Shrikhand is an Indian sweet dish made of strained yoghurt. It is one of the main desserts in Maharashtrian cuisine. Preparation of this dish is very simple but it takes some time to process yoghurt properly.
To prepare shrikhand, yoghurt is tied in a cotton cloth and left under pressure to drain. In the past, it used to be hung from a wall to achieve the desired thickness. The strained yoghurt, referred to as “Chakka”, and sugar are mixed thoroughly in a deep bowl. Cardamom, saffron, and any other flavours are then added and mixed. It is then left in the refrigerator for the sugar to dissolve. The dish is served chilled.
A popular variation of shrikhand in Maharashtra is Amrakhand (आम्रखंड), which is shrikhand blended with mango pulp. Another variant of shrikhand, Matho (મઠો), is served as a sweet dish or dessert particularly in Gujarati cuisine. The preparation method is almost the same, but some fresh fruits are always added in Matho.
In Gujarati cuisine, shrikhand is eaten as either a side-dish with breads such as Poori (usually khaaja poori, which is a savoury fried flaky bread) or as a dessert. It is commonly served as part of a vegetarian thali in Gujarati restaurants and is popular as part of wedding feasts. It is often served chilled as a counterpoint to hot and spicy curries. Dried and fresh fruit such as mango are also added.
One another less popular dish, in fact a variant of the shrikhand is ‘Shedki’ (Gujarati શેડકી), particularly well known in the town of Khambhat (Cambay) in Gujarat. Shrikhand being the traditional sweet dish of the town, lots of sweet marts serve shrikhand, this variant of it called Shedki, is particularly found in the wedding feasts in the town. The dish is a liquified version of Shrikhand served chilled with rose petals in it, which is served in earthen pots.
- 2 kg Greek yoghurt
- 7 - 8 strands saffron
- 2 tablespoons milk
- ¼ cup almonds
- ¼ cup pistachios
- sugar, to taste
- 1¼ teaspoons green cardamom powder
- Hang yoghurt in a muslin cloth, in a refrigerator until all the liquid from the yoghurt has drained off. (Approximately three hours.)
- Dissolve saffron in warm milk and set aside.
- Blanch almonds, cool and cut into slivers. Cut pistachios into slivers and powder the sugar.
- Tie a clean muslin cloth tightly over the mouth of a large clean vessel. The muslin cloth thus acts as a sieve and should not sag in the middle. Use a clean thick string to tie the cloth over the vessel.
- Transfer the thick yoghurt along with the sugar over the muslin cloth, in small quantities. For every cup of thick yoghurt, add ¾ cup of sugar.
- Rub the above mixture firmly over the cloth, till the whole mixture is sieved.
- Add the dissolved saffron, almonds, pistachios and green cardamom powder to the sieved mixture.
- Mix well and transfer to a glass bowl and refrigerate till cold.