Saturday, March 2, 2013

Shrikhand



I don't know why I never tried making this "sweet"y ;-) before ? Oh I remember now,...a wrong (read "nothing like what it's supposed to taste") one at the right time made me biased against this immensely flavorful , yet open to various modifications to make it a healthy treat without losing it's charm, dessert. The saying "first impression matters" was all true when it came to my view of shrikhand. With an intriguing name, that I came across a magazine during high school, I always wanted to taste it. The only not so appeasing thing to me about it during that time was the main ingredient in it - yogurt that is, you see I am not a big fan of dairy if it does not have any masking flavors, it's the smell and taste that is a turn off, ....my mom had a hard time making me eat ghee/butter/milk during childhood, and the fact that my tastebuds were advanced (probably in today's percentile crazy world, I probably would have measured the 90 th percentile for tastebuds , if there is such a thing as tastebud percentile :-P )....and the above mentioned "wrong thing at right time" scenario didn't do any good. Fast forward to present, when I tasted it just few months back. I was hooked ;-) lol....Thanks to hub's sweet tooth ! To sweeten the deal, bub too loved it :-)


Hence I decided to try it to make it healthier than their sugar rich store bought counterpart. However I did notice that if you skimp too much on the sugar part, it ends up tasting like just plain yogurt, which was not my goal. So I added sugar according to my taste. It might differ from yours, so I am not mentioning the measurement here. In fact I didn't measure anything, and I didn't need to. It's that easy, and versatile, after the initial yogurt processing step.



How I made it:

Shrikhand is a dessert made with hung yogurt. As you can see from the picture, it's the creamy , spreadable yogurt that's left after all water is strained from yogurt.
- I used a cheesecloth, dumped the entire container of yoghurt in the cheesecloth that was positioned carefully atop another vessel so as to avoid any messes.

-Then I carefully gathered up the edges of the cheesecloth and tied one of it's edges around the gathered cloth
- Then I hung it from the tap to put it under pressure just like making paneer.
- I let it strain overnight, but no more as then it will cause the yogurt to turn sour.

It looks like paneer (cottage cheese), but nothing like that otherwise in terms of texture or taste. So once this hung yogurt is obtained, the next step is to whip it well with everything that goes into it...
-I whipped it with some powdered sugar and a bit of granulated sugar, a teaspoon of sour cream if desired, nuts, fresh or canned fruits like mango, pineapple, cherry, saffron, cardamom powder. I also added a generous tablespoon of pure vanilla extract :-) ....like I said you can add your own twist to it.

But don't by any chance ruin this by whipping with a blender or any machine. Your hands would serve the purpose here if you catch my drift.



- Once everything is whipped, refrigerate atleast two hours.

This last step alone, in my opinion, is what causes magic and transforms yogurt to Shrikhand :-) ,....you ask me why? Coz otherwise it tastes like plain flavored yogurt. I was initially disappointed that all my anticipation and efforts went in vain before I refrigerated it. So that's why I am telling you again, "Refrigerate it" :-)

One thing I learned which would better equip me next time : Make more of it ! :-) seriously readers I tell you , this one is a keeper in my make once a week recipe. I can't tell you how glad I was to see my bub having it without spitting out the nuts I added in it. He licked the spoon clean, and to think all those active cultures in the yogurt went inside his tummy made me giddy happy :-)



So did I inspire you enough to give it a try?

Well here is another one ;-) ....



Have a great weekend :-)
MK

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