Shrikhand: A Sweet Curd Dessert Recipe
Shrikhand is a Western Indian delicacy, especially in Maharashtra, and a dessert item that is very popular on special occasions, mainly in marriages, where its often served with other food items. It is basically a flavored, sweet, curd dessert that is always held in high regard.
The main work here is to get the Hung curd where the whey is removed or extracted from the curd. This curd out is left to further dry up, possibly overnight. Then, it is whisked, and more ingredients are added to it, which eventually evolves into the Shrikhand. I have also given a variation to this dish, the Amrakhand, where mango pulp is added to the curd while it is being whisked - this is another knock-out dessert dish.
So, lets get to the recipe.
- 1 ltr fresh curd
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
- 7 to 8 strands of kesar (saffron)
- 500 gms mangoes (optional)
- 2 tbsp of crushed almonds, pistachios and cashews
1. The first thing you have do for this recipe, is make the hung curd. For that, place your strainer in a big bowl. Then, place a big muslin cloth on it. Pour all the curd on the muslin cloth to drain out the whey from this curd. After 5 minutes of draining the whey, close the edges of the muslin cloth (around the curd), and lift it over the strainer and press the curd-cloth bag from all sides to further extract the whey. This way, you can drain out most of the whey.
2. However, we need to remove ALL of the whey. For this, tie the edges of the cloth with the curd in it, and suspend it from any elevated point - just make sure to place an empty container below it as all the remaining whey will be collected in the container. Do this for 7-8 hours, or overnight. What you get after all this, is a curd devoid of all the whey and is called Hung Curd.
3. Powder the sugar in your blender.
4. Soak the kesar in 1/4 cup of milk for 3 to 4 hours.
Instructions for making the Shrikhand
1. Whisk the hung curd in a bowl with a spatula vigorously. Add powdered sugar to it - you may use less or more, according to your preference, and keep whisking the curd. Now, add saffron milk, cardamom and nutmeg powder to it and whisk it properly. This may take a while and you do have to put in more effort. But, if you have an electric beater, this becomes easier. In the end, you need to get the smooth and creamy texture of the Shrikhand.
2. Garnish it with crushed nuts.
3. Your creamy, delicious Kesar-Elaichi (Saffron-Cardamom) Shrikhand is ready.
There's another super delicious variety of Shrikhand called the Amrkhand where mango is incorporated into the Shrikhand. For this, we go to the Preparation above, and we add an extra 'point'
5. Take out the mango pulp and blend it.
Now, move over to the Instructions section, and, during the whisking of the curd, when we add all the ingredients (saffron milk etc), add the beaten mango pulp to it and continue whisking to get the desired result as described in the rest of the Instructions.
Your delicious Amrakhand (Mango Shrikhand) is ready.
Both the Shrikhand varieties, the Kesar-Eliachi and Amrakhand, are equally flavorful, rich and creamy. I love adding the crushed nuts for garnishing as this really gives a great crunchy topping to this dessert. This used to be made on special occasions since I was a kid, but now I prepare this whenever I feel like it. You can serve this with puris during your meals, or as a stand-alone after-meal dessert.
So delve into the delicacies of this wonderful dish, and enjoy.