STRAWBERRY SHRIKHAND – हिसालू श्रीखंड (Strawberry Yogurt Pudding)

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When strawberries are in season, the one dish that is made regularly in our house is the strawberry shrikhand. My daughter can’t handle the tartness of berries, in general, so she avoids eating strawberries. Shrikhand helps mellow the tartness of strawberries and she really enjoys them this way. Serve her a bowl of this shrikhand and you will receive the brightest of the smile from her. Rather, shrikhand with fruits in it is loved by everyone in the house. I can’t stand the taste of sweet yogurt or lassi but add fruits to it and I find it irresistible. I try to incorporate different seasonal fruits to make this dessert. I really like how easy it is to make it and how delicious it is. Club with that the health factor and it turns out to be a perfect dessert, especially during summers.

It can be served for breakfast, with some muesli or granola added to it, and it can easily switch role and turn itself into a dessert sprinkled with nuts and fruits. A thing as simple as a shrikhand should be made at home since you can control the quality of ingredients that go into it and control the the quantity of sweetener that is added to it. This is one dessert that should be stocked in the fridge of every household I believe.

By the way if you are wondering what is this shrikhand that I am going on and on about. Well, it is an Indian dessert (an ancient one at that) that is similar to Greek yogurt to which aromatics are added. Because of its texture, it appears to be a rich and indulgent dessert but it is pretty healthy and it is very popular in western states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. You will find many different versions these days but the authentic ones will mostly be flavoured with crushed cardamom or saffron – the two classic Indian flavors.

The Greek yogurt is procured by straining the regular home–made yogurt through a muslin cloth that is hung for a few hours or overnight in the fridge (so that it doesn’t become sour) and once most of the water has drained, the thick yogurt is used for making shrikhand. (The thick yogurt is also called hung curd, yogurt cream and it is called chakka in Marathi) The yogurt is whisked, aromatics are added, nuts are added and it is authentically served in earthern pots. That ways, the yogurt stays cool and doesn’t go sour.

750 gm Homemade Yogurt

2½ C sliced Strawberries

4 rinds of organic Orange (check notes)

3 – 4 tbsp Sweetner of your choice (adjust amount)

2 tbsp Orange Juice

Half a Cinnamon stick

(Check notes towards the end of the post before you proceed to the recipe)

Place a sieve over a pot (deep one coz we need to catch the drips and we don’t want the base of the sieve to touch the water which will gather in the pot).

Check the size, i.e. the diameter,  of the sieve in ratio to the pot, ensuring that the sieve does not pop into the pot.

Line the sieve with a clean muslin cloth or a cheese cloth.

Whisk yogurt lightly and pour it over the muslin cloth. Cover the sieve with lid and place the loose hanging cloth over the cover. Place the pot inside the fridge over-night.

Next day, take a cooking pot and add the orange juice to it. Place the pot over fire on medium heat.

Add sweetener, orange rind and cinnamon stick and keep stirring till the sweetener melts (if using sugar or jaggery)

Allow the juice to boil while stirring it constantly.

Cook till the juice becomes syrupy and then add the sliced strawberries.

Stir them for fifteen to twenty seconds and switch off the heat.

At this point, remove and discard the cinnamon stick from the pot.

Allow the strawberries to cool and then blitz them using an immersion blender or a mixer.

Decant it in a bowl and set aside.

Bring out the hung curd from the refrigerator.

Turn out the yogurt in a bowl and whisk it well to attain a light and fluffy texture.

Add the pulped strawberry mix and whisk till the strawberry mix is well incorporated.

Pour the yogurt mix in individual bowls or serving glasses. Cover and refrigerate it till it is time to serve.

Serve it garnished with finely chopped nuts of your choice. Enjoy!

Serves – 4

Note – I could procure really thick yogurt that weighed 275 grams.

Note – Check for the sourness of the yogurt before you keep it for draining over night. This will help you to adjust the amount of sweetener.

Note – Wash and clean the orange really well. Dry it with a clean cloth before peeling.

Note – I had peeled orange rind using a potato peeler and used four vertically peeled rinds.

Note – Hull, wash and drain excess water from the strawberries before slicing.

Note – The amount of sweetener will depend on the sweetness of strawberries and sourness of yogurt.

Note – I usually keep aside a few tablespoons of strawberry pulp and pour a little on the top of the yogurt before serving.

Thanks for your visit and see you soon again with another exciting recipe!

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