Traditionally, Shrikhand is made using a chakka. Chakka is made by hanging curd/yoghurt in a muslin cloth overnight. As a child, I remember aai making Shrikhand with chakka(tied it on a tap with paraat underneath) The whey which drained off the chakka was later used to make the dough for chapatti. During our stay in Kolkata, when she had no puran yantra to mix the chakka and sugar uniformly, aai would use pithachi chalni with fine mesh. It was fun, sitting down on the floor to help aai…she would hand over a fulpatra(vessel for drinking water) or a vaati(a small bowl) to sieve the chakka and sugar mix. Aai transferred the chakka in small quantities onto the sieve whilst she prepared the chapatis. Finally, aai would mix in a couple of tablespoons of milk infused with saffron and stir in cardamom crushed on her polpaat(circular board for rolling chapatis’). Finally came the chopped nuts (almonds,pistachios etc) into the mix to garnish.The hard work paid off when we got the most creamiest of shrikhand for our meals.
Now when I am in England, I am always on the verge of finding options to get the same taste and texture in our food we had in India. After trying hanging yoghurt during my first couple of attempts, I chanced upon Greek Yoghurt which became more of a child’s play to make our favourite dessert.
1 pack Greek Yoghurt or 2 cups of chakka
3-4 tablespoons Sour Cream (optional for those who like sour taste and are using Greek Yogurt)
Castor or confectioners’ sugar as much one likes
Chopped nuts of your choice
Saffron strands infused in warm milk
For variation you may use gulkand( a couple of tablespoons) or mango or apricot puree(which I made with 5-6 apricots in a juice of half a lemon) or even melted chocolate.
Mix a small portion of yoghurt with sugar and mix well. Fold this with the rest of the yoghurt mix. Fold in the sour cream if you are using. To this add saffron infused milk and cardamom powder. Garnish with the nuts of your choice.
In case you choose to have a variation, mix in the gulkand or fruit puree or melted chocolate(while still warm and melted or else it may harden) in the small portion of yoghurt and sugar mix. This is then folded in with the rest of the yoghurt mix before infusing the saffron, cardamom powder and the nuts for garnishing.