Untitled (1800 x 1200 px) (85)

Coconut Panna Cotta Recipe

This is a vegan take on panna cotta. It’s quite fresh and light and great for people who don’t have a sweet tooth – I don’t and I often find Indian desserts a bit cloying as a result. Made with creamy coconut milk, it doesn’t set as firm as a regular panna cotta – it’s a little softer – but that’s okay. I like to make it in individual bowls or small glasses rather than worry about turning it out of a larger vessel, which makes it ideal for dinner parties. You can also make it ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve, adding the passionfruit and coconut topping at the last minute.


  • 400ml/14fl oz canned coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200ml/7fl oz/scant 1 cup maple syrup
  • 100ml/31/2fl oz/scant 1/2 cup water
  • 6.5g/.oz sachet of vege-gel (vegetarian gelling powder)
  • grated zest of 2 limes and juice of 1 lime

To decorate

  • pulp of 2 passionfruit
  • 1 tbsp desiccated/dried shredded
  • coconut, toasted
  • 6.5g/.oz sachet of vege-gel (vegetarian gelling powder)

To serve 4

  • 1
    Combine the coconut milk, vanilla, maple syrup and measured water in a saucepan and stir to combine. Sprinkle over the vege-gel and mix to dissolve, then add the lime zest and juice.
  • 2
    Set the pan over a low heat and gently bring to the boil, then remove from the heat.
  • 3
    Divide the mixture equally among 4 small heatproof bowls. Put into the refrigerator for at least 4–6 hours, or ideally overnight, to set.
  • 4
    To serve, remove from the fridge and top with the passionfruit pulp, sprinkle with the toasted coconut and enjoy.

Extracted from Meat Free Mowgli by Nisha Katona (Nourish, an imprint of Watkins Media, 2022). Available at any good book retailer

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