Snappy Shrikhand for Dussera 

Following my family tradition of making either shrikhand or basundi for Dussera, this year I decided to make shrikhand simply because my grandson loves seeing me seive it through a thin muslin cloth.

So I began the process by ordering 2 litres of milk – not the skimmed milk or tetrapak variety that is popular in the market these days but full fat buffalo milk. I then made this into curd by adding some culture to just warm to the touch milk.

The curd is poured out into a Muslin cloth and the bundle tied over a pot so that all the whey is drained out.

Once the whey stops dripping you can safely assume that the curd cheese is ready to be made into Shrikhand.

Now add sugar depending on the sweetness you like – I added two heaped cups since I like it really sweet.

I let it sit a while so that the sugar melted and then spread a wet Muslin cloth spread taut over a wide mouthed pot, securing the cloth with some twine. Then gradually I spooned the curd +sugar mix on the cloth and spread it thin with my hand.

When all the curd is used up, I scraped off the strained curd that stuck to the cloth with a spatula. Then a few strands of saffron 1/4 tspn of powdered cardamom , a dash of nutmeg and a pinch of salt and it was done !

The most tedious part of the shrikhand is straining it through the muslin cloth, but this simple method really took me all of 15 minutes!

This makes a decent amount of Shrikhand for 4-6 people and is eaten with hot puris.

You can find more traditional recipes especially with Diwali fast approaching in my book The Fragrance of Mango Blossoms which is available as an e book too!

Shrikhand – An all time favourite


Any Marathi manoos worth his salt loves Shrikhand, that special milk dessert that is eaten for special occasions. This milk dessert, creamy and dreamy with its delicate saffron colour, hints of cardamom and nutmeg is sweet with just that touch of sourness to give it a unique taste.  And most people will talk lovingly of the way their granny’s shrikhand used to taste since most mothers these days have resorted to the easy way out of buying one of the millions of ready made Shrikhand available in the market. Amul‘s Shrikhand is very popular but if you want the closest to what your granny made, go for the Chitale Shrikhand.

Shrikhand is made out of hung curd so the whole process is quite laborious. To give you an idea

  • 4 hours for the curd to set
  • 2 hours for the water/whey to drain
  • 2 hours for the sugar to dissolve
  • 1 hour for the mixture to be sieved
  • 5 minutes for it to be eaten up

So you can imagine why your mother didn’t make it at home! I often used to take the easy way out by buying the ready made Shrikhand from the ever ready Baniya downstairs and then adding my own saffron and powdered cardamom to give it that made at home feel.

Of course the children caught on soon enough especially when they could make out the difference between the one actually made at home and the other one just tweaked at home but when they realised the labour involved in making it, they quite accepted the Shrikhand from the Baniya.

But in case you do want to make it at home, here’s how.

You will need

  • 2 litres of pasteurised milk – preferably not from a tetrapak.
  • 1 tbspn of curd
  • 500 g sugar
  • 1/2 tspn powdered cardamom
  • a pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 3-4 strands of saffron – more if you like it really dark orange.

What you will have to do is set the 2 litres of milk into curd in the regular way. ( Coat a bowl with the curd so that is is spread evenly. Pour in the warmed milk and cover and allow the curd to set)

After the curd is set, pour into a thin, muslin cloth and  hang onto a kitchen knob or so that the whey drains out.

Transfer the drained curd into a pot and add the sugar. Stir well, cover and allow the sugar to dissolve.

After the sugar has dissolved either blend with a hand blender ( not in a mixer or food processor as the Shrikhand becomes very runny) or if you really want to do it the traditional way, strain the mixture through a muslin cloth which is spread taut over a bowl. You can do this with a spoon if you want to avoid getting your hands dirty but honestly if you do it by hand, it goes down faster saving you almost 20 minutes.

When the mixture is creamy and well blended add the cardamom, saffron and grated nutmeg. Serve chilled with hot puri.

When I was growing up, Shrikhand was modernised by adding mango pulp or pieces of mango (Amrakhand) while some hostesses added chopped grape/strawberry or any other fruit to make it more exotic. People even added bits of pistachio nuts.

Of course you could try all those variations but give me good old Shrikhand the way my granny made it any day!

Incidentally if you asked my granny how to make it, she start off by saying

First you hang the curd and then………………

What’s in a glass of milk?

To most people milk is just milk is just milk. But actually there is a lot to be said about milk. It is the greatest source of natural calcium and even though some doctors say that children should only drink milk as long as it is their mothers, I strongly recommend that humans drink milk as long as they can.
Some time last year I got an offer for a free litre of cow milk from Sarda Farms. This milk obtained from cows in a completely sanitized and hygenic manner was supplied by Sarda Farms, a dairy operating outside Nasik and looked after by a genuine Dutchman. The milk itself tasted Dutch ( if Dutch milk tastes different ) but the only reason we did not buy it was because we didn’t see the need for it. We preferred to have our full fat completely adulterated milk delivered by the local thug who masquerades as the Milk Supplier.

But then earlier this month a young lady dropped off a 250ml bottle of cow’s milk supplied by Pride of Cows and this time we were hooked. This milk also tasted Dutch and won my husband’s seal of approval so we decided to buy it for our grandson. Unfortunately consumes only 200ml a day so after the initial arrangement to have1 litre delivered every other day we found that we had a lot of milk going waste. So this morning I called again to ask for even less milk and am now getting milk delivered every fourth day. This works fine since the milk is good for a week since the date of manufacture and it is delivered on the date of manufacture so it is perfectly safe to drink the milk for four days.

With everything going organic and healthy these days, cow milk is fast gaining popularity. Aggressive marketing, assured quality and good after sales service are soon going to drive the traditional bhaiyyas out of business especially the ones who deliver out of milk pails. Those who deliver in plastic bags too will find themselves fighting for a share in the market because even the price differential pales in comparison to the service given by these high end dairies like Sarda Farms and Pride of Cows.

I haven’t visited either of these farms and wonder if the cattle are really black and white Holstein Friesans or if they are chocolate brown cows that supply chocolate milk?

Unfortunately I can’t get an image of the milk bottle of Pride of Cows. While this milk is supplied in Plastic bottles which aren’t recycled or reused, the Sarda Farms milk comes in glass bottles which are collected on the next delivery. Both dairies provide fresh milk untouched by human hands and the convenience of ordering online.

Verdict – Ditch your bhaiyya right now and switch over to cow’s milk. You deserve the best don’t you?

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