The house is noisy, clothes all over her floor, lights left on in her room, a million bottles of unidentifiable liquids strewn all over the bathroom counter and dressing table- what’s it with teenaged girls and oodles of makeup???
It’s also a time when I can pull out all the stops and make every artery clogging, heart-attack inducing, high calorific Indian dish, and have no regrets about it!
I promised her pooris – a deep fried Indian bread, served with chole (chickpeas cooked in a tomato and onion based gravy) and halwa. But she would have none of that!
“Is there shrikhand?” She demanded. “No, shrikhand, no pooris”, she said with finality, when I protested that I didn’t keep such treats at home normally.
I anticipated a dreaded trip to Mustafa, the everything-(and everyone)under-one-roof store in Little India, for the elusive Shrikhand….a trip that sends shudders down my spine attempted on a weekend. When Mustafa seems to be jam packed by one billion people. All with a mission on their minds and murder in their hearts (for a hapless soul that gets in the way of whatever they are hunting down).
So I decided to make the decadent Shrikhand myself. And so can you!
The ingredients are few, and easily found in most homes. You can vary up the basic recipe to create many different riffs on the theme.
Yoghurt 1 ltr tub, I used Greek as it is thicker than natural yoghurt
White sugar, 1 cup
Cardamom, 4-5 pods
Saffron, a few strands (optional)
Warm milk, 2-4 tbsps
Pistachios, 2-3 tbsps, flaked (use any nuts of your choice. Almonds, cashews and pistachios are traditional)
Set a colander on a large bowl. Spread a large, clean kerchief over the colander.
Pour the yoghurt into the kerchief, allowing the whey from the yoghurt to drip into the bowl.
Set this aside for an hour or so until the yoghurt drains and thickens.
Grind the cardamom pods and sugar together.
Put the saffron strands into the warm milk and crush with a teaspoon. The saffron will release its colour and fragrance.
Once the yoghurt has drained, scrape it into a clean dish and add the cardamom sugar and mix well. Add as much of the sugar as you wish, reserving the rest for another dessert.
Finally add the saffron infused milk and top with the pistachios. (I didn’t add the nuts, as my daughter does not like them).