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.
Yogurt: Try to use homemade fresh yogurt to make the hung curd (or chakka) for the traditional method.Instant Shrikhand: Use store bought plain whole milk Greek yogurt for the best consistency, and great taste.Plan ahead: So you have enough time to strain the yogurt properly. Good shrikhand is thick and creamy. When straining, keep the yogurt in the refrigerator, so it does not turn sour.Refrigerate: After adding the flavorings, do refrigerate for best results and taste. You can also put in serving bowls and refrigerate few hours before enjoying.