Shrikand, an aromatic Indian Dessert
Whilst I have been writing posts on the subject of Indian food over the past week, a memory I'd completely forgotten suddenly came to the fore of my mind. Shrikhand! Somewhere, a long time ago, I don't recall where, I frequented a restaurant where they served this Indian dessert. Recollections of the taste and the texture flooded my thoughts. I had a sudden urge to make some because as well as fitting in with my theme of the week, it was haunting me and the memory of the taste was lingering on my tongue. Plus, most importantly, it is also a delicious shade of pale, golden orange.
The following recipe serves only one so increase measurements appropriately if you would like to serve more people. The recipe is incredibly easy and you can adapt the amount of sugar and cardamom to your own personal taste. I read through a few recipes online, saw how easy it was to do and then went ahead and prepared it, my way, without the aid of reference. I was also able to make it without a trip to the store. I already had everything I needed, you might be able to do the same thing.
First leave 1 cup of yoghurt (I used 2% fat Greek) wrapped in muslin to strain in the fridge for about 12 hours. Wrap the muslin tightly and suspend over a bowl to collect the water (over an 1/8th of a cup will be expelled). When ready, carefully open the muslin and put the strained yoghurt into a bowl.
Gently dry-heat a small frying pan or skillet and toast 1/2 tsp saffron for about 1 minute, just to let the moisture evaporate. Do not cook! Grind the saffron to a fine dust in a pestle and mortar. Measure 1 tsp Rose Water into a tiny bowl and brush the saffron dust into it. Mix together well with a little spoon to make a vivid orange liquid. Beat this into the yoghurt together with 2 tsp sieved powdered (icing) sugar, and 2 pinches of cardamom. When all the ingredients are blended thoroughly return to the refrigerator to chill for at least 20 minutes before serving, topped with a few slivers of pistachio.
My version uses much less sugar than the traditional recipes. I find that the strength of the flavours and spices makes this little treat so interesting that I don't need any extra sweetness. If you want a sweeter version, just add more sugar, 1 tsp at a time and keep tasting until you have the desired result. The flavour of this unusual dish really does stay with you for a while after eating. It is mesmerising. No wonder that memory had firmly lodged itself in a box somewhere in the back of my mind, waiting for the appropriate moment to burst out and unleash itself on me again.
posted in Food and Recipes and India and Cooking Shrikand, an aromatic Indian Dessert