Shrikhand is a popular, classic, thick and delectable Indian yoghurt sweet commonly known all over India especially in the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. It is one of the prime sweet delicacies from the Gujarati and Maharashtrian cuisines made with hung & strained yoghurt flavoured with saffron and cardamom. Shrikhand is one such excellent and luscious Indian sweet served during festivals, feast or get together.
It is a popular Janmastami recipe and also part of the Gujarati thali. Since India is a vast country with diversified cultures and cuisines having umpteen numbers of popular Indian sweets and desserts, Shrikhand outshines and truly showcase its popularity particularly among the people of Gujarat. Preparation of Shrikhand is very simple but takes some time to process the yoghurt perfectly.
Strained yoghurt also known as yoghurt cheese, labneh or Greek yoghurt is the main ingredient in preparing the Shrikhand. It is thick yoghurt which has been strained in a cloth or paper bag or filter to remove the whey giving a consistency between that of yoghurt and cheese, while preserving yoghurt’s distinctive sour taste. Strained yoghurt is often made from milk which has been enriched by boiling off some of the water content or by adding extra butter fat and powdered milk.
Yoghurt strained through muslin is a traditional food in Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East, and South Asia, where it is often used in cooking, as it is high enough in fat not to curdle at higher temperatures. It is used in cooked and raw, savory and sweet dishes. Due to the straining process to remove excess whey, even non-fat varieties are rich and creamy.
Shrikhand is a classic Indian dessert incorporating strained yoghurt, sugar, saffron, cardamom, dicbed fruit and nuts together to give a thick smooth creamy texture. It is a very popular diary product in the state of Gujarat similar to ice cream. In Pashtun, dominated regions of Pakistan, strained yoghurt is known as chaka and often consumed with rice and meat dishes.
In India, Shrikhand is generally served with puri or poori. Dahi or curd is one of the most important dishes in the South Indian meal. There are a variety of dishes that be made with curds like raita, curd rice etc. Curd is also used as marination to many non-vegetarian recipes. In south Asia, regular unstrained yoghurt (dahi), made from cow or water buffalo milk, is often sold in disposable clay pots. Kept for a couple of hours in its clay pot, some of the water evaporates through the clay's pores.
But true strained yoghurt (chakka) is made by draining dahi in a cloth. Yogurt is a very versatile creation and can be used alone or as an adjunct to any dish. Yogurt is acidic in nature, has a sour and tart taste and stays fresh longer than milk. It can be eaten plain or mixed with vegetables, fruits or other flavors. Fruits like strawberry, mango and the like are also mixed to make yummy yogurts.
The beauty of Shrikhand is that it can be very creative in terms of flavours. It is an excellent, mouth-watering party dessert. For preparing this delicious and yummy Shrikhand, set milk to make yoghurt but do not rest it out for a long time as the yoghurt should be sweet and sour to make this sweet.
Take a muslin cloth and pour in the yoghurt and hang the yogurt for 2 to 3 hours to completely drain all the whey from it. When the whey is completely drained off, take the thick yogurt into a bowl. If you get about 500 gms of yogurt and add in 500 gms of sugar and mix well. Let this sit for about 2 to 3 hours in the refrigerator. Add some saffron colour and mix well. Stain this mixture through a strainer, this helps in removing off the milk solids if any. Add cardamom powder and mix well.
The yogurt needs to really sweet and not sour or else you’ll end adding lots of sugar. Chill and serve dollops in a bowl garnished with sliced nuts. You can add different flavors, add Mango pulp and it becomes Amarkhand, add cut fruits to get fruity and colorful Shrikhand. Add some chocolate you make it chocolate shrikhand. Shrikhand is truly luscious, creamy and strike your taste buds when eaten chilled.It can be prepared with varied variations. Do try this recipe and enjoy the exotic flavors. This is my earlier version of making the Shrikhand. Click on the link for detailed recipe at:
A popular variation of shrikhand in Maharashtra is Amarkhand, which is shrikhand mixed with mango pulp and made homogeneous with a blender. Matho is another variant of Shrikhand that is very popular in a few parts of Gujarat which is served as a sweet or dessert. The preparation method is almost the same, but some fresh fruits are always added in Matho. Shrikhand is so versatile dish that who can create your own imaginative dish which can be tongue tickling and mouth melting.
You can also add fruits like apple, chikku and pineapple in shrikhand. In Gujarati cuisine, shrikhand is eaten as a side-dish with breads such as poori (usually "khaaja poori", which is savory fried flaky bread) or as a dessert. It is often served chilled and provides a refreshing counterpoint to hot and spicy curries. Dried and fresh fruit such as mango are also added. If you have a sweet tooth and are eager to cook and try new dishes then click below to view the making of this simple recipe of Shrikhand which you will not only enjoy eating but also cooking as well.
Hung or strained yoghurt is great for those wanting to reduce weight as it is devoid of fat and cholesterol. It contains very less amount of sodium but good amounts of carbohydrates for a quick shot of energy. It contains good amount of protein and is lower in sugar than most other types of yogurts. It is a rich source of calcium, phosphorus, Vitamins B1, B2 and B12.