Today is the first time I have joined some amazing bloggers in the Blogging Marathon. This marathon is hosted by Srivalli on her blog. The marathon is currently is in its sixty first edition and I have chosen the theme 'Indian Mithai' for this week. The first dish in this marathon is this quick Shrikhand, and do not forget to check out the other two mithais tomorrow and on Friday.
Shrikhand is an Indian sweet dish made of strained yogurt. Its origin may be traced from Mahabharata where there are tales that Bhim invented this recipe and named it after Shri Krishna i.e. Shrikhanda. Another set of opinion say that Shrikhand was invented in Mudpaak Khana (मुदपाक खाना) of Bajirao Peshwa. Hence it is a very popular dessert in Maharashtra and Gujarat. Preparation of this dish is very simple but it takes some time to process yogurt properly.
To prepare shrikhand, yogurt is tied in a muslin (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 yogurt, referred to as Chakka, and sugar are mixed thoroughly and Cardamom, saffron, any other flavors are then added 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. Shrikhand is eaten as either a side-dish with breads such as poori (usually khaaja poori, which is a savory 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.
Though the traditional shrikhand is made from yogurt that is hung to remove the water, Greek Yogurt has eliminated the step as it does not have any excess water. With greek yogurt, making Shrikhand is essentially just mixing sugar and flavor in the yogurt and serving it. If you do not get greek yogurt, you can make the same recipe with chakka. I have not added any color, so the shrikhand is light yellow in color. If you like the color to be darker, you can add some yellow food color. Also, add or subtract the dry fruits as per your preference.
Greek yogurt 2 cups
Sugar 3/4 cup
Kesar/ Saffron 1 tsp
Cardamom 4-5 pods
Dry Fruits 2-3 tbsp
Remove the cardamom seeds from its pod and add it with sugar in a blender. Grind to a fine powder. Sliver the almonds, cashews and pistachios and set aside.
In a mixing bowl add the yogurt and process with a hand blender or immersion blender for 30 seconds. Then add the sugar cardamom mixture and the saffron strands. Process on medium speed till it all comes together and the yogurt starts to get a yellow tinge. Taste for sweetness and add more sugar if required.
Add half of the dry fruits to the shrikhand and mix with a spoon. Transfer to the serving bowl and refrigerate till ready to eat. Sprinkle the remaining dry fruits just before serving. Enjoy with roti or just lick it off the bowl!