This dish is a sweetened yoghurt, with a subtle saffron character. The Indian name is shrikhand or more accurately, kesar elaichi shrikhand, and is one of the most popular desserts in Gujarati and Maharashtrian cuisines.
It is commonly served as part of a vegetarian thali in Gujarat and is almost mandatory at wedding feasts. It can be served as a balance to hot and spicy dishes.
There are many variations possible – this is just the basic recipe. Adding dried and fresh fruit is common. A variant of shrikhand is amarkhand. This is shrikhand blended with mango pulp when adding the almonds and pistachios. You can also use a blend of yoghurt and crème fraiche to get a slight sour note to the dessert.
This is a wonderful dessert to serve at an Indian dinner party and is not too difficult to make.
- 1 tbsp almonds - sliced
- 1 tbsp mint leaves - finely chopped
- ¼ tsp saffron threads
- Warm milk and crumble the saffron into it. Allow the saffron to infuse the milk for at least ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Grind cardamom seeds to a coarse powder.
- Sift the jaggery into the yoghurt and mix until jaggery has dissolved. Add the saffron, milk, ground cardamom, pistachio and almond and mix well.
- Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
- Garnish with almond, mint and saffron threads and serve.
- Dried fruit can be added. Adding one tablespoon each of finely chopped dried mango and dried papaya when adding the almonds and pistachios will take it to another level.
- You could also substitute 200ml of crème fraiche for 200ml of the yoghurt for an even richer dessert, with a subtle sweet and sour flavour.