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Thursday, 16 July 2015

Dragon Fruit Jelly with Agar Agar / Vegan Recipe

I had been wanting to make a fruit jelly at home for a long time and finally found a perfect time to do so. Summer vacations have begun for Chinu and a refreshing jelly made from fresh fruit is a perfect treat for a summer day . 

Jelly made from fresh red Dragon fruit is not only light and refreshing but also is very appealing. These vibrant Dragon fruit jellies are gelatin free and vegan as I have used Agar Agar to make the jelly. Agar reminds me , how an Agar plate has always been a workhorse for me as a Microbiologist !
Agar-Agar is obtained from algae and is a vegetarian substitute for gelatin. It is chiefly used as an ingredient in desserts, fruit preserves and as a thickener for soups. An agar dessert is prepared by pouring the liquid in pretty moulds or containers. Have added little lemon juice in this jelly to add a subtle tangy flavor .  This Dragon fruit Jelly is perfect for summer picnics and parties and serves as good after dinner dessert.

Dragon fruit is an exotic and delicious fruit rich in antioxidants, it contains vitamin C (equivalent to 10% of the daily value), polyunsaturated (good) fatty acids , carotene, protein, and several B vitamins for carbohydrate metabolism. 

  • 800 ml Water
  • 10 gram Agar powder.
  • 100 ml additional water( for dissolving agar powder)
  • 3/4 cup flesh of red Dragon fruit
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 250 grams Sugar( I have used brown sugar)
Agar Agar is easily available in Asian super markets in powder form or as strips and threads. I have used the agar powder for this jelly as it readily dissolves in water. If using strips or threads cut them into small pieces. Strips require pre soaking. Follow the instructions on the packet as the procedure may slightly vary according to the form of agar used. Generally the ratio of agar to water to get a firm jelly is 15 grams of agar (powder or strips) to 1 liter of water / liquid.

Method for red Dragon fruit jelly using agar agar:

  1. Cut the Dragon fruit and scoop out the flesh using a spoon. 

   2.  Mash the flesh of the fruit with fork or whip it using a blender. If you prefer to have bites of Dragon fruit in the jelly , do not blend the fruit instead cut the dragon fruit into 1 cm cubes and drop in the cooked jelly.

    3.  Mix the brown sugar with 800 ml water and bring to boil in a sauce pan or heavy bottom pan.

   4.  Mix the agar-agar powder with the additional 100 ml water, and pour into the boiling syrup, bring to another boil and let simmer for 1 minute. Keep stirring to prevent the agar-agar from coagulating around the sides of the pan.

   5.  Add in the Dragon fruit puree and mix well. 

   6.  Put off the flame and add lemon juice . Give a quick stir and the  pour the liquid into jelly mould. Frankly speaking I do not have any jelly mould. I used the flower shape cake mould and some rice moulds (called mund sacha in Marathi) to set the jelly. You can pour the liquid into any container , cake moulds, muffin tray .

   7.   Let it cool and chill in fridge for at least 3 hours before serving. Run a butter knife through the edge of the mould and gently squeeze the mould to release the agar agar or cut the jelly into desired shapes using the butter knife if you have set the jelly in a container.

  • You can increase or reduce the quantity of sugar depending upon the sweetness of the fruit.
  • Can follow the same procedure and try different combination of fruits in the jelly. Can try lychee and raspberries, or tender coconut flesh and rose water or lemon juice . Possibilities are endless, so treat yourself with the refreshing jelly this summer to keep the heat at bay.

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