Mangoes are in their full swing in the market these days. Sweet Juicy and Succulent Mangoes! Even my English colleague M now understands the obsession of Indians over Mangoes. On her trip to India a few years back, she visited Agra to see Taj Mahal. And in her own words “found Mango Shakes and mango Lassis more enchanting than Taj Mahal” and she had never had such juicy mangoes before than that. Unfortunately here in the UK, the type of mangoes we get is dry, a bit tangy and hard in texture. Which is OK to have at times, but doesnt match zillions of juicy varieties we get back in India. To M’s surprise, after her trip she has grown up liking Mangoes so much so that now I have to buy some every week from Indian Grocery shop for her.
Last weekend I prepared this Shrikhand, since I had bought a dozen mangoes and wanted to finish them before they get all black on me. This was the first time I had prepared Amrakhand (Mango Shrikhand) on my own at home. It tasted really well, and I felt so proud of myself.. I got some for M as well, and told her its Indian Mango flavoured Yoghurt. She was grinning till ears when she had it for her lunch, with warm and toasted Pita bread. Weird combo, but tasted heavenly!!
What is Shrikhand / Shreekhand :-
Shrikhand is a very popular Indian dessert made from strained yogurt. It is one of the main desserts in Maharashtrian and Gujarati cuisine. In Gujarati cuisine, shrikhand is eaten either as a side-dish with breads such as poori or simply as a dessert. It is commonly served as part of a vegetarian thali in Gujarati restaurants and is popular as part of wedding feasts. A popular variation of shrikhand in Maharashtra is Amrakhand which is simply Shrikhand blended with mango pulp. This exotic Dessert is super simple to prepare and of course way healthier than having all sugar coated Sweets that we have.
I flavoured this Mango Shrikhand with some crushed cardamom seeds and saffron.. and loads of dry fruits. The amount of sugar to be added depends on the sweetness of the mangoes. These mangoes were Honey mangoes which are extremely sweet and juicy hence I added less sugar than what’s usually used.
- 3 cups fresh Yoghurt
- 1 large Mango – sweet variety
- ¼ cup powdered sugar ( Icing Sugar )
- ¼ cup chopped nuts – pistachios, almonds, cashews etc.
- ¼ tsp cardamom powder
- A few strands of Saffron
- A pinch of Nutmeg powder
- 1 tbsp warm milk
- Few bits of chopped Mango – for garnish, I didnt use them though
How to make?
- Place yogurt in a muslin cloth, tie up a knot and hang it overnight or at least for 6-7 hours to drain out the whey from the yogurt.
- During extreme Summers, there is a chance that the yoghurt might get sour if you leave it outside overnight. You may tie it and keep inside a Refrigerator to avoid it going sour
- In the meanwhile, chop the nuts it into small pieces and keep aside. Take the saffron strands and soak in warm milk for 1-2 hours.
- Once he yoghurt is strained nicely, and you get a semi solid cottage cheese like result, transfer the yoghurt in a mixing bowl.
- Using a wire whisk or a spatula, mix the hung yogurt with powdered sugar nicely for 5-6 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Shrikhand is all about texture, so mixing well is very important.
- Now add the saffron soaked with milk, half of the chopped pistachio and almonds, mango puree, nutmeg powder, cardamom powder and mix well. Do not overdo else your Shrikhand will get all runny.
- Keep it in the fridge for an hour. Garnish with chopped pistachio, almonds and mango pieces.This dessert should be served chilled.
- Try to use the sweetest Mangoes you could get for this Dessert. That will help you reduce the amount of Sugar as well from this.
- I have used puree from fresh Honey Mangoes here. Store bought mango pulp can also be used.
- Do not throw the whey, it’s very nutritious and light. I use it for kneading Chapathis dough or cook rice. It can also be used for mixing with Lassis ( Yoghurt drinks ) in place of milk.
- Chironji can also be used along with pistachio for this dessert.
- You may use Greek Yoghurt to simplify the process and reduce the hanging time. I have seen recipes that say, you don’t need to hang Greek Yoghurt and its thick enough for preparing Shreekhand. In my own personal opinion, I dont find it that thick and hang it for at least 4-5 hours to get the perfect Shrikhand. although its good if you just want a quick and healthy dessert in minutes…