This summer saw a lot of mangoes enter our home. Crate after crate, one after the other! And, there's almost no guessing who downed a major portion of the fruit. I ate mangoes as a part of breakfast, lunch, at snack-time, dinner, dessert, cooked, in-the-raw...and just every time I caught the tantalizing aroma of them ripening on my countertop. So, quite obviously bidding adieu to the king of fruit was'nt an easy task.
The one dish that we prepare at home without amiss every summer is Mango Shrikhand or Aamrakhand. This is a wonderful combination of mango puree and sweetened hung yogurt, blended with aromatic spices, saffron and pistachio. It find's its roots in the Indian state of Maharashtra, where this mouth-watering sweet treat is served mostly with puris (puffed-up, deep fried whole wheat dough circles).
As mangoes seem to be slowly vanishing from market stands, I decided to twist things up a bit and make the same dish using the fruit that was still in season - Strawberries! Of course, I skipped the spices and other additions because the berries and their seeds passed on enough flavouring and texture to the hung yogurt all by themselves. Try it out and you will know what I mean.
Oh and yes, I decided to take this to a whole new level with a simple change in the basic recipe. Read up to know more!
2 Cups - Vanilla Yogurt (Yup! That's the fresh twist! Here, I used low-fat. You can use regular yogurt if you do not find vanilla flavoured yogurt)
1/2 Cup - Granulated sugar/Regular sugar
4 to 5 Strawberries (Use fresh, ripe berries if possible)
Muslin cloth or a clean, thin, cotton towel
I normally prepare the hung yogurt the previous night to make sure all the water is drained out of the yogurt. Once I have this ready, strawberry shrikhand is ready in a jiffy the next day and doing so helps especially when you are making this for a crowd! You could of course, make the whole thing on the same day. It's really not as much work although the recipe seems long! Best part is you hardly need too many strawberries..so the next time you have just a couple of them stocked up awaiting to be eaten, you know what to stir up!!
Method to prepare hung yogurt- Spread the muslin cloth/kitchen towel over a large bowl
- Dunk the yogurt onto this cloth
- Gather the ends of the cloth and tie it up. The water content in the yogurt (whey) will start falling through the cloth into the bowl
- Squeeze out as much water as you can with your hands
- Tie this up to your faucet over your sink or the same bowl you used earlier and allow all the water content/whey to drain away
- Keep the yogurt tied up for about 6 hours or overnight for the best hung yogurt!
Method to prepare Strawberry Shrikhand
- Wash, hull and puree strawberries and set aside
- Transfer the hung yogurt into a bowl
- Add the sugar to the yogurt and blend into a smooth paste like consistency
- Add the stawberry puree gradually and blend in to uniform texture
- Ensure you do not add too much of the puree. Add just enough to render the strawverry flavour into the hung yogurt (Now, you know why I have the puree swirl in my pic, eh?!)
- Place in refridgerator until ready to serve
Makes a little less than 1 Cup of Strawberry Shrikhand. Oh man, I should have made more! Well, next time :)
Serve chilled Strawberry Shrikhand with fresh berries (psst..and dress it up with any left-over puree) for a colourful dessert....and your family and friends will be 'berry' happy with what they see and taste. It is no wonder then, that this sweetheart of a dish is on its way to Sanyukta's Event - A Visual Treat. I hope you enjoy the presentation, colours and plating of this dish as much as I did, Sanyukta!