Shrikhand, a refreshing & sweet Indian dessert. Creamy smooth yogurt is mixed with sugar and cardamom, and garnished with saffron and pistachios to make this luscious Kesar Elaichi Shrikhand.
When you want a delicious dessert without much effort, make this easy no-cook and no-fail Shrikhand.
Shrikhand is a classic Indian dessert made from strained yogurt. Most commonly, it is flavored with saffron (kesar), which gives it the vibrant yellow-orange color and pistachios (pista) add a pop of green.
We have been enjoying this sweet treat so often by making instant shrikhand with greek yogurt. You can make this recipe with plain homemade yogurt or with store bought yogurt.
The only drawback of using store bought greek yogurt is that it is a bit less tangy that traditional Shrikhand. So, if you are using regular yogurt, I have pictured the steps below to show you how to strain it to get that nice thick consistency, and keep that authentic flavor.
Enjoy this kesar pista shrikhand as is, or combine with gulab jamun to make this fusion Gulab Jamun shrikhand bowls.
What is Shrikhand?
Shrikhand is a popular Indian dessert made with thick yogurt, also called hung curd. It can be served plain, or with a variety of flavorings such as - Elaichi Shrikhand, Kesar Shrikhand, Mango Shrikhand and more!
This sweet yogurt dessert is popular in the western states of Gujarat and Maharashtra in India, served as a dessert or a side dish along with Puri.
Yogurt is strained in a cloth to remove most of its water, this is called hung curd or chakka. This is then mixed with different flavorings to make flavored Shrikhand.
How to make Shrikhand?
First, start with making or buying yogurt. If making at home, check out my recipe for Homemade Dahi.
For this recipe, I used store bought Greek yogurt. I prefer using this for Shrikhand, as it is quicker to put together.
To start off, strain the yogurt using a thin cheese cloth. If using greek yogurt, you can just stain for 3-4 hours or even skip straining completely. I have tried both ways with Greek yogurt, and it works great even if you don't strain it.
If using regular curd (plain yogurt), the longer you strain it the better. I would suggest at least straining overnight, but about 24 hours would be best. Make sure to keep it in the refrigerator when straining for longer, so the yogurt does not spoil.
Even though the straining part takes time, it does not take much time after that to put it together!
Once the yogurt is strained, transfer it to a large bowl. Whisk it for a few minutes to smooth out any lumps. Then add the sugar, cardamom, and saffron soaked in warm milk. Mix again until everything is well incorporated until you have a nice, smooth consistency.
Then add the chopped pistachios. You can use other dried fruits such as almonds too. Or add any other flavorings of your choice.
Then refrigerate for about 1-2 hours before serving.
Cardamom is optional in this recipe, but I feel it adds a wonderful authentic flavor.
When adding saffron to any dessert recipe, soak it in warm milk and let sit for few minutes before adding, to get the wonderful red color and flavor.
We like to top when serving with some saffron strands and chopped nuts. This step is optional, but the crushed pistachios give such a wonderful festive look!
How to serve?
You can pair this shrikhand with Poori Aloo, serve on it's own as a festive dessert, or as a sweet treat for any occasion!
Pro-tips for Shrikhand
- Try to use homemade fresh yogurt to make the hung curd (or chakka) for the traditional method.
- For instant shrikhand, use store bought plain whole milk Greek yogurt for the best consistency, and great taste.
- When straining, keep the yogurt in the refrigerator, so it does not turn sour.
- Plan ahead, so you have enough time to strain the yogurt properly. Good shrikhand is thick and creamy.
- After adding the flavorings, do refrigerate for best results and taste.
- You can also put in serving bowls and refrigerate few hours before enjoying.
- Make Mango Shrikhand, by adding mango puree.
- Add rose syrup to the mixture, and you have rose shrikhand.
- Use strawberry puree to make strawberry shrikhand.
I hope you and your family enjoy this easy Shrikhand recipe.
Here are some more festive Indian desserts you might enjoy:
- Rava Ladoo - Melt-in-the-mouth sweet balls made with semolina.
- Carrot Halwa - Check out the easy way to make the authentic carrot halwa using a pressure cooker.
- Gulab Jamun - These sweet balls are a favorite at Indian restaurants, but they are not too hard to make at home.
- Kheer - This is the easiest rice pudding made in the instant pot.
Straining Yogurt (optional if using greek yogurt)
- Place a mesh strainer in a large bowl. Line a cheesecloth over the strainer. Pour the yogurt onto the cheesecloth, gather the corners of the cloth and tie into a bundle. Now you can either hang this cheesecloth or place a heavy weight on top of it.
- We want to leave space for the water to collect in the bowl. Leave it out (3-4 hours) or leave it overnight in the refrigerator. For greek yogurt, straining 3-4 hours is enough. If using plain yogurt, strain at least overnight or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
- Add saffron to warm milk and keep aside.
- Remove and empty the thickened yogurt in a large bowl. Whisk it well for 3-4 minutes to make it smooth.
- Add the sugar, cardamom and saffron soaked in milk. Mix for 3-5 minutes until combined and smooth without any lumps. Then add pistachois and fold them in.
- Chill for 1-2 hours before serving. Serve in bowls and optionally garnish with crushed pistachios and saffron strands.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.