Writing this blog is like a time travel, I am travelling back in time, trying to recollect how it was then…it makes me nostalgic, brings back fond memories that are otherwise lying in some remote corner of my mind. This exercise of reminiscing is one I am absolutely loving, it reminds me how back then, simple things brought so much joy in everyday life.
Growing up, I remember, a Sunday lunch was incomplete without a sweet dish or mithai on our thali. The sweets that accompanied the meal were invariably homemade (no takeaway existed ☹ then). While the Aamras remained roosted on the menu all through the summer, sweets like sheera, kheer, lapsi, doodhpaak, shrikhand found their place on the plate during rest of the year. Our family had a particular liking for fresh homemade Shrikhand, well it had to be homemade because it wasn’t readily available in the markets then. So my mummy planned everything a couple of days ahead, asking the milkman to delivery more milk then usual (because milk wasn’t available in neighborhood stores like it is today) set the yogurt that was later hung overnight. Traditionally the chakka (hung curd) and sugar are passed through a fine sieve or cheesecloth a couple of times to ensure smooth and creamy Shrikhand. What my mummy did was pass the mixture of yogurt and sugar through her humble kitchen master, her go to gadget, a couple of times, flavor it with either cardamom or Vanilla. Shrikhand and Puri make perfect partners, so whenever it was Shrikhand, Puri had to be on the menu.
However, the ritual of making Shrikhand at home is gradually fading away. One of the reasons being, one is spoilt for choice, with the huge variety of flavors available in the market. I however, prefer making Shrikhand at home since it allows me to assure quality and control the amount of sugar in the dish. The flavors we regularly make at home are Kesar-elaichi, mango, strawberry-vanilla, mixed fruits..
My love for Dates brought me to make this Shrikhand; it tastes equally good with or without sugar, making it an ideal dessert for people with dietary restrictions. The only thing one needs to ensure is using good quality Dates that are naturally very sweet compensating the need to use extra sugar. Its an absolutely easy dessert to put together more so because it doesn’t have any particular recipe or a long list of ingredients, just some pantry staples brought together to make a refreshing and healthy mithai.
Preparation time : 7 to 8 hours to get hung curd and 2 to 3 hours to soak dates
- 1 cup hung yogurt/Greek yogurt
- ¾ cup dates puree
- Sugar to taste
- 2 tblsp chopped dated
- 2 tblsp toasted cashew
- 2 tsp toasted charoli/chironji
- Couple of pinches ground nutmeg
- Deseed the dates and roughly chop them.
- Soak the chopped dates in couple of tablespoon of milk.
- If using sugar add it to the soaked dates. Amount of sugar to be added will depend on the sweetness of date.
- Soak for atleast an hour or till soft.
- Grind the soaked dates to make a puree.
- Pass the pureed dates through a fine sieve to get a smooth paste.
- Lightly beat the hung curd.
- Fold in the pureed dates, chopped dates and nutmeg powder
- Garnish with toasted cashews and charoli.
- Serve chilled