Shrikhand

I sometimes wonder if my in-laws think of me as the eternal “jeans-wearing,” “diet-food-eating,” “rebel feminist” soon (daughter-in-law). Which, I guess, I am (evil laughter). Sometimes, though, I like to slip into super traditional gear, pull out a Ruchira (most Maharashtrian cooks will associate with this Bible of Cooking passed on through the generations) or call the mother or grandma and cook up a childhood favorite. Home-made Shrikhand is one such.

This past weekend, I was hosting a lunch party for a pleasant gathering of 15 people who loved their food as much as I do. I spent much time planning out the menu, and finally zeroed in on a Gujarati-inspired spread:

 

  • Home-made Shrikhand
  • Off-season oondhiyo (recipe coming soon)
  • Kadhi
  • Kachumber
  • Dhokla
  • Puris
  • Plain, reassuring steamed rice

I think Shrikhand-puri is a match made in heaven; the hot crispness of the puri and the chilled smoothness of the Shrikhand have often put to rest many a tired and depressed soul. I like only the careful home-made version, though. The ones made by local dairies are sweet to the point of being syrupy. A serving of Shrikhand should hold its own on the plate, like a dollop of good ice-cream; if it has to be served in a bowl, it ain’t right.

When I was a child, Amma would have to plan her Shrikhand-making enterprise in advance (unlike me, who can just dash to the local dairy 10 minutes before the scheduled electricity load shedding time and be back before the lift comes to its screechy halt) because chakka (hung yoghurt) was not sold in the more cosmopolitan area we lived in, and would have to be bought from the central suburbs of the city. The other Gujarati/Marathi families would probably make their own chakka at home; but not for Amma the patience or effort of such “from scratch” processes. So a trip to Dadar for all things Marathi (such as olay kaaju {fresh cashew nuts} or punchay (hand woven, cotton towels}) would end with a trip to Bedekar’s, where several kilos of malai chakka or full cream hung yogurt were bought.

An impatient dash home later, the chakka would be measured into a large vessel with the required quantity of sugar, and all those other lovely things that make home-made Shrikhand the sin that it is. A few hours later, the magical puran yantra or soup strainer would be brought out and all of us would take turns turning the knob as the sugar and yogurt amalgamated to strain down thin noodles of pale yellow Shrikhand. This creamy delight was then transferred to air-tight containers and stored in the freezer to be used at any occasion celebrating event or life.

Here’s the recipe:

Amma’s Shrikhand

1 kg malai chakka (hung natural yogurt)
¾ kg sugar
pinch salt
¼ nutmeg, finely grated
few strands of saffron, lightly roasted, bruised, and immersed in ¼ cup warm milk

Method:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large vessel and leave covered for a few hours or until the sugar begins to dissolve into the yogurt.
  2. Pass through a soup strainer or blend/whisk until it becomes smooth.
  3. Transfer to air-tight vessels (preferably plastic; metal causes ice crystals) and store in the freezer.

The Shrikhand tastes sweeter about two days later; so, don’t add too much sugar even if your husband makes weird faces from the apparent sourness the day you make it.

Serve with hot puris, topped with a few strands of saffron and crushed pistachios/almonds if feeling fancy.

Comments (4)

  1. Moturam's Ahalya August 26, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    Saee, write more and take more pics. Remember that veggie pulao? With cinnamon sticks?
    Oh and Maggi, lest we forget.
    Are you still doing the glass of hot water?

  2. Swati August 26, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    Hi Saee,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog..
    You have a wonderful space here with the loveliest recipes…
    I’d be glad to have a workshop in Mumbai..Lets see when that works out..
    Can I have your email id..
    You could just write to me sugarcraftindia@gmail.com

  3. Saee Koranne-Khandekar August 27, 2008 at 3:35 am

    Ahalya and Swati: Thank you, thank you!

    Ahalya, what veggie pulao with cinnamon sticks? I left rice way behind *sigh*

  4. Pingback: Saffron and Cardamom Lemonade

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