When I was little I could never remember the names of all my aunties so I gave them nicknames. Noisy Auntie, Leicester Auntie, Pink Saree Auntie etc. This recipe for Shrikhand is associated with ‘Socks Auntie’. She used to make it for me when I was pregnant because it’s my most favourite Indian dessert AND because feeding is what Indian aunties do when you are pregnant!
It’s a rich, sweet yoghurt spiced with cardamom and sometimes saffron which is usually eaten at Diwali though I also had it at my wedding. This recipe uses a traditional method to get as much water out of the yoghurt as possible to make the consistency thick and smooth. I can eat gallons of this on it’s own but here I’ve served it in a simple sweet pastry case with pomegranates on top. The chocolate swirly things just make it feel a bit more special.
For the pastry
- 150g plain flour
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 75g cold unsalted butter chopped into cubes
- 2-3 tbsp iced water
- butter for greasing
For the Shrikhand
- 500ml plain yoghurt
- 5 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp ground cardamom – I use fresh kernels and grind them just before use in a pestle and mortar
- 12 unsalted pistachios – finely choppped
- a few strands of saffron – optional
- A food processor
- A wad of newspapers – My preference is the sports section
- A muslin cloth or tea towel
- 4 loose bottomed tart tins (3 inch diameter)
To make them
- First start the Shrikhand and get the water out of the yoghurt. Lay a wad of newspapers on your worksurface and cover them with the muslin cloth.
- Pour the yoghurt on top and flatten it out across the muslin.
- Leave this for a couple of hours (overnight somewhere cool if you like) for the water to draw out into the newspaper. The longer you leave it the thicker the Shrikhand will be.
- Now make the pastry cases. Put the flour, icing sugar and butter in a food processor and blitz til the consistency is like breadcrumbs.
- Pour in the water while the processor is on until balls of dough form. don’t over process.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it lightly into a ball.
- Wrap it in clingfilm and pop it in the fridge for at least half an hour.
- Put the oven to 180C at this point.
- Grease each tart tin with the extra butter - around the sides and the bases – and set aside.
- Take the pastry out of the fridge and divide it into 4 equal sized balls.
- Roll each ball out until it’s a few millimetres thick and then line each tart tin.
- Pop these in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Take them out of the freezer, line them with greaseproof paper and baking beans and bake them for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, take the paper and baking beans off and then bake them again until they are golden brown – another 5-8 minutes.
- Leave them to cool in their cases and then on a wire rack.
- While they are cooling, finish off the Shrikhand. Scrape the yoghurt off the muslin cloth and into a bowl.
- Add the caster sugar, cardamom, saffron and chopped pistachios and mix well.
- Leave to cool in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
- Compile the tarts by simply spooning the Shrikhand into the pastry cases and sprinkling pomegranate and more chopped pistachios on top.