There can be no Maharashtrian festival celebrated without some cold, creamy Shrikhand and rightly so is what I have learnt growing up in this lovely Western Indian state.

Creamy Kesar Pista Shrikhand: Sweetened Hung Curd with Saffron and Pistachios
Creamy Kesar Pista Shrikhand

If you want to win the heart of a Maharashtrian Shrikhand Puri is the combination that might just help you do it. In Maharashtra (and Gujarat), you will find this combination served in all festive meals, and there is something about this comfort food that makes you seek it out as well.

This super simple, hung yogurt-based dessert plays a starring role in meals on all festivals and happy occasions; and people take pride in the quality of Shrikhand that is served. 

Tips to Make Creamy Shrikhand

  • The basic element of Shrikhand is Chakka or hung curd. It has to be just the right consistency to ensure that the final outcome is neither runny nor is it too hard. In Maharashtra, you can buy chakka from traditional milk outlets. You have the option to do that as well, instead of making your own chakka.
    • Use fresh yogurt or dahi. If the yogurt is even a bit sour or old, your Shrikhand will have a sour aftertaste. I make fresh dahi at home on the day I want to make Shrikhand.
    • Hang the yogurt in a cheesecloth or a cotton cloth for about 3 hours till the whey stops dripping from it. At this point, the hung curd will be creamy when mixed with a spoon. If you hang it for too long, the Shrikhand will also be a bit thick. Fear not if this happens, just add a few teaspoons of cold milk a little at a time till you get the desired consistency. 
    • In summer months, be especially careful about how long you leave the yogurt hanging because it may become a touch sour in the heat. What I do is make a bundle of yogurt in cheesecloth, place it in a colander and then place a light weight so that the whey drains quickly. I often also keep this assembly on a large vessel and then keep the large vessel in the fridge.
    • Traditionally, Shrikhand is made with full fat milk and of course, that yields the best result. However, you get good results with regular pasteurised milk as well.   
  • Powder the sugar (even if you have fine-grained sugar) so that it mixes well and dissolves easily into the hung curd.
  • Mixing the chakka well needs some muscle power. Avoid the temptation of using a hand blender because it make the hung curd runny and worse yet, warm, which means it will become sour quickly.  

Among my childhood memories are my Ammamma (maternal grandmother) ordering chakka (strained yogurt) by the kilo and then getting us grandchildren to churn it into the smooth paste it needs to become before it can be made into yummy Shrikhand! The attraction for us to help out was the chance to taste the work-in-progress.

A Spoonful of Creamy Kesar Pista Shrikhand or Saffron and Pistachio Flavoured Sweetened Hung Curd
Creamy Kesar Pista Shrikhand

Serving Ideas for Shrikhand

  • Traditionally, Shrikhand is served with puris. Of course, you can make it a low calorie meal by serving it with rotis.
  • Blend Shrikhand with yogurt or dahi to make a delicious Maharashtrian drink called Piyush.
  • You can convert it to a burfi-like dish called Shrikhand Wadi.

How to Make Kesar Pista Shrikhand

  1. Making Chakka (Hung Curd)
    1. Place a colander on a large empty vessel.
    2. Line the colander with a cheesecloth or a cotton cloth.
    3. Empty 1/2 kg yogurt into the cheesecloth.
    4. Tie the cloth into a bundle and do one of the following:
      1. Method 1: Hang it from some place with a vessel under it so that all the whey drains from it.
      2. Method 2: Leave the bundle in the colander and place a weighted object on the bundle help drain the whey. I place a broad vessel filled with water on the bundle. You can keep this assembly in the fridge while the whey drains
    5. Leave the yogurt to drain for about 3 hours or till the whey stops dripping from it. Do not leave it too long or the yogurt will become too hard, or then may go sour in summer.
  2. Making the Shrikhand
    1. Powder 1/4 cup sugar.
    2. Soak 2 large pinches of saffron strands in 1 tbsp warm milk for about 30 mins.
    3. Transfer the hung curd into a large vessel.
    4. Add the sugar to it and mix with a gentle hand till the sugar is well-incorporated.
    5. Now, add the soaked saffron and milk, and mix with a light touch.
    6. Finally, add 1 tsp chopped pista and mix well.
    7. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. I do this because I love cold Shrikhand.
  3. Serve creamy Kesar Pista Shrikhand with hot puris.
Sweetened Hung Curd (Greek Yogurt) Infused with Saffron and Pistachio

I first posted this recipe in 2012 and am finally updating it today. 🙂

Recipe for Kesar Pista Shrikhand

Sweetened Hung Curd (Greek Yogurt) Infused with Saffron and Pistachio

Creamy Kesar Pista Shrikhand (Saffron and Pistachio Flavoured Hung Curd)

Aruna
This recipe for Kesar Pista Shrikhand is very easy to make and has a long shelf life when refrigerated. Creamy and sweet, serve this Shrikhand with hot puris to enjoy a combination that is the ultimate festive food AND comfort food in Maharashtra.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 3 hrs
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Accompaniment, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian, Maharashtrian, Vegetarian
Servings 4 People
Calories 76 kcal
Equipment
  • Colander
  • Cheesecloth
  • Bowl (1 small and 1 Medium)
  • Spoon
Ingredients
  
  • 1/2 kg Fresh Yoghurt (Yields 135 gms or 1/2 Cup Hung Curd)
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 2 Large Pinches Saffron Strands
  • 2 Tbsp Warm Milk
  • 1 tsp Finely Chopped Pista
Instructions
 
How to Make Chakka (Hung Curd)
  • Place a colander on a large empty vessel.
  • Place a cheesecloth or a cotton cloth in a colander.
  • Empty 1/2 kg yogurt into the cheesecloth.
  • Tie the cloth into a bundle and do one of the following:
  • Method 1: Hang it from some place with a vessel under it so that all the whey drains from it.
  • Method 2: Leave the bundle in the colander and place a weighted object on the bundle help drain the whey. I place a broad vessel filled with water on the bundle. You can keep this assembly in the fridge while the whey drains.
  • Leave the yogurt to drain for about 3 hours or till the whey stops dripping from it. Do not leave it too long or the yogurt will become too hard, or then may go sour in summer.
How to Make the Shrikhand
  • Powder 1/4 cup sugar.
  • Soak 2 large pinches of saffron strands in 1 tbsp warm milk for about 30 mins.
  • Transfer the hung curd into a large vessel.
  • Add the sugar to it and mix with a gentle hand till the sugar is well-incorporated.
  • Add the soaked saffron and milk, and mix with a light touch.
  • Add 1 tsp chopped pista and mix well.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. I do this because I love cold Shrikhand.
Serving Ideas
  • Serve creamy Kesar Pista Shrikhand with hot puris.
  • Blend it with yogurt to make Piyush, a popular drink in Maharashtra
  • Serve it by itself as a dessert.
Nutrition Facts
Creamy Kesar Pista Shrikhand (Saffron and Pistachio Flavoured Hung Curd)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 76 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 3mg1%
Sodium 16mg1%
Potassium 65mg2%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 16IU0%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 48mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword Gluten Free, Kesar Pista Shrikhand, Shrikhand
Tried this recipe?Do let me know how you liked it @aahaaram or tag #aahaaram!

I would love to hear from you!

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