Shrikhand

Shrikhand is a yogurt based traditional sweet from the western states of India. It is made from hung curd/yogurt, sweetened with sugar and flavored with saffron and cardamom. It has a thick creamy and smooth consistency.

Unlike common belief, it is very easy to make shrikhand at home. It is a great make-ahead dish. I usually make this at least 2 days ahead so that all the ingredients come together really well. Today I am sharing the basic recipe of shrikhand using saffron and nuts. Enjoy…

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Ingredients:

  • 1 big tub of Whole milk Plain Yogurt 32oz (I usually use a combination of greek and regular whole milk yogurt)
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon hot Milk
  • 1 big pinch Saffron strands
  • Handfull of Slivered Pistachio & or Almonds 
  • Handful of Raisins
  • 1 tablespoon of Charoli or Chironji, optional
  • 1 pinch ground Cardamom seeds
  • Cheesecloth or Muslin cloth or thin kitchen towel for straining yogurt
  • Strainer big enough to hold all the yogurt

How To:

  • Place the strainer/sieve into a big pot, such that the bottom of the strainer is not touching the bottom of the pot (make sure there is enough space for water to accumulate at the bottom of the bowl without touching the sieve) Line the strainer with a kitchen towel or cheesecloth.
  • Empty all the yogurt into the lined strainer, gently tap if needed.
  • Collect the towel together at the top and tie a knot, leave it out for 10-15 minutes. Lift the strainer and remove all the liquid/whey collected at the bottom of the pot.
  • Place the strainer back in the pot and put this assembly in the refrigerator for a few hours. (1 hour for greek yogurt, overnight for regular yogurt, 5-6 hours for greek and plain yogurt combination)
  • Remove the pot every hour initially if possible to drain out the liquid/whey, it should not be touching the strainer (hence the need for a taller pot)
  • Empty the strained yogurt into a pot once it reaches almost greek yogurt consistency. Add sugar to it and mix well. Cover the pot and let it set in the refrigerator for a couple of hours so the sugar dissolves in it.
  • After about 5-6 hours, remove shrikhand from the refrigerator and mix well. Give it a taste, add more sugar if needed.
  • Take warm milk in a bowl. Take a pinch of saffron and crush it in your palms (make sure your hands are dry), add this to the warm milk, mix well for about 2 minutes.
  • Add all the nuts, raisins, charoli, cardamom seeds and the saffron milk to the shrikhand, mix well and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before serving it.

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Serving suggestion:

  • Decorate the Shrikhand with slivered almonds and raisins.
  • You can also use rose petals to decorate, It gives the shrikhand a distinct taste.
  • Serve it with Poori or Roti or just by itself.

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Note:

  • Yogurt– This recipe depends greatly on the quality of the yogurt you use so recommend using whole milk plain yogurt. Also, note that straining time also varies with different types of yogurt you are using. If using Greek yogurt, just strain the curd for about an hour as it is really dense and has less whey/water content in it. Greek yogurt usually will give you much denser shrikhand. I usually use a combination of greek and regular whole milk yogurt and strain for 5-6 hours. Strain it overnight if using just plain yogurt.
  • The key to nice smooth shrikhand is to start making it at least 2 days in advance, as it gives enough time for the sugar to dissolve and all the ingredients to come together. Make sure it is refrigerated all the time, do not let it sit out for more than needed.
  • If you have a nut allergy, you can skip the nuts and replace it with fresh fruits like grapes, apple, strawberry, etc. anything with low water content.
  • Whey/liquid– You can reuse the collected whey if you want in making Kadi or in place of water for kneading the dough for Roti or Thepla.

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