Curry for Change

Changing the lives of families
who suffer from hunger.

Coconut Panna Cotta with a Spiced Caramel Sauce, Coconut and Rose Shortbread and ‘Lotus Popcorn’ by Lucy Boler (Food Goblin)


Lucy created this delicious dessert especially for Curry for Change - try it at home and treat your guests!

Natco ingredients:

Coconut milk powder, 2 tablespoons

Shredded coconut, 200 

Cassia, 1 stick

Phool Makhana, 30g

For the shortbread:

350g chilled butter

225g caster sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon rose water

400g plain flour

For the Caramel:

200g caster sugar

30g toasted coconut

100ml water

1 green cardamom pod, cracked

100ml double cream

1 tablespoon butter

1 pinch salt

For the Panna Cotta:

250ml coconut cream

150ml warm water (to dissolve the coconut milk powder into)

250ml double cream

Powder gelatine – follow packet instructions for 650ml volume
20g icing sugar


It was important to me to use these exciting spices in a way that was going to be unexpected, whilst still delicious. For that reason I chose not to do a main course curry dish, but to look instead to dessert and present it in a modern way. Just as India itself has experienced a number of different cultures in its long history, the dish that I’ve chosen to share with you fuses the rich flavours of India with French and Modern British cooking techniques. I hope you enjoy it.

  1. For the Panna Cotta: heat the coconut cream, coconut milk powder and water on medium heat in a saucepan for 3 minutes until combined and beginning to bubble. Take off the heat and whisk in the gelatin. Sieve and cool in the fridge, stirring regularly to stop it setting. Once cooled, add the cream and icing sugar.
  2. Divide the mix up into 4 panna cotta moulds, and leave to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  3. For the shortbread: Preheat the oven to 170 Celsius. Bake the shredded coconut, stirring often, for around 8 minutes on a lined baking sheet until light golden. Leave to cool. Cream the and150g of the Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for an hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius. Roll the dough to around ¼ inch thickness and cut into half-moon shapes. Space on a lined baking tray and bake for around 15 minutes until golden brown. 
  5. For the caramel and popcorn: add the sugar and water into a saucepan and put on medium high heat. Leave to simmer until the water has dissolved, the mixture turns into a syrup and then begins turning an amber caramel. Keep an eye on it as it will suddenly turn and you don’t want it to burn.
  6. Once it has ‘turned’, begin by making the popcorn: take the lotus seeds one by one and skewer them on a chopstick or a knife end. Dip into the hot caramel and coat. Leave to set – the caramel will form a hard shell around the popped lotus seeds.
  7. Then make your spiced caramel sauce: Heat the caramel back up, if it has set a bit until it is very runny again, but not turning darker. Add the cassia, coconut and cardamom pod. With a metal spoon, stir in the butter, salt and cream.
  8. To serve: Plate the panna cotta on chilled plates (to get it out of the moulds, run a knife around it and dip into a bowl of hot water). Sprinkle some toasted coconut on the top and spoon around the spiced caramel sauce. Garnish with the popcorn and serve with the wonderful coconut and rose shortbread for texture. Devour immediately!

For more from Lucy, visit her blog Food Goblin.

Back to recipes