There was no special occasion to make Shrikhand today. In India, sweet dishes like this one are made on some special occasions such as festivals. I bought this yogurt tub and totally forgot about it. I generally don't throw away yogurt containers but reuse them to store things in my fridge (they are especially very useful in storing Idli and Dosa batters in the freezer in small batches). So there were two more yogurt containers sitting beside this one and I didn't even realize that I have one unopened yogurt tub. Duh... I immediately checked the date on it and said to myself "Ah... I am glad I still can use it" (though it can still be usable for a couple days after the use by date, I strictly stick to the date on package and use it by that date). There was no way I could have used it in one day. A loves Shrikhand and so do I. Needless to say DH was very happy to see this on tonight's dinner menu :)
Shrikhand is made of strained yogurt. In India, the most common method to get rid of excess water in yogurt is to tie the yogurt in a cloth and hang it overnight. This makes the yogurt thick and creamy. Now you just need to add a few more ingredients and voila Shrikhand is ready! No cooking involved. It is just the assembling and mixing of different ingredients.
1 tub yogurt (32 oz)
Sugar as needed
A few strands of saffron
Handful of slivered almonds or charoli nuts
1. Strain the yogurt. Initially I used the traditional "hang in a cloth" method, but now I don't use it any more. I think the best way to get thick yogurt is to use a colander or big strainer like this. Line with cheesecloth or a couple of sheets of paper towel, and dump in the yogurt. Cover the yogurt with paper towels and make the colander/strainer sit on a deep bowl in the fridge. After 3/4 hours you will get a thick yogurt.
2. Add sugar, saffron strand and nuts, and mix well. You will need about half the sugar of total yogurt(strained). Start by adding little less than half a cup and increase the quantity of sugar as required.
Traditionally Charoli is used in Shrikhand. But I always hated it :P, so I don't even bother to look for it in Indian stores. For me almonds work the best. I soak them in warm water for a few hours, take the skins off and finely cut them vertically.
Once your mixing is complete, Shrikhand is ready. Serve it with puri. There is no other combination that is as good as Shrikhand- Puri.