Top | Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking

Gujarat Yogurt Dessert with Saffron

(recipe, Julie Sahni)

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The thought of eating yogurt for dessert may not appeal to some, but wait until you taste the bewitching shri khand, the classic yogurt dessert of the Gujarati Jains. Made with drained enriched yogurt, the dessert has the consistency of pots de crème. The principal flavorings of shri khand are saffron and nutmeg, although some Gujaratis like to add ground cardamom. For a sumptuous variation, fold in chopped fresh mangoes, pineapple, bananas, honeydew, or papaya before serving.


  1. Hung yogurt cheese made with 3 cups whole milk and 1 cup heavy cream \[see Note, below\], or 2 cups sour cream blended with 4 ounces cream cheese
  2. 10 Tbsp. confectioner's sugar, or to taste
  3. ¼ tsp. saffron threads, rubbed to a powder with your fingertips
  4. ⅛ tsp. grated fresh nutmeg
  5. 2 to 3 Tbsp. chopped pistachios


  1. Blend all the ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly mixed. The shri khand will have the consistency of a thick custard. It should have a sweetish taste with a tang. It should not taste sour.
  2. For the best flavor, eat within 48 hours, chilled or at room temperature.


To make the yogurt cheese: Line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth or a light, thin kitchen towel. Spoon the yogurt into the lined strainer, then place the strainer over a tall bowl (tall enough to allow excess moisture to drain from the yogurt, without sitting in it). Place the bowl in your refrigerator and allow the yogurt to drain for several hours. When ready, transfer the yogurt cheese to another bowl using a rubber spatula; discard the drained yogurt water. If you are using whole-milk Greek yogurt, this won't take as long as using regular whole-milk yogurt — about an hour to two.