What is agar-agar?
Agar-agar is an extract from seaweed and it can mimic the effect of gelatin, and is also called China grass. It is available as sheets, flakes, or powder. This recipe used powder. If you are using flakes or sheets, make sure to powder and use in this recipe. Agar-agar has a higher melting point and needs to be boiled while gelatin can dissolve in warm water. Also agar-agar sets when cooled and doesn’t need refrigeration. Though agar-agar jellies are less jiggly and firmer comparatively thank the gelatin based counterparts, they stay firmer for a longer time even when exposed to high temperature.
This recipe requires the following ingredients to make:
Sago - Tapioca pearls, I used the regular variety
Coconut milk - Canned coconut milk is used in this recipe. This gives an amazing tropical flavor kick to this dessert.
Sugar - Sweetener used in this recipe. Vegan friendly sugar is used.
Fresh fruits - Mangoes, dragon fruits, tender coconut flesh. Canned lychee segments are also used. Jackfruits and melon are also great to use in this recipe.
Citrus fruits - Melissa’s Produce orange, blood orange, and Key limes are used in this recipe.
Agar-agar - is used as the vegan gelling agent.
Water - Water is used for cooking sago as well as to make the citrus agar agar jellies.
Is it easy to make the agar-agar jellies?
Yes, it is! All you need to do is boil the water and sugar, add agar-agar and let it dissolve. Remove from the flame and cool for a couple of minutes but not long, else it will start to gel. Add the squeezed fruit juice, mix thoroughly, and pour in containers to set. That’s all! These vegan jellies can be stored for 4-5 days in the refrigerator, and can be used in many recipes. Different citrus juices have different flavor profiles and the sugar requirement changes accordingly. Follow the recipe to make a delicious medley of citrus jellies.
Can this recipe be made ahead?
This recipe can be made a day ahead. Maybe a day ahead, but make sure to serve the next day. The flavor of coconut milk might change. The jellies can be made well ahead and stay great for 4-5 days. The fruits can be processed a day ahead. The sago also cooks quickly. If making it a day ahead, add extra coconut milk as the sago would absorb more with time.
Things to note.....
Since coconut milk is used, the flavor may differ if stored for longer periods of time. If you are living in warmer conditions, it is better to use it the same day. Higher temperature slowly makes the coconut milk turn sour.
Sago - 1/2 cup