Kesar Elaichi Shrikhand/ Saffron flavoured sweet yoghurt

Shrikhand is the traditional dessert of Maharashtra and Gujarat. The recipe is very simple and easy to make using fresh curds. You can add flavours of your choice to give various variations of your choice like elaichi,kesar elaichi,mango, strawberry shrikhand etc. Today I’m posting the recipe one of my favourites Kesar Elaichi Shrikhand.
  • 2 cups thick curds made with full cream milk
  • Approximately 1/4th cup + 6 tbsp castor sugar (adjust to individual taste and depending on the sourness of the curds and also depending on the quantity of hung curds you get)
  • 8 to 10 strands of saffron soaked in 1 tbsp warm milk
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg powder
  • Almond and pistachio slivers (optional) to garnish
  • Place the thick curds on a muslin cloth, tie it in a bundle and place in a siever with a weight on top to drain for atleast three hours untill the water content (whey) has drained off in a deep container below. 2 cups thick curds approximately gives 1 cup chakka or thick hung curds.
  • In a mixing bowl combine the hung curds, sugar,and blend the mix using a blender in spurts to get an even creamy texture. DO NOT run the blender for long at one go as it can result in a runny shrikhand. Just about 4 to 5 spurts of the whip or pulse mode of the mixer are enough for 1 cup of hung curds ( as castor sugar blends well into the yoghurt)
  • Add the saffron mixture, cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and mix well. Garnish with cardamom powder and strands of saffron.
  • Refrigerate covered for at least 2 hours to chill.
  • Serve chilled with hot puris or even as a sweet dessert.
  • The thickness and sweetness of the shrikhand depends on individual taste. Some like it sweet while some like it sweet and tart. Adjust taste accordingly.
  • Castor sugar blends well into the yoghurt and it is actually time saving too as traditionally regular sugar is added to yoghurt and set aside for about two hours and then the mix is passed through a muslin cloth or puran making machine to get an even creamy texture. Adding castor sugar saves time and yet tastes yumm.
Procedure and TIP to prepare thick curds :
  • Boil milk in a pan, switch off flame and set aside till warm to touch.
  • Line the insides of the bowl with yoghurt and then add the luke warm milk and the rest of the yoghurt and stir. This tip will result in thick curds. Keep aside in a warm place for atleast 8 to 10 hours to set.
  • Use luke warm milkin winter and milk at room temperature in summer to set curds.
  • Warm the saffron strands on a pan and then add to warm milk. It’ll release more colour and flavour too.
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