Shrikhand is a flavored sweet yoghurt dish that is served as a dessert. The dish is a festive dish that is specially made for Janamashtami in Gujarat and Maharashtra. The dish has a sweet, tangy taste and it’s commonly served as a breakfast dish in the North of India but as a dessert in the South of India. The ingredients are basically the same and the shrikhand recipe is very easy to prepare at home.
History of Shrikhand
The exact origin of Shrikhand is unknown but Western India is credited with the first historical mention of the dish. The dish is very popular in Gujarat and Rajasthan but other states like Maharashtra and Punjab do have local variations that are popular too. Although there is no exact record of how the dish came about, the legend states that traveling herdsmen hung curd or yoghurt overnight to make it easier to carry while traveling. The thick yoghurt that was collected the next day was mixed with sugar and nuts to make it palatable during the long journey.
Ingredients Used and Popular Method of Preparation of Shrikhand
Different states tend to have different names as well as a different shrikhand recipe for the same dish. Preparation methods and the shrikhand recipe may vary slightly along with additional ingredients that are added to make Shrikhand palatable to local state customs. For example, in Gujarat and Maharashtra, curd is first prepared from milk. The curd is filtered and hung in a muslin cloth overnight to remove the extra water. Once the curd is ready, it is then called as chakka. The next morning, the thick concentrate of curd or chakka is removed and beaten well with powdered sugar, nuts, saffron or kesar and additional powdered milk to make it richer in taste. In West Bengal, sweet milk is cultured with cultures to make sweet curd called as Mishti Doi. But this dish is not the same as this yogurt dish even though the basic ingredients are the same.
Serving and Eating Shrikhand
Gujarati’s prefer to mix mango pulp into the Shrikhand to make it more palatable and to sweeten the dish. Fresh fruits can also be added to the dish for breakfast and this is then referred to as Matho. Maharashtrians serve this dish with puris as a breakfast. There are several large dairy companies that also provide readymade versions of this flavored and colored yogurt dish.
Shrikhand is essential yoghurt with added sugar and fruits. The dish is very nutritious and filling and it is ideal as a breakfast or dessert dish.