Thandai Pannacotta

Thandai Pannacotta

With the last round of celebrations and entertaining for this Diwali, last weekend, I was looking for a fusion dessert that would add a wonderful Indian twist to a classic global dessert. And I found just the right one to combine a classic Panna cotta with our Indian exotic ingredients to create Thandai Pannacotta. It turned to be a perfect marriage of the classic Indian drink with the Italian favourite dessert.

Having lived abroad for the last decade, the need to celebrate festivals is not only to educate our kids but also to inculcate good socializing skills. Not that we ever needed reasons to socialise, but Diwali is one such time we let go of all inhibitions and indulge to our heart’s content. It’s especially a pleasant time for those with a sweet tooth as all things and rich that sum up Diwali feasts.

What is Thandai? 

Thandai is a drink made from almond milk and spices, served chilled during the hot summer days and usually on Holi. Check my Thandai recipe here: Click here

Keeping in mind, the rich dinner menu, I wanted a dessert that had a cooling effect and something more passe’ than icecream.

Therefore, a Thandai pannacotta it is.

This was a dessert worthy of a fine dining restaurant. Not only did it look good, but it was also extremely easy to make and so cooling! The thandai flavour is a must-try in case you aren’t hooked onto it yet. A perfect, make-ahead dessert that can impress your guests anytime.

Surprise your loved ones with something unique this time around with a fun cross between desserts. Here is how to make Thandai Pannacotta my way:

Serves: 6 servings


500 ml Full fat Cream

½ cup Milk

5 gelatin leaves or 2.5 tsp of agar agar powder

½ cup sugar

pinch of saffron

pinch of nutmeg

1/4 tsp cardamom powder

crushed pistachios for garnish

 2 tbsp  Thandai masala

  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • 1tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1tsp poppy seeds
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 4 peppercorns


To make Thandai Masala

  1. Soak all nuts, poppy seeds, fennel seeds, and peppercorns in water for 30 mins
  2. Peel almonds and pistachios and grind it with the other ingredients to a smooth paste

 To make Panna Cotta

  1. In a heavy bottom saucepan, add heavy cream, milk, sugar on medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Keep stirring continuously
  2. Add thandai masala, cardamom powder, nutmeg and saffron strands to milk and bring to a boil
  3. Adjust sweetness if needed
  4. Bloom the gelatin leaves in ice-cold water for 5 minutes
  5. Add the gelatin to the milk and stir well
  6. Strain the cream mixture and pour into mould or ramekins
  7. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight
  8. To serve, garnish with crushed pistachios in the ramekins or unmould onto a serving plate. Garnish with pistachios and enjoy!

Thandai Pannacotta

Try this Mango and Coconut Pannacotta. 

For more fusion desserts, try Shrikhand Mousse with Peanut Brittle  

Mango Parfait

Also, visit and subscribe to my Facebook Page: My Culinary Saga to get regular yummy updates.

Find me on Pinterest: My Culinary Saga 

Instagram Handle: @my_culinary_saga 

Have a lovely week ahead.

Love & Hugs,


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