Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Badam-Akrod-Keshar yukta Shrikhand (Shrikhand flavoured with almonds,walnuts & saffron)

Indian Cooking is not merely all about taste, but also about emotions associated with our culture, traditions, memories & relationships.As a child, if there was one sweet that caught my fancies then it was Shrikhand (Indian Yogurt). I would wish aloud to my mother that it would be a feast to find Shrikhand inside the refrigerator after coming home from school everyday. She would make it quite often, since it is a sort of family favourite amongst 4 generations of our family.

I miss celebrating Indian festivals the most in US, for one can't feast on the lovely "Shrikhand-Puri" (Puri is a sort of Indian wheat fritter eaten with side entrees and sweets) made by my mother all so often. So, here's a toast of Shrikhand raised for all the Ganpule clan way back in L'Inde (my maiden name is Ganpule).

  • Low fat plain Yogurt (American Dahi) or home made Curd-@ 5 table spoons for two people
  • Cardamom powder (veldoda/elaichi)
  • Saffron sticks dissolved in 3 tbsp of milk
  • a muslin or cotton cloth (1'x1')
  • Sugar , (as per desired).I added 15 tsps since the sugar used was super fine and highly processed.
  • Nutmeg (Jaiphal)
  • Charoli (Indian crispies added for flavour). Optional. It would be difficult to get Charoli in US, but one can do without it. 
  • Mrs. Ogale of Ruchira suggests the usage of food colour in the absence of Saffron, however, it's always healthier to use Saffron (not cheaper anyway, 0.5 gm box for 5 dollars).
  • 5 almonds (de-skinned and finely cut into thin slices)
  • 3 walnuts (finely cut)

For Home-made Dahi/Curd

Before proceeding any further, here's an age old recipe for making home made Curd (Dahi/Yogurt) so that one can prepare Dahi one night before making Shrikhand. I set up a soup bowl full of milk on low flame and added some Yogurt/Curd (1tsp) while it was lukewarm.One can use little lemon juice to curdle it.I took it off the flame and stirred it.I left it covered overnight at room temprature.The weather here is quite favourable for this,but in India many people keep it in a cool dry place like Fadtal (a sideboard/shelf with leafs).

Next day,just few hours prior to the feast,I transferred the dahi/curds in a soft muslin /cotton cloth and tied a knot.This satchel was set aside until all the moisture was absorbed by the muslin/cotton cloth.Drain all the water content from the batter before opening the knot.This is called "Chakka/चक्का "  (the thick batter for Shrikhand).

I moved the contents into a serving bowl and whipped it with a spoon.Later i added 15 tsps of sugar to this batter.The quantity of sugar to be added may vary due to sweetness & thickness of sugar used."Ruchira" insists that this sugar+batter mixture should besieved through a special sieve. This sieve wasnt available in the nearby stores in Sunnyvale, so I had to do without it.I tried sieving it through the normal french fry sieve which was harldy any help.It instead added to my to-wash list for the day! [:P]

Anyway folks, the Shrikhand was almost ready and my dream was close to a reality when the maintenance guy showed up. After seeing him off, I resumed work.The sweet batter was a little too thick so i added a little milk in it,just to get the consistency good enough for serving (consistency is similar to cake batter,it glides through the spoon into the bowl).Then began the make-up! The saffron-milk solution,nutmeg and cardamom powder(seived it  through normal tea strainer "गाल्णे"  rouged up the batter.Some walnuts & almonds (charoli was replaced by walnuts/almonds) were added just before serving.

Voila (a with a the big grave accent),my favourite sweet was up on the dinner table!

I prefer it with puri or chapathi,but as my husband says "Sweets need to be enjoyed as themselves,no contamination with the tastes and aromas they possess"...the rest of you could also eat it JLT!


  1. Delicious. Walnut and Almonds is a super combination.
    Ek goshta mi vachali"One can use little lemon juice to curdle it"...pan if we add lemon juice, it would be paneer instead of chakka na!

  2. @ Rasika: thanks!When you don't have much time to shop an innovation happens! The walnut-Almond thing is just one of those! I agree with your analysis.The lemon juice or rice vinegar must be added in a meagre quantity to avoid any solidificaion of the batter into paneer (indian cottage cheese).

  3. seems yum.... when can I get some of that... Vahini :P ? - Ashwin

  4. and yeah..... walnuts ....something different :)

  5. @ Ashwin: You sure would get it before Christmas :P and thanks for the appreciation Bhauji!

  6. hey well written !! congrats and best luck for ur blogging. some recipe suggestion
    1. for sieve (puran yantra)I use egg bitter or hand blender wt that attachment. or once sanju mami told me that mix dahi(ekjiv)first and then put it on cloth.
    2. I remember my mom used use 'malaivala dahi' or used get malai chakka form store , for that I always use 'MOUNTAIN HIGH ORIGINAL' yogurt or any original cultured yogurt for tht matter.its very reach in taste,As shrikhanda roj nahi banat so little bit more calories r fine.
    3. even try using Greek yogurt that taste good too.
    i hope u will find this helpful

  7. @ Sheetal:Thanks a lot for being such a wonderful and knowledgeable reader.Your suggestions are very interesting and I would definitely try them out!! Keep those wonderful suggestions coming in!