Kesar Elaichi Shrikhand recipe with its step by step pictures.
Kesar Elaichi Shrikhand (Saffron and Cardamom flavored sweet Greek Yogurt) is an essential element of Gujrati Thali or Gujarati cuisine. Shrikhand is a semi-soft, sweet and flavored dairy based Indian dessert made from Strained Yogurt also called Chakka in various regions. This Chakka (Strained Yogurt) is then mixed with sugar and various flavoring agents to make a sweet delicacy called Shrikhand.Shrikhand is made with various flavors like Rose Shrikhand, Pista Badam Shrikhand etc. Here I have made one of the most liked and popular variants of Shrikhand, Kesar Elaichi Shrikhand. I personally believe that these two ingredients are sufficient enough to give a perfect color, taste and an exotic aroma to any Indian dessert, specially Shrikhand.
Another very popular variation of Shrikhand is Aamrakhand, in which Shrikhand is prepared in the same way and later finely pureed mango pulp is added to it. It is a very famous dessert in Maharashtra during Mango season.Making Shrikhand is actually very simple, the only time-consuming and a tough task is to get the perfect Strained Yogurt (Chakka). The overall texture and taste of the Shrikhand depend upon how thick and creamy your Strained Yogurt is. If it contains even a little quantity of whey, the whole recipe will be spoiled. So be very careful while making the Strained Yogurt (Chakka). Another most important thing while making Shrikhand is to take only fresh Yogurt, as our Yogurt will totally spoil its taste and texture. Lastly while mixing the sugar in Strained Yogurt, rotate or thick bottom spoon or whisker constantly, very gently and in one direction only.
So here is the step by step recipe of making Shrikhand:
Ingredients to make Kesar Elaichi Shrikhand:
Fresh Yogurt (Dahi)- 700 ml, later strain it with a muslin cloth to get 1 cup of strained Yogurt.
Strained Yogurt- 1 cup
Powdered Sugar- 1/2 cup
Cardamom Powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Saffron- 10-12 strands.
Method to make Kesar Elaichi Shrikhand:
1. Take yogurt in a clean muslin cloth. Yogurt (Dahi) should be fresh and not sour else it will spoil the taste and texture of the Shrikhand.
2. Tie a knot and hang it in a cool dry place for at least 4-5 hours or overnight also, the more you will hang it tightly, the more it will be creamier and thick. In excessive summers you can also hang this yogurt in the refrigerator also, it will prevent it from getting sour. Place a bowl or pot below it to collect the whey that will drip.
3. Meanwhile, soak the saffron strands in 2 tablespoons of lukewarm milk.
4. I hung my Yogurt for 5 hours and later refrigerated it for 1 hour before taking it out from the muslin cloth. As a result, I got the perfect, creamier and cottage cheese like the consistency of the Strained Yogurt (Dahi or Chakka).
5. Take this Strained Yogurt in a mixing bowl and mash it with a spoon. You can see its creamy and velvety texture. I just love it.
6. Add powdered sugar and mix well delicately and gently in one direction only till sugar dissolves completely.
7. Add the few strands of Saffron and Saffron Milk (Milk in which saffron strands were soaked) and mix well.
8. Add Cardamom Powder and mix well.
9. Shrikhand is ready. Refrigerate it for 2-3 hours before serving. Garnish it with sliced Almonds and remaining strands of Saffron and serve chilled.