Why just have regular Shrikhand?
As we celebrate Gudhi Padwa tomorrow, we speak to chefs to know how to make Shrikhand with a twist
Gudhi Padwa marks the new year for Maharashtrians. Some of the rituals include taking the holy bath, making traditional rangolis and decorating the home with flowers, putting up the gudhi (a kalash covered in red, yellow or saffron cloth, which is hoisted upside down at the entrance of homes) and making the holy prasad made of neem and jaggery.
Food is an essential part of all Indian festivals. On Gudhi Padwa too, Maharashtrians consume Shrikhand/ Aamras with Puri, Puranpoli, Batatyachi Bhaaji and so on. But they make sure that the meal is simple because you need to eat light when the mercury is rising outside.
Shrikhand holds a special in the hearts of Maharashtrians, and they like to savour it on Gudhi Padwa. It is made with hung curd (yoghurt which is tied tight in a cloth overnight till it loses most of its moisture and becomes thick and creamy). Later, the hung curd is mixed with sugar, dry fruits, elaichi powder and saffron.
Chef Ilandhirai Vadivel, Radisson Blu Pune, Hinjawadi, says, “Traditionally, it is consumed with Puri. That said, Shrikhand can have different flavours by adding mango, fresh strawberry, kesar or dry fruits as per one’s liking. You can get a little more innovative and add your own twist to this dessert by making Shrikhand Kulfi, Shrikhand Faluda and Shrikhand Shots with Pani Puri.”
Chef Navneet Choudhary from BeHive, Kitchen & Brewery, Hinjawadi, says, “In summer, the king of fruits — mango is available, so it is a great idea to chop a few delicious juicy mango pieces and adding them to your Shrikhand base. It will not only give your bowl a fabulous colour but will also enhance the taste. Adding generous amounts of dry fruits like cashews, almonds, pistachios and walnuts will also make it delectable. If you feel adventurous, add dollops of honey and kesar to it. Adding gulkand or sugary rose petals will change the flavour from regular to a delicious summer flavour,” he suggests.
You can also consume it as a milkshake or add a scoop of Shrikhand to Masala Cold Milk for an afternoon beverage. “Most people have Shrikhand with Puri or Chapati, but you can eat it with rice as well or make it into a pudding,” he says.
- Thick yoghurt, drained (obtained by straining a cup or so of yoghurt for at least 2 hours and overnight if possible)......... - ½ cup
- Organic honey………. - ..2 tbsp
- Blueberries (frozen), pureed...... - ..20-25
- A pinch of cardamom powder
- A pinch of salt
- A few cashews, broken into small pieces
- Mix all the ingredients together and chill before serving. Top with the cashews and whole blueberries for garnishing.
- The cashews are essential, a wonderful contrast to the creaminess of the yoghurt mix.
(Recipe by chef Siddhartha Sarmah, Novotel Pune, Nagar Road)
- Hung curd………… - .6 tbsp
- Sugar…………. - .5 tbsp
- Gulkand…….. - 3 tbsp
- Paan leaves……. - ..3
- Paan sharbat……. - .2 tbsp
- Take sugar, gulkand, paan leaves and paan sharbat, and put them all in a mixture grinder and make a fine paste.
- Pass the paste through a strainer along with the hung curd to get a fine paste. Repeat this process at least three times to make Paan Shrikhand.
(Recipe by chef Deepu Alamchandani, Rustom Battliwala, Balewadi High Street)
While sharing the process to make Shirkhand, Chef Siddhartha Sarmah, Novotel Pune, Nagar Road, says, that the sweet dish is a speciality of Gujarati and Maharashtrian cuisines. Shrikhand has been referred to as Shikhrini in Sanskrit literature. “To prepare Shrikhand, yoghurt is tied in a muslin (cotton) cloth and left under pressure to drain. In the past, it used to be hung from a wall to achieve the desired thickness. The strained yoghurt, referred to as chakka, and sugar are mixed thoroughly in a deep bowl. Cardamom, saffron and other essences are then added and mixed. It is then left in the refrigerator for the sugar to dissolve. The dish is served chilled. It is commonly served as part of a vegetarian thali in Gujarati restaurants and is popular as part of wedding feasts. It is often served chilled to ease the spiciness of hot curries. Dried and fresh fruits such as mango are also added to it,” he adds.