Shrikhand is a classic Gujarati (or Marathi) sweet made with thickened yogurt, sweetened with sugar, and a little cardamom and saffron to add a little elegance and flavor. This is a very traditional recipe that I have seen served in many Gujarati households and celebrations.
About this Recipe
Shrikhand is a dish that dates back to at least 500 BC. It was most likely created to preserve yogurt for longer by drying it out. However, the yogurt would become sour, so sugar and spices were added.
I recognize shrikhand as one of about 5 foods my brother would eat growing up. It is a very kid-friendly food, aided, of course, by sugar.
Do You Have to Sieve Shrikhand?
I make shrikhand almost exactly the way my Grandmother did. The only difference is that I do not put it through a sieve. My Grandmother, after the yogurt was drained, would push it through a sieve to make sure there were absolutely no lumps in it.
I believe this was necessary for her because Indian yogurt tends to have some malai in it, which causes lumps. Yogurt in the US does not have that issue.
Indian Style or Greek Plain Yogurt – you can use plain yogurt because you drain off the whey to thicken it to your liking. If you use a thinner yogurt, you will just have to leave it sitting longer to drain.
Powdered Sugar – traditionally, my mom and grandma use “buru,” which is cane sugar that has been ground into a powder to dissolve more easily. Powdered sugar is a very fine cane sugar that also has a little bit of cornstarch in it. The corn starch doesn’t do much; the point is to use very fine sugar.
Cardamom – use finely ground seeds. Do not use any part of the pod. You can either purchase whole seeds or remove them from about 2 pods and grind them in a mortar and pestle.Saffron – I bloomed mine in an ice cube which helps limit the water needed. Alternatively, you can use warm milk to bloom it. Use 1/2 teaspoon.
- The shrikand has the right texture when it holds its shape when you open the cheesecloth. You should see the cheesecloth texture and shape in the ball of yogurt when you open it up. If it isn’t holding shape, it needs to drain for longer.
- For perfectly smooth shrikhand, use a sieve to sift the powdered sugar as you add it. I don’t find this necessary, but it is another step you can take to ensure a smooth shrikhand.
- If you want to make “Instant Shrikhand,” you can skip draining the yogurt. Be sure to use Greek yogurt so that it is thick enough, and mix in the sugar and spices. You won’t have quite the same rich texture, but it will be close enough.
- Serve with puri, plain puri or tikhi puri are both great with shrikhand.
- 2 cups whole milk yogurt
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- Pinch of saffron bloom with 1/2 cube of ice
- ¼ tsp cardamom seeds freshly ground
- Pistachio for garnish optional
- Line a strainer with cheesecloth. Add the yogurt to the cheesecloth and wrap it. Let it drain for 2 hours.
- About 30-40 minutes before the yogurt is finished draining, bloom the saffron by placing a few pieces in a small bowl and adding about 1/2 of an ice cube. Allow the ice cube to melt over the saffron while the yogurt finishes draining.
- Transfer the yogurt to a bowl and whisk until smooth. Sift and add the powdered sugar to the yogurt. Stir to combine and remove any lumps.
- Add saffron and cardamom, stir to combine.