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Kesar Elaichi Shrikhand.. A Diwali Special post..

Kesar Elaichi Shrikhand..

While I was adding the picture slideshow to the different recipe category pages, I noticed that the dessert section hardly had any entries, I may not be have a sweet tooth but people who follow my blog sure do, why should I deprive them of the sweet adventures! Having said this, does not mean that I don’t know to make some of the Indian sweet dishes.. K loves sweets.. So, I do make some for him.. :)

Kesar Elaichi Shrikhand..

Indians love sweets.. & with not even a fortnight left for Diwali I got to post a few sweet dishes before some of my friends begin to ask for some recipes. Since Greek set yogurt is easily available here, thought I should try my hands at making some Shrikhand… Oh, for those who are wondering what Diwali is, it is an Indian festival; called the festival of lights..!! It’s a huge festival celebrated by exchanging sweets, lighting small oil lamps around the house when the sun sets, new clothes, colours & festivities everywhere around.. & not to forget the sky filled with beautiful & colourful firecrackers..!!

You would have guessed from all the chatter above & the pictures that Shrikhand is an Indian sweet dish. It is famous in the states of Gujarat & Maharashtra.. It is made from strained yogurt,sweetened with sugar & flavoured with the most famous flavours – cardamom & saffron. Sometimes just with cardamom. It is also available in Pistachio & Mango flavours. It is silky smooth… & filled with loads of calories.. Don’t worry you can’t possibly eat the whole bowl.. it’s too heavy.. So you can’t indulge on loads of it unless you’re a glutton.. :) A version with fresh fruits is also available. It usually chilled before being served.. So you can imagine how heavenly & silky smooth this is.. :)

Kesar Elaichi Shrikhand..

In the state of Gujarat this is eaten as an accompaniment with the Indian bread called Puri/Poori’s. Yes, Gujarat is another state obsessed with sweets & closely competes with Bengal.. :) Both these states have a variety of sweets to offer. Now you know which states not to miss if you have a sweet tooth & you happen to visit India.. :)

Ingredients: (Serves 6 – 8)       Preparation Time: 20 mins (Excludes time to strain the yogurt & chill the Shrikhand)
Greek yogurt/full fat thick-set yogurt – 2 tubs of a litre each
Muslin Cloth
Sugar – 1 cup or more, based on your taste
Elaichi/Caedmon – 12-14 cloves, de-skinned, seeds coarsely powdered
Kesar/Saffron – a pinch soaked in a tsp of warm milk (love the aroma of saffron in milk & of course the colour is so beautiful) + a pinch to serve (optional)
Powdered almonds/chopped pistachios – 1-2 tbsp (optional, sprinkled just before you serve) (I ran out of powdered almonds so used whole almonds)

Fold the large piece of muslin cloth into 2, so that is a wee bit thick. Now place the cloth in a large bowl. Make sure there is enough cloth & it comes out of the bowl. Empty one tub of a litre of greek yogurt into the cloth. Do the same with the next one. The excess water will start to trickle out once you lift the cloth with all the loose ends held tightly in your fist. Make sure you have the bowl at the bottom when you do this, to avoid any mess from the dripping water.

Tightly tie the yogurt in the muslin cloth & let this contraption hang as shown.

Yogurt being strained overnight using Muslin cloth..

Make sure you have a bowl to collect all the dripping water. Leave this overnight to get strained completely.

Note: The amount of yogurt left behind after straining solely depends on the thickness of the yogurt used. Hence your servings depends on the amount left behind. Use a good quality yogurt to end up with more servings.

Next day, add the 1 tsp of warm milk to a pinch of Saffron & keep aside. Take the muslin cloth contraption down, open up the cloth as shown & transfer the contents into a clean dry bowl. Add sugar tbsp by tbsp.

Mix well. Taste & stop adding sugar when you reach the desired level of sugar. Now use a sieve & strain the sweetened hung yogurt as shown. This removes any lumps present. The resulting product is so silky that you will love its texture..

Now coarsely powder the cardamom seeds. Add the saffron milk & the powdered cardamom to the strained sweetened yogurt mixture & mix well till well combined. The colour of the Shrikhand changes to a light yellow. If you have added more than a pinch then the colour may be a deep yellow.

Cover the bowl & chill it in the refrigerator.

Garnishing: (optional)
Garnish with some powdered almonds/chopped pistachios & a few strands of saffron before serving.

Kesar Elaichi Shrikhand..

This pic was clicked when I still had some daylight left & also it was before chilling the Srikhand.. :) 

Serving Suggestions:
Serve chilled as mentioned earlier with or without the garnishing as a dessert or as an accompaniment with some hot fluffy puri/poori’s. Yummmy…!!

Kesar Elaichi Shrikhand..

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Gaajar Halwa/ Carrot HalwaMadgane – one of the quintessential Konkani Payasam/sweet-dish….Charmure Undo.. A guest post by Manjula.. etc.


Khatta Mag/Gujarati style moong bean sabji….

Khatta Mag/Gujarati style moong bean sabji

When we visited my friend in Belgium, she had made this dish to go with chapatis for lunch & K loved it.. I had a feeling that I had definitely eaten this before.. then it all came back to me.. my friend in school, who belonged to the Jain community & was a Gujarati used to bring this in her lunchbox with chapathi’s.. :) I immediately took the recipe from my friend as I loved eating this.

Mung Beans...

The best part of this dish is that it gives a lot of time to you to do other chores while this is in the making.. & you don’t even need to soak the mung/moong beans overnight, 2 hours is more than sufficient..

This requires just the basic ingredients & there you are with a lovely flavoured sabji. K liked this so much that he ate this as chaat.. !

Ingredients: (Serves 3-4)     Preparation Time: 25-30 mins (Soak time not included)
Mung/Moong beans – 1 cup, I used a 200 ml glass measure, washed & soaked in warm water for 2 hours
Tip: I soaked this after I was done with breakfast; the time to soak the beans was perfect.
Asafoetida – a little more than a pinch
Coriander powder – 1.5 tsp
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli powder – 3/4 tsp or more based on how hot the chilli powder you have is
Tomato – 1 medium-sized, finely chopped
Coriander leaves – 4-5 sprigs, finely chopped
Cooking oil – 1.5 tbsp
Salt to taste

Drain & throw away the water in which the mung beans were soaked.

Heat oil in a deep bottom sauce pan. Set heat to medium. When the oil is hot, add the asafoetida & let it sizzle. Next add the drained mung beans to the saucepan. Add about a 750 ml of water, simmer, close with a lid & let the mung bean cook.

When the beans are just a little more than halfway cooked add the different powders – turmeric, red chilli, coriander powder & cumin powder. Also add salt to taste.

Let the raw flavours from the masala powders added go away & let the mung bean cook. If there is still loads of water left, you can increase the heat to medium about 5 minutes after you add the masala powders. Else if you want some curry in it, you can let this cook in simmer.

Once the mung beans are cooked & sabji has the consistency you want, turn off the heat. Add the chopped tomatoes & mix well.

P.S: Sorry for not clicking more pics. Still a little caught up with unpacking & washing clothes from the trip.. :(

Garnish with the chopped coriander leaves. You can also squeeze in some lime if you would like to.

Suddenly after my trip, I have  become very conscious about my oil & calorie intake. Guess its from all the cheesy Pasta’s, croissants, crepes, Pizza’s etc. I ended gorging upon…The foodie in me a.k.a the devil asked me to keep munching on the goodies even though I knew that I would have to cut down on my calorie intake after the trip I acted like it doesn’t matter.. :P A glimpse of some freshly made waffles with various different kinds of toppings to tempt you.. :P

Fresh Belgian Waffles..

P.S: Sorry for the bad photography.. this is what I could manage in the crowded tourist swarming streets of Brussels!

So, now I have used half the amount of oil mentioned in the ingredient list.. thats the reason the sabji looks a wee bit dry. If you use the amount mentioned in the ingredient list this sabji will not look as dry as this did.. :) I later squeezed in some lemon juice to take away the dryness.. :)

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot with some chapathi’s. Or you can eat this as chaat :), your choice.. :)

Khatta Mag/Gujarati style moong bean sabji


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