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Author Notes: Shrikhand is a thick, sweetened yogurt, an Indian dessert famous throughout the country. Made on days of religious significance, served at weddings and social functions, shrikhand is traditionally prepared with puri (fried, whole wheat bread) and shrikhand puri is a combination like eggs and bacon. In India, an elaborate process is employed to make this dish. Homemade yogurt (which is way more watery than Greek yogurt) is tied in a cheesecloth overnight. Then, the same cloth is tied around the mouth of pot or bowl in a single layer. A dollop of strained yogurt is plopped on this cheese cloth. Sugar is added. Then with the round motion and pressure of four fingers, the sugar and yogurt are mixed. What drops below into the bowl is a silky-smooth mix of yogurt and sugar. Then the goodies—like saffron, nutmeg, cardamom—are added. But thanks to Greek yogurt, we don't have to do that. —Annada Rathi
Serves 2 to 3
- 17.6 ounces Greek yogurt
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 5 cardamom pods, peeled and crushed (or 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom; add more to taste)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 pinch saffron
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
- Pour the Greek yogurt in a clean, old pillow case (or a clean dish towel). Take all the ends of the pillow case and tie them tight (around the yogurt) with a rubber band. Now hang the ends of the pillow case either to a nail in the kitchen, or over a faucet. Put a pot under the hanging pillow case so that whey from the yogurt can drain into it.
- The idea behind this seemingly-weird process is to thicken the yogurt even further by getting rid of all the liquid whey in it. Leave this contraption aside for three hours.
- Untie the pillow case. The yogurt should be a smooth, white dollop. Measure it and pour it in a bowl. It measures to roughly 1 1/2 cups.
- Add sugar. I like sweetness in my dessert on the lower side. If my mother would have made this shrikhand, she would have probably added 1 to 1/2 cups of strained yogurt. Mix well with a whisk.
- Crush the cardamom seeds in a mortar and pestle and add to the yogurt mix along with nutmeg powder.
- Heat milk in a microwave for 10 seconds. Add the saffron to this milk. Mix well and add to yogurt. The shrikhand is ready. I add orange zest to my shrikhand, something untraditional. Don't tell my mother!
- Eat it as a morning snack or with Gujarati puri and take a nap.