Allow me to call it a beauty.I dont mean fancy or flashy.Neither I want to hint that I toiled over this dessert for hours. It is something hopelessly easy to make, yet succeeds in achieving the delight a dessert is supposed to bring. Softly tart yogurt flavored with freshly ground elaichi (cardamom),topped with a luscious mango saffron compote – as simple as it can get but like a little sunshine on the spoon.
It is hard to believe that something so unfancy & minimal as yogurt & sugar can turn into a creation which appeals to the sweet tooth. I admit that cardamom & cream add more body to the dessert – making it a little more wonderful.Cream is traditionally not used – I like it for the added richness that it lends here. Trust me, never a easy dessert would taste so very spectacular.
Shrikhand is a yogurt based sweet dish originally from western parts of India. But now, it is popular all over the subcontinent. Basic shrikhand recipe is like a blank canvas – some like to add nuts, some combine chopped or pureed fruits with it and some let the melt in the mouth consistency remain unadulterated. Experiment as it pleases you.
I ate shrikhand for the first time prepared by one of my friend’s mom in Pune. She served it along side pooris (deep-fried flatbread) & a spicy bean sprouts curry. The combo was tad odd for me. Supposedly the yogurt is supposed to calm down the spices of the meal as you eat.I m not exactly sure how few bits of that first not-so- appreciable taste testing stuck with me.Eight years down the line & now I immensely enjoy shrikhand with pooris. Just like any comfort food, the sugar & oil overload is quite addictive.
Usually, pureed mango is mixed with hung yogurt & shrikhand becomes amrakhand. My favorite summer fruit is here. I bought season’s first batch last week & they seemed perfect to add a texture to the dessert.The mangoes were ripe & sweet – a compote was definitely on my mind. Addition of saffron to it seemed an obvious decision to accentuate the exotic flavors. The fact that I prepared the dessert with homemade dahi (indian style yogurt) made me a little happy than usual.
All in all shrikhand scores as season celebrating dessert- perfect for those humid, sultry summer months when you want the refrigerator do all the work.Only when you make it, you will know how simple it is to put together; and fantastic too at the same time. Go try it!
Preparation Time :- About 8 hours (includes draining in the refrigerator)
Cooking Time :- 10 minutes (for both shrikhand & mango compote)
Ingredients (Makes 4 servings)
For the Shrikhand
- 1.5 cups whole milk plain dahi (substitute with plain yogurt)
- 100ml heavy cream, cold
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar (or to taste)
- 8-9 green cardamom pods (or 1/2 tsp cardamom powder)
- pinch of nutmeg powder
- 3 tbsp luke warm water
- 1/4 tsp saffron threads
- 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp lime zest
- 2 ripe mangoes, peeled, cored, diced