Friday, August 7, 2009

Watermelon Bars

These are simple bars made using watermelon juice and agar agar flakes.Agar agar or chinagrass or simply agar is a vegan equivalent to gelatin .It is available in powdered and flakes form.Agar is the Malaysian word for jelly and it is obtained from seaweed.It is a gelatinous substance but is plant based only unlike gelatin. I had obtained unflavoured agar agar in flakes and made these melon bars or jelly just to see how they work compared to the normal gelatin we use.They worked much better than expected.

Ingredients:
Watermelon Juice: 1. 25 cups
Water: 1.25 cup (1/2 + 3/4 cup)
Sugar: 4 tbsp+/-
Agar Agar Flakes: roughly chopped 5 gms unflavoured (white)

Preparation:
I blended almost 1.25 cups of watermelon with little water to obtain around 1.25 cups of juice which I strained and kept aside.You can also use storebought juice as well.

Roughly chop agar agar flakes and soak them in 1/2 cup of water for atleast 15 minutes.

In a sauce pan,heat 3/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of sugar and stir well till the sugar dissolves.Squeeze the agar agar flakes and add them to the sugar water mix and simmer till the agar agar dissolves completely stirring continually.This takes just 5-7 minutes.

Once clear liquid is obtained,remove from heat ,and add the watermelon juice and mix well.

Pour the mix into serving bowls or a big container or any dish of your preference.Let it attain room temperature.Then chill it in the fridge till serving time or for atleast 30 minutes.

Serve by cutting into bars or any shape if you have chilled in a single big container.Else simply handover the invidual bowls just as you would do for a jello dish.

I inverted the container onto a plate,cut into bars....

Since I did not want to serve it simply as such,I served it with sweetened whipped cream and garnished with chopped roasted almonds.

This made the dessert plate look great and the taste was exactly 'jello"-ish.

I had actually used 1.5 cups of juice while making this jelly.While taking pics,I found that after 15-20 minutes,it started becoming watery very slowly.On chilling again,it stopped liquifying.One reason is it was extremely hot that day and I took pics in afternoon.Another more plausible reason is that the amount of juice was more.So if using 1.5 cup of juice increase the quantity of agar flakes to 1 gms more. Also instead of agar flakes which requires soaking and can be slightly messy,you can use powdered agar agar around 1-2 tsp (updated on 13th Aug,09: and not 1 tbsp) equivalent to 5 gms of flakes.

Also rather than making the water sugar mix,you can directly add sugar while blending the melon.In this case,simply boil 3/4 cup of water and then add chopped,squeezed agar flakes and continue the recipe.Also honey or agave nectar or any other sweetener can be used or even avoided depending on the sweetness of your melon.

Agar sets much faster than gelatin and requires very less chilling time compared to it.Agar has has health aspects as well.It reduces the body heat and is said to control bad cholestrol.It is supposedly rich in calcium,iron,minerals etc.You can also find some info here

The lovely and extremely delish watermelon bars are off to Monthly Mingle:Marvellous Melon an event by Meeta and currently hosted at ChewOnThatBlog

28 Comments:

Faiza Ali said...

yummy yummy watermelon bars....nice idea of using agar agar instead of gelatin :)

Sanghi said...

Wow, this looks lovely pink..! Yummy idea!

Priti said...

Wow every interesting looks so gud with cream

Anonymous said...

such a yummy treat with watermelon..ho cant resist..great recipe.

Subhie Arun said...

wow...lovely....jelly ..pinkish ...healthy too!

anudivya said...

This looks beautiful! CL, do you know where we get Agar flakes here? I have only seen the regular gelatin.

Sumi said...

very creative and colourful dessert, I would love to have some.

Renu said...

such an interesting recipe.....where can I get agar agar in the US?? wud like to try it

Nithya said...

Yummy yummy.. I love watermelons and this one should be my favorite too. :)

meeso said...

This is unique, I'd like to try this with other juices... Nice blog :)

Roma said...

Thats a great idea! I have never used agar though I have a packet with me. Your tips are really helpful, I'll give it a try.

rekhas kitchen said...

oohhh what an idea surji.... he he heee so tempting and beautiful color yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Priya said...

Tremendous bars, CL!!!

Sunshinemom said...

So easy and beautiful! Your daughter must have loved these:)

talat said...

Awesome. I usually use agar powder though for more precision. The color really pops!

Check my use of agar at http://www.phamfatale.com/cat_268/tag_agar-agar/

Yasmeen said...

Awesome summer treat!I can try these soon :D

Vaishali said...

Wow, these look amazing. I love the simple ingredient list, Curry. And watermelon's the perfect refreshing treat for summer.

Bergamot said...

Oh my, such a nice color... so transparent..oozing of sweet sweet watermelon. Way to go girl!!
Btw, I got an award for you on my site do check it out..

Joie de vivre said...

Thanks for visiting Curry Leaf! I would have never thought of blending watermelon to make watermelon juice. What a fabulous summertime dessert. Thanks for the idea.

Bhawna said...

What a nice color of a Bar, very nice recipe. lovely Idea.

Sireesha said...

Scrumptious watermelon bars:)

Sharmilee! :) said...

Wat a lovely idea?! pretty in pink!

Simran said...

Do pick your award from my blog.

Usha said...

This is such an interesting and delicious bar, love it...lovely color too :-)

Soma said...

These are really cute. How much/many spoonfuls would be 5 gm agar Sweatha, I got the agar sticks & do not know how much to use.

Soma(www.ecurry.com)

Divya Kudua said...

Lovely bars..have to try..:)

kitchen queen said...

what a way of making bars with watermelon! Its simply amazing I want to have a plateful right nowthe wonderful picture shows ur talent of making this. you can visit my blog view my recipes and give ur comments

Joanne said...

Homemade jello tastes so much better than the storebought kind. These look quite good.

Thanks for visiting my Blog

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