Shikharini – this is apparently the Sanskrit word from where the word Shrikhand has been derived. Similar to Makhan or sweet white butter, this delicious dessert is prepared from Dahi or curd. Research says that the dish dates back to around 400 B.C. and was had in ample quantities by the people of Gujarat in India. I have just so many memories of this dish for it’s one of my favorite desserts and my mother makes it really well.
Like many a times, this recipe also has been taught by my mother – people just gorge on her Shrikhand. And let me tell you, it is just so simple – from kids to adults, everyone can enjoy it equally well. Creamy, nutty and sweet – its’s the perfect dessert to end an Indian meal. Sure, it’s a separate thing that you will feel all drowsy after the meal, but who cares! A good dessert is what completes the meal and is a must. 😀
There are various brands available in the market in India that sell Shrikhand but nothing comes close to the home made version specially when it is made by mom. I am not even counting the price, it’s the taste of home made version that beats everything else. You should definitely try this recipe at home.
Just one thing – you need at least a day’s time before you are to prepare this recipe as you need to first make hung curd from normal curd and that is what takes time.
- 6 L full fat milk
- 3.25 cups ground sugar
- 100 gms cardamom powder
- 10-12 saffron strands
- 2 cups mango pieces / crushed mangoes
- 1 tspn curd
- Take out the milk in a pan and boil it. Since it is full fat milk, it should boil enough within 10 mins. Once it boils, take it off the gas and let it cool down.
- Add about 1/4 tspn curd to the milk when it has cooled down and cover it. Keep it outside for about 3-4 hours till curd is formed.
- Now in a pan, take a strainer. (Take care that the strainer remains above the pan and does not fall inside it.) Cover the strainer with a muslin cloth. Slowly, ladle by ladle, add the prepared curd in this muslin cloth.
- Once all the curd has been put in the muslin cloth, cover it and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. (This process can be done outside the refrigerator also but then chances are that the hung curd could become a little sour in taste.) During this process, all the water will drain out from the curd and what will remain back will be hung curd.
- Hung curd is really creamy. (It can also be used for frosting cakes). Hung curd should look something like this.
- Now, take out the hung curd in a large pan and add the sugar and cardamom powder. Conventionally, people have started using blenders in order to mix everything but I prefer first mixing everything with bare hands and then one churn with a blender just to smoothen the texture.
- In a small bowl, take about a 1 tspn of milk and heat it. Add the saffron strands, mix it and add it to the prepared curd mixture.
- Blend everything once again and add the mango pieces. Just fold the mango pieces in the entire mixture and lo! you are ready with your Shrikhand - so easy and simple!
- Serve it in a bowl garnished with almond slivers, cashew nuts, walnuts , etc.
The best part about this recipe is that you can experiment with whatever flavor you like – be it chocolate or dryfruit or mix fresh fruits or think of something totally crazy. You just need to add the flavor at the end and you are good to go! Try it out!