This Shrikhand recipe is so easy and only has 5 ingredients
Happy Holi to all my friends celebrating! The days are finally getting longer and the signs of spring are around the corner, all of which are sure cause for celebration. For me, that means turning to my favorite spring recipes to kick off the season. In light of the Holi celebrations, I wanted to experiment with a recipe that ticks a lot of boxes for me when it comes to dishes I love. This shrikhand recipe is no-bake (just like my favorite recipe, this mango ice cream cake), make-ahead, and only takes five ingredients. Yes, you read that right. Essentially, this simple treat has all the ingredients for an easy, flavor-packed dessert!
Wait, what is Shrikhand?
Shrikhand is an Indian dessert with roots in Gujarati and Maharashtrian cuisine. It is made from suspended curd, which is strained yogurt with the whey removed. Traditional versions are made with cardamom and saffron, but I’ve seen different takes with rose, fruit, spice and nuts. I’ve even seen chocolate shrikhand doing the rounds on the internet! Although I didn’t grow up eating it regularly, I have eaten it several times at gatherings and love its simplicity and flavor. My version may be a little different from the others because I layered mine in a parfait. But each person makes their own flavor tweaks and tweaks, so feel free to experiment and customize to your liking.
It’s all about yogurt
I grew up in a house where two big pots of yogurt were always on our weekly grocery list. It was often used to make boondi, kadhi or my favourite, yogurt rice, and even served on its own as a side dish to dinner. Whatever the preparation, not a day went by that we didn’t eat yogurt. It also means I’m used to having a lot of leftover yogurt around. As a result, I like to get creative and try new ways to use it.
First of all, you MUST use whole yogurt here. It’s a non-negotiable. If you’re using plain yogurt, I recommend straining longer for a thicker result. If you’re using Greek yogurt, when it’s already thick, I strain it overnight to make it even more luscious and creamy. I really covet the thick, whipped texture that can only be achieved if you’ve strained out as much liquid as possible. (And I can’t be the only one who likes their yogurt that way.) You might even be able to get away with using a dairy-free alternative with the same method, although I haven’t tried it myself. -same.
How to strain yogurt
I lay a cheesecloth over a hand strainer. This makes it easy to place the strainer on top of a large bowl. I then pour the yogurt into the colander and cover with the edges of the cheesecloth. I didn’t weigh my yogurt, but you can definitely pile a heavy plate or bowl on top of the yogurt to help squeeze out the liquid. Hetal from Milk and Cardamom has a good visual of the setup here.
How to flavor your Shrikhand
The sweetener: I prefer to use powdered sugar in this recipe, as I find it dissolves more easily in the yogurt, although you can also use granulated sugar. You can also use honey or maple syrup if you like, although I find that sometimes thins out the strained yogurt a bit. It does not bother you? Do not worry! Go with either of these sweeteners. The different versions of shrikhand I’ve tried over the years have varied in levels of sweetness. I’ve had some that are intensely sweet and some that are barely sweet. I like a little more sugar because I don’t want it to just taste like yogurt. But taste as you go and adjust as you see fit!
Spices: I could write a love letter to cardamom. The floral and sweet flavor is the epitome of nostalgia for me. In this recipe, it adds a nice heat to the flavor while still being subtle. The other star? Saffron. Yes, it’s an expensive spice, but a little goes a long way. I have this little jar and I find the flavor amazing. And yes, if you really want to leave it out, you can. To top it off, I used rose petals and cookies. But you can also use fresh fruit, pistachios, granola or whatever you prefer. Follow your happiness.
Can I prepare this recipe in advance?
Yes! You will need to plan ahead when it comes to straining yogurt. But once that’s done, all you have to do is whisk everything together in a bowl with a spatula. To store, cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator. I recommend eating in a few days. That is, of course, if there are any left.