • Agar agar-  tablespoons (powder and then measure)
  • Hot water- ½ cup for soaking agar + ½ cup for boiling and dissolving agar


  • Soak powdered agar agar in ½ cup hot water.
  • Heat cream and milk in thick bottomed pan, keep stirring to prevent burning of cream.
  • Add sugar, continue stirring till it dissolves.
  • Slit vanilla pod longitudinally and scrape seeds from its wall or you can add a teaspoon of vanilla essence, mix well and switch off the flame.
  • In another bowl, boil ½ cup water,add soaked agar and boil till the agar dissolves completely.
  • When the agar  and cream mixture are warm and  at the same temperature, mix them together,
  • Add few teaspoons of soaked basil seeds, use a whisk to make a uniform mix..
  • Pour them into greased moulds upto half of their level, tap mildly to remove air bubbles.
  • Allow it to set in the refrigerator.

Ingredients for Mango base:

  • Mango pulp ( strained)-  1 cup (roughly from two mangoes)
  • Heavy cream- ¼ cup
  • White granulated sugar/ brown sugar/ Jaggery- ¼ cup (increase/decrease according to taste preference)
  • optional flavourings- cinnamon/ cardamom/ saffron etc( i used soaked saffron strands)
  • Agar agar-  tablespoons (powder and then measure)
  • Hot water- ½ cup for soaking agar + ½ cup for boiling and dissolving agar


  • Soak agar agar in half cup hot water
  • Mix mango puree and cream and cook till the mixture just starts to boil.
  • Add sugar/ brown sugar/jaggery , mix well till it dissolves.
  • Cooking mango is an essential step, as the enzyme in the uncooked mangoes deactivates the gelling qualities of agar. Source:kitchenkemistry
  • Add any flavourings of choice- cinnamon/ cardamom/ saffron. I used soaked saffron strands for enhanced colour and flavour.
  • Switch off the flame and allow the mixture to cool down a bit, till its warm.
  • Prepare agar in the same way as above. Once  it becomes warm and at the same temperature as mango mixture, mix in agar with mango mixture, take out the moulds from fridge and pour the mixture over the vanilla layer.
  • Tap mildly to remove any air bubbles.
  • Allow the panacotta to set for few hours, preferably over night and serve chilled.

strawberry sauce (optional)

  • Cornflour- 1-2  tablespoon
  • Water- 1 cup
  • Strawberry jam/ fresh strawberry pulp- 1-2 tablespoons
  • Sugar- as per requirement.


  • Heat water in a pan, mix cornflour in water, make a thin paste and add it to boiling water, keep stirring.
  • Add strawberry jam, sugar mix well.
  • The sauce should be pouring consistency, not too thick or too runny.
  • After the sauce cools down, pour it over the panacotta , garnish with few soaked basil seeds and enjoy a chilled creamy dessert for hot summers.




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Hi , I’am Neelima and welcome to my space!! I’am a full time practicing dentist. Cooking had always been my passion, and baking which had started as a fascination is now crossing over to be an obsession.

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