Rose shrikhand is usually made with gulkand, a type of rose preserve prepared by layering rose petals and sugar in a jar. The jar is left out in the sun for several days, yielding a thick, sweet jam. Gulkand can be difficult to source, so I like to substitute the preserve with a more commonly found ingredient: rose syrup. The resulting dish invokes those same floral notes I grew up eating with a smoother texture and a subtle rosy hue.
- Lay a cheesecloth (in a pinch, a thin white T-shirt works perfectly well) over a colander in the sink, and pour the yogurt into the center of the cloth. Grab the ends of the cheesecloth and bunch them together, forming a pouch. Squeeze the yogurt into a single mass. Using a rubber band, tie the ends of the cloth as close to the yogurt as possible to form a tight ball.
- To strain the yogurt, loop a wooden spoon through the rubber band and rest the ends of the spoon on top of a large pot or wide jar. The ball of yogurt should be suspended from the spoon to drain the whey into the pot.
- Let hang for at least 8 hours (and up to 24 hours) in the fridge. When ready, the yogurt will be the texture of soft cream cheese.
- Once strained, lightly beat the thickened yogurt with a whisk in a medium bowl until light and airy, about 1 minute.
- Whisk in the powdered sugar (start with less sugar if you prefer a more tart dessert), cardamom, and salt. Then add in the rose syrup and mix until smooth.
- Taste, and add more sugar or syrup if desired, then garnish with rose petals. Shrikhand should be quite sweet, with a slight tartness, but not cloyingly sweet.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving. This step allows all the flavors in the shrikhand to fully marinate. Shrikhand can be kept up to 1 week in the fridge.
Karishma Pradhan is a part-time recipe developer, cooking instructor, and data analytics consultant residing in Cambridge, MA. She founded the Home Cooking Collective, a community for aspiring home cooks to learn how to make delicious food. You can find her on Instagram at @homecookingcollective or homecookingcollective.com.