A recipe for Shrikhand (Indian Yogurt Pudding) from the cookbook, Yogurt: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, written by Janet Fletcher.
Disclosure: I received this cookbook from Blogging for Books in exchange for my review. All comments and opinions stated are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
In addition to Yogurt, Janet Fletcher is the author/co-author of more than two dozen books. She has a weekly email newsletter, Planet Cheese, is a longtime contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle, and has also written for numerous magazines, including Saveur, Bon Appetit, Fine Cooking, Culture, and Food & Wine.
Janet has received three James Beard Awards and the IACP Bert Greene Award for newspaper journalism. She currently lives in the Napa Valley teaching cheese and cooking classes.
Janet begins with a history of yogurt and how it developed into the product popular today. She goes on to explain how to choose yogurt for consumption and for use in recipes. This section was particularly helpful to me.
She stresses the importance of checking labels and making sure the container lists live active cultures. If the yogurt was heat treated after the bacteria was added, this would kill the probiotics and subsequent digestive benefits. Janet also explains the difference between the many types of yogurt available and how they work in recipes: plain, flavored, cow, goat, sheep, different fat levels, Greek, and those with added stabilizers.
She then discusses the process of making your own yogurt in depth, from choosing the milk and a starter to the incubation method and troubleshooting. There are even instructions for making drained yogurt, Greek yogurt, yogurt cheese, and how to use whey.
Chapters are divided into the Introduction, Making Yogurt at Home, Yogurt for Breakfast, Appetizers and Salads, Soups, Mostly Meat, Vegetables and Grains, Desserts, and Beverages.
I particularly love the abundance of international dishes. You will find recipes inspired by the Middle East and Mediterranean, India, Turkey, Greece, Egypt, France, and Oregon. Many of the recipes are paired with a beautiful full-page color photograph of the finished product. Measurements are listed in US customary.
Shrikhand (Indian Yogurt Pudding)
I had heard of Shrikhand, but this was my first time preparing it at home. This dessert is made from drained yogurt that is sweetened and mixed with saffron and cardamom. It does take some time to allow the yogurt to drain, but preparation is mostly hands off. It is then topped with toasted coconut, almonds, and pistachios.
Plain, drained yogurt is plain whole milk yogurt that has been drained in a cheesecloth-lined fine sieve mesh for about an hour in the refrigerator. This thickens it slightly.
If you are unable to find cheesecloth (or occasionally like me forget that you have run out), a coffee filter with a flat base will also work.
You can also toast the toppings one at a time in a dry skillet over medium heat. They will toast quickly so keep an eye on them and stir constantly.
I also made Roasted Tomato Bruschetta with Yogurt Cheese; Lamb Meatballs in Warm Yogurt Sauce with Sizzling Red Pepper Butter; Fettuccine with Fried Onions, Yogurt, and Poppy Seeds; and Fresh Pineapple Lassi.
I started the Roasted Tomato Bruschetta recipe by making my own yogurt cheese. It requires about a day of draining, but the result is a luscious yogurt with the consistency of cream cheese. It paired perfectly with toasted baguette slices and roasted, seasoned tomatoes.
I made the Lamb Meatballs for dinner one night to serve with Sri Lankan Butter Rice. It was absolutely delicious. The lamb was lightly seasoned, formed into meatballs, and pan-fried before coating in a yogurt herb sauce. The dish was finished with a sprinkling of cumin pepper butter.
The Fettuccine came together quickly. After the pasta was cooked, it was tossed in a yogurt mint sauce and topped with fried onions and poppy seeds.
I was excited to try the pineapple version of Lassi. The drink involved only a quick whirl in the blender and included a small piece of fresh ginger for a little kick. I did need to add a splash of milk to help my blender along.
Shrikhand (Indian Yogurt Pudding with Saffron, Cardamom, and Toasted Nuts) Recipe
Shrikhand (Indian Yogurt Pudding with Saffron, Cardamom, and Toasted Nuts)
- 3 cups whole milk plain drained yogurt or Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Pinch saffron 10 threads
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch ground cardamom
- Pinch ground cinnamon
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons pistachios
- Place a large fine mesh sieve over a large bowl and line with cheesecloth. Add the yogurt, cover, and refrigerate until the yogurt has drained and thickened to 2 cups, several hours.
- In a small saucepan, combine the milk and saffron over low heat just until the milk is heated. It should not come to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover, and allow to steep for an hour.
- Transfer the drained and thickened yogurt to a medium bowl. Whisk in sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the saffron-steeped milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until a subtle saffron flavor has been introduced. This will only take about 1 teaspoon. The remaining saffron milk can be refrigerated and used to season rice.
- Cover the yogurt and refrigerate until well chilled, up to 1 day.
- Preheat oven to 325˚F. Place each of the toppings in a separate pie pan or wide oven-safe bowls in a single layer. Bake until the coconut is golden, not dark brown, stirring after a couple of minutes, about 4 minutes total. The almonds will take about 5 minutes to become golden brown. The pistachios will take 5-7 minutes. When cool enough to handle, coarsely chop the pistachios.
- Divide the prepared yogurt between 4 serving glasses. Top with toasted toppings. Serve immediately.