Shrikhand is a dessert made from strained curd/yoghurt which is sweetened with powdered sugar, some cardamom and saffron along with other flavourings of choice. It is a pretty easy dessert to make, and the only tough part is to strain the curd removing all the whey to get thick, almost solid hung curd which is called Chakka. I usually set full cream milk to make curd at home, but if not you can use store bought thick curd to make the same.
Recipe: ( Serves 4-5 )
- Curd, ( made by setting 1 litre of full-fat milk OR using 2 tubs of 400 gms each of thick set curd ),
- 3/4th cup of sugar, powdered, ( I usually keep 1 cup of powdered sugar at hand, and adjust the quantity while mixing, not all of it is used up though )
- 2 tbsp of milk, warmed,
- a pinch of saffron,
- 1 tsp of powdered cardamom,
- a few tbsp of chopped nuts (optional)
- Take all the curd in a large piece of fine cotton or muslin cloth. Gather all corners and tie it properly/tightly. Let all the whey drain away. I like placing the bundle in a sieve with a bowl underneath to collect the whey, the whole apparatus placed in the refrigerator. It should take about 5-6 hours to get thick curd, so placing it the refrigerator helps prevent the curd from getting sour. You may place a weight on top of the cloth bundle. If you have made paneer at home, it is exactly the same process of draining.
- Now once you have the Chakka ( the thick curd drained of all its whey ). Take it in a bowl. Mix in the powdered sugar, little by little. A note here, when you powder the sugar, you do not need to an extremely fine texture. A slightly grainy feel is okay because the sugar melts if you let it sit with thick curd for a while. So grind it well but a slightly grainy feel is fine. I don’t mean you can directly use the crystalline sugar but you don’t need to grind it till your mixie over heats and stops. Mix everything well.Once you have added about 1/2 a cup of sugar, taste the mix and decide if you want to add more sugar. The sweetness is honestly a matter of preference and I find that I like Shrikhand which is less sweet than the store bought ones. Excessively sweet ones give me an itchy throat so I prefer sugar in a less amount, about 1/2 a cup and tbsp more. So, add it gradually and keep tasting it in between. ( Just be sure not to lose control as I do!! 😉 )
- Okay, an another method of doing this, which I followed and which is a bit more time consuming is as follows: to use a sieve. Take a few tbsps of Chakka and powdered sugar in the sieve and using your hand or a spoon, pass it through the sieve. Repeat this in batches with the remaining Chakka. This will most certainly give the Shrikhand really really smooth texture. I found this tip in a Gujarati recipe book called Aneri – My Favorites by Nayana Shah ( Navneet Publications ). Once done, give it a good mix. Like the previous method, the amount of sugar is again a matter of preference.
- Add the milk with saffron, cardamom powder and nuts. Give it a good stir.
- Refrigerate for about an hour before you serve.
Note: You could use chopped or pureed fruits such as Mangoes and Strawberries too to flavour the Shrikhand. Cut down the sugar depending the sweetness/tartness of your fruits.