Shrikhand is 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 a vibrant yellow-orange color, and pistachios (pista) add a pop of green.
We have often enjoyed this sweet treat 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 store-bought Greek yogurt is that it is slightly less tangy than 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.
What is Shrikhand?
Shrikhand is a popular Indian dessert made with thick yogurt called hung curd. It can be served plain or with various 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, called hung curd or chakka. This is then mixed with different flavorings to make flavored Shrikhand.
Yogurt: The star ingredient of this recipe. You can use store-bought Greek yogurt or plain whole-milk yogurt. You can also use homemade yogurt. Make sure to use fresh yogurt that is not sour.
Powdered Sugar: I highly recommend using finely powdered sugar when making shrikhand. This dissolves easily. Do not use icing sugar, which often has cornstarch added to it. You can grind sugar at home in a grinder or blender too.
You can use substitutes such as powdered jaggery, coconut sugar, or even stevia or monk fruit sweetener. However, these can each at their taste to the final dish.
Cardamom: Use green cardamom powder, which adds a wonderful aroma and flavor to the dessert. If you have entire green cardamom pods, use a spice grinder to grind them.
Saffron (Kesar): Another main ingredient for this kesar pista shrikhand. Add a few strands to warm milk and let it sit for 10 minutes. The saffron will release its color. Then, add the saffron-infused milk to the shrikhand.
Garnishes: Add slivered pistachios or almonds for a wonderful garnish over the shrikhand before serving.
How to Make?
First, start with making or buying yogurt. If you are making it 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 make.
To start, strain the yogurt using a thin muslin cheesecloth. If using greek yogurt, you can strain 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 suggest at least straining overnight, but about 24 hours would be best. Keep it in the refrigerator when straining 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, and you have a 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 adds a wonderful, authentic flavor.
When adding saffron to any dessert recipe, soak it in warm milk and let it sit for a few minutes before adding it 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 have a wonderful festive look!
How to serve Shrikhand?
Serve on its own as a festive dessert or as a sweet treat for any occasion!
We also like to serve it with aloo rasedar and poori.
- For the traditional method, use homemade fresh yogurt to make the hung curd (or chakka).
- For instant shrikhand, use store-bought plain whole-milk Greek yogurt for the best consistency and 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, refrigerate the shrikhand for the best results and taste.
- You can also add rose water for some extra flavor to the shrikhand.
- You can also put the shrikand in serving bowls and refrigerate it for a few hours before enjoying it.
- Storing: It is a great dessert to make ahead for any occasion. You can store shrikhand in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- 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.
More Indian Desserts You'll Enjoy
- Rava Ladoo - Melt-in-the-mouth sweet balls made with semolina.
- Carrot Halwa - Check out the easy way to make authentic carrot halwa.
- Gulab Jamun - These sweet balls are a favorite at Indian restaurants but are not too hard to make at home.
- Kheer - This is the easiest rice pudding made in the instant pot.
Easy Shrikhand Recipe
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 pistachios 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.