Fermented Milk Products from All Over the World. Shrikhand (India)
While in India, you may want to try a particular type of dessert, called shrikhand, which is made by using strained yogurt. So yes, this is a sweet kind of yogurt, with a thick consistency, made out of whole fermented milk. In India, this is the kind of dessert that is prepared for the occasion of various celebrations, lush feasts, or when people get together, like for the Sunday meal. It is not complicated to prepare shrikhand, but it does require time and patience if you want for this particular dessert to come out just right.
Before allowing the milk to ferment, it is usually boiled first, to allow its water content to evaporate, making it fattier. But, it is also a common practice to add butter or powdered milk to it, in order to thicken its consistency. Once the milk is fermented, the curd is strained, using a clean cheesecloth or paper bags. This way, the whey is removed and the final product has a consistency that is somewhere between cheese and thick yogurt. Shrikhand is famous for its creamy and rich consistency, so straining the liquid is a must. The strained yogurt is served, in most cases, with sugar, cardamom, and saffron, for a delicate flavor, although nuts and dried fruits can be also added. In hot summer days, it is served cold, being as popular as ice-cream in India.
The secret to making delicious shrikhand is not to allow the milk to ferment for too long, as the resulted yogurt will get to sour. Shrikhand should be sweet, so the curd should be strained as soon as it gets clogged. You should allow the curd to drain for 2 to 3 hours, making sure that the liquid is removed as much as possible. Besides the regular spices and sugar, you can add whatever fruits and nuts you may like to your shrikhand, as this is a dessert that encourages creativity.