Shrikhand is a delicious, cooling and refreshing Indian sweet. It is a traditional Indian dessert made with hung curd or creamy yogurt, saffron, cardamom and sugar. It is a refreshing and cooling dessert perfect for summers and a perfect treat if you love yogurt based desserts.
You can make this easy dessert recipe in 10 minutes flat if you have hung curd or Greek yogurt ready. In this post I am sharing the easy keeper recipe to make this dessert along with few popular flavor variations.
Looking for easy cooling yet healthier summer desserts? Try out my easy best ever creamy no cook kesar elaichi shrikhand recipe.
All you need to make this dessert are hung yogurt, sugar and some flavorings of your choice. It is very popular sweet made across India and goes by many names. It is called shrikhand in Gujarat, Maharashtra and shikarni in Karnataka.
Like most of the Indian recipes, there are many minor variations in making this recipe too, mainly with flavorings. Here is more details about this dish and step by step photos.
What Is Shrikhand?
Shrikhand is a traditional Indian dessert made with yogurt as main ingredient. Hung yogurt or strained yogurt is beaten well, mixed with sweetener and flavored with cardamom etc. This sweetened yogurt dessert is always served cold with finely chopped nuts as garnish.
The history of Shrikhand dates back to many years and remains unknown. It is believed that the herdsmen used to strain the yogurt and carry it as it was easier, to which they started adding sugar while eating.
The fresh strained yogurt or hung curd or chakka in Marathi is the main ingredient for this dish. It is basically homemade thick yogurt from which all the whey is removed. If making fresh curd is not an option you can easily use store bought greek yogurt for this recipe.
Making shrinkhand is super easy and quick. You basically have to beat the hung yogurt until creamy, add powdered sugar, crushed saffron strands, cardamom and mix well. Chill this until serving and serve cold topped with chopped nuts.
In north India this dish is served as both dessert and side dish for poori. This traditional dessert is super popular that you will find shrikhand in various flavors in Indian food stores, super markets and even restaurants serve it as chilled dessert. It is widely prepared for Krishna Janmashtami festival too.
So why make it a home you ask? Homemade shrinkhand is clean, pure and free of any fillers and you can control the amount of sugar. It is way more fresh and delicious, sold? All you need for this delicious dessert are some plain yogurt and you can make so many flavored shrikhand easily.
Shrikhand is also a healthier dish. Yogurt is a wonderful probiotic and when mixed with sugar it is a excellent body coolant for summer. It is also rich in protein. One serving of shrikhand has around 30% calcium and 20% protein of your daily needs.
Now that you are armed with all these information about this wonderful dish, lets get into the making. Do try out this delicious easy shrikhand recipe and enjoy. It is
easy and simple to make
traditional Indian dessert
thick and creamy
lighter & healthier dessert
Vegetarian & gluten free
Yogurt or hung curd is the base ingredient for shrikhand. Yogurt that has been strained from whey is called hung curd. It is super thick, creamy and has the consistency of cream cheese. Use full fat yogurt made with whole milk for making this dish.
For this recipe you will need fresh full fat yogurt that is not sour or tangy. If you are homemade yogurt, refrigerate it for 3 hours before straining it to make hung curd.
If homemade yogurt is not an option, you can easily use store bought yogurt. If using regular ones refrigerate it few hours and strain or you can go for greek yogurt or lebana which can be used directly.
It is the preferred sweetener of choice for traditional kesar elaichi shrikhand. If your sugar is super fine like castor sugar you can use it as such. Do not icing sugar for this recipe as the corn starch in will make the dessert pasty and more like a pudding.
You can increase or decrease the quantity of sugar as per taste. Traditional shrikhand is slightly tangy and not cloyingly sweet. So if you like sweeter desserts, just increase the quantity of sugar.
Saffron– Pure saffron strands lend a wonderful pale color and a rich flavor to this dessert. I like to soak the saffron strands in some warm milk as it helps to release the flavor and color of saffron. You can also roast saffron threads in very low heat for few seconds and crush it.
Cardamom powder- Like most of the Indian sweets, this shrikhand is also flavored with powdered cardamom. If cardamom is not available you can skip it.
I have used saffron and cardamom and made kesar elaichi shrikhand. There are so many options for you to make this dish. I have listed many other variations after the detailed recipe.
This dish is usually served with finely chopped nuts as toppings. I have used almonds and pistachios. If you like your dessert super smooth you can skip the nuts.
How To Make Shrikhand
Making of this dessert is divided into two steps
- Making thick creamy yogurt
2. Adding sugar and flavorings to it.
Making Strained Yogurt or hung curd or chakka
If you are using store bought greek yogurt you can skip this section and proceed with the next section. Here are the steps for straining homemade curd or plain fresh yogurt. Make sure to use whole milk for making curd.
Before you begin make sure the yogurt is fresh and thick. You can refrigerate the yogurt to make it thick. Use this thickened yogurt for this recipe.
To strain the yogurt place a mesh strainer on top of a large deep bowl and line it with a muslin cloth or cheese cloth. The bowl should be deep enough so that the strainer does not touch it.
Pour 4 cups of fresh curd to it. Bring the edges of the cloth together and make a knot. Now place a heavy object like a mortar n pestle or another heavy bowl on the setup to weigh it down. Place the entire setup in refrigerator for 4-8 hours for the whey to drain from the yogurt.
After 8 hours or so the excess whey will be collected in a bowl and thick curd for making shrikhand will be collected in cloth. The whey we have collected is full of nutrition and you can use it for kneading roti dough, cooking lentils or making gravy.
Add 3 tablespoons warm milk in a small bowl. Add a generous pinch of saffron and mix gently. Set aside for 15 minutes.
Next add the collected hung curd to a large mixing bowl.
Add 2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar.
Now add the prepared saffron milk and powdered cardamom.
Divide the prepared shrikhand mixture among three to four serving bowls. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
Add finely crushed pistachios, almonds and serve shrikhand immediately. You can also use your favorite dry fruits.
You can serve this yummy shrikhand as dessert after a lavish Indian meal or as side dish with deep fried Indian bread poori.
Poori shrikhand is a very popular combination in north India just like aamras puri.
You can also use this dish as topping for making icebox pie, cheesecake etc. Just layer thickened shrikhand over graham cracker crust or any pastry crust and chill.
You can also make a delicious no bake cheese cake with this dish. Transform it to a gorgeous smoothie bowl by adding your favorite fruit puree, chopped fruits, granola, nuts and seeds.
You can also pipe shrikhand into small dessert glasses and serve as yogurt mousse. This dish could be a wonderful part of your dessert cuisine.
Now that you have the basic recipe of kesar shrikhand, let’s make it more interesting by trying out various flavors shall we? There are really so many flavors you can add to this humble dish and enjoy. Here are few popular and delicious ones.
Aamrakhand– Amm means mango and shrikhand made with aam is called aamrakhand 🙂 To make this delicious mango shrikhand you will just have to mix 1.5 cups of mango puree to 2 cups whisked hung curd. Add sugar to taste and flavorings of choice. It a wonderful dessert to make during mango season.
You can use fresh or canned mango puree. If using canned fruit itself, drain the syrup thoroughly and blend thoroughly. If you are using sweetened fruit or puree, add sugar accordingly.
You can also mix in strawberry puree to make strawberry shrikhand.
Rose shrikhand– To make a wonderful rose flavored variation of this Indian sweet dish just add rose syrup or rooh afza and 1 teaspoon rose water to hung curd and mix well. You can use 2-3 tablespoons of syrup.
With chocolate– add 3-4 tablespoons chocolate syrup or 1/2 cup melted chocolate and mix well. You can also add coffee to it for a twist.
Fruits shrikhnad– You can mix in seasonal fruits to the whisked yogurt and serve chilled. Try fruits like ripe mangoes, banana, sapota, strawberries.
Vegan Shrikhand– Avoiding dairy? No worries just use any vegan greek yogurt like almond milk yogurt or soy yogurt instead of dairy version to make delicious shrikhand.
If you want to make this dish sugar free just use dates syrup or any other sweetener like stevia. Instead of white sugar you can try coconut sugar, palm sugar too.
Use fresh curd– The key to make best shrikhand is to use good quality curd or yogurt. It should be fresh, thick and not sour at all.
While I prefer and use homemade curd, strain it and them make this dish mostly, I have used greek yogurt many times to make instant shrikhand. Just make sure to use fresh thick yogurt.
Strain the curd properly– It is very important to strain the curd thoroughly and remove all the whey from it before making this dish. Place the entire setup in the refrigerator during the straining process else the curd will turn sour. Straining well is the key to make thick and creamy shrikhand.
Refrigerate before serving– This dish tastes best when served chilled. Once you mix the flavorings, stir well and refrigerate for 3-4 hours as it helps the spices to steep well and flavors develop nicely.
To sweeten shrikhand you can use any variety of powdered sugar. Adding date syrup, honey or maple will work but will sightly thin down the dessert.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes it is a healthier dessert compared to heavy ice creams and pies. Yogurt is relatively lower in fat, rich in calcium and a wonderful source of probiotics. One serving of this shrikhand helps you meet 20% of your daily protein needs. Just be sure to not add too much sugar.
Yes, you can easily double or even halve the recipe easily.
Just replace dairy yogurt with plant based ones like almond milk yogurt or soy milk yogurt.
You can use any variety of sugar like palm sugar, coconut sugar, raw suagr in this recipe.
You can store this dessert for a week in refrigerator and freeze it for 2 months. Store in an air tight container.
More Dessert Recipes
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1 CUP = 250 ml
- 4 cups yogurt OR 1.25 cups Greek yogurt or hung and strained yogurt
- 4 tablespoons sugar powdered
- 1/8 teaspoon saffron strands crushed
- 1 teaspoons cardamom powder
- few drops of rose essence optional
- 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios
- Add 3 tablespoons warm milk in a small bowl. Add a generous pinch of saffron and mix gently. Set aside for 15 minutes.
- Next add the collected hung curd to a large mixing bowl.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar.
- Mix well
- Now add the prepared saffron milk and powdered cardamom.
- Divide the prepared shrikhand mixture among three to four serving bowls. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.Add finely crushed pistachios, almonds and serve shrikhand immediately. You can also use your favorite dry fruits.