Kesar Pista Shrikhand: Shrikhand with Saffron and Pistachio
4
servings
Main
Course
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Directions
For the Strained Yogurt
4 c
plain, full-fat yogurt (homemade yogurt is commonly used, but store-bought Greek yogurt works well and speeds up the process)
Jump
For the Shrikhand
1 tbsp
milk
Jump
¼ tsp
saffron threads
Jump
2 c
strained yogurt
Jump
½ c
packed powdered sugar, plus more if desired
Jump
1
pinch of cardamom
Jump
1
pinch of salt
Jump
1 ½ tbsp
pistachios, finely chopped and divided in half
Jump

The most popular shrikhand variation uses saffron and pistachio. Make sure to buy full-fat yogurt, if you can, for the richest texture. Saffron is mixed with a bit of warm milk and beaten into the yogurt to impart a beautiful, pale-yellow hue. Pistachios garnish the dish to add a slight crunch.

Directions

For the Strained Yogurt
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
For the Shrikhand
  1. Once strained, heat milk with saffron in the microwave for 10 seconds. Mix, then continue alternating between microwaving for 10-second intervals and mixing until the liquid turns yellow (about 30 seconds total). Let cool for a couple of minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, beat the thickened yogurt with a whisk in a medium bowl until light and airy, about 1 minute.
  3. Whisk in the powdered sugar (start with less sugar if you prefer a more tart dessert), cardamom, and salt until smooth. Then add in the saffron milk mixture, reserving a few threads. Add in half of the chopped pistachios until fully incorporated.
  4. Taste, and add more sugar if desired, then garnish with the remaining saffron threads and pistachios. Shrikhand should be quite sweet, with a slight tartness, but not cloyingly sweet.
  5. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving. This step allows all the flavors in the shrikhand to fully marinate. Shrikhand will keep in the fridge for 1 week.

Karishma Pradhan

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.