About this recipe:Shrikhand is a creamy strained yoghurt dessert from western India served here with dates, lychees, papaya and pomegranate.
900 g (2 lb) natural set yoghurt
10-12 strands saffron, pounded
2 tablespoons skimmed milk
50 g (1¾ oz) caster sugar, or to taste
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
250 g (9 oz) natural dates
250 g (9 oz) fresh lychees, or 400 g (14 oz) canned lychees, drained
1 small papaya
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Method Prep:6hr › Ready in:6hr
Pour the yoghurt onto a fine muslin cloth, then tie the corners in a knot. Suspend the muslin over the sink for 4 hours, or overnight, until all the water content has drained through. Alternatively, put the muslin bag into a sieve, place it over a bowl and chill until the yoghurt is well drained.
When the yoghurt has drained, warm the milk a little, remove it from the heat and infuse the saffron in it for 10 minutes.
Untie the muslin cloth and empty the strained yoghurt into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and cardamom and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
Stir in the saffron milk until it is well blended, then cover the shrikhand and chill for 1 hour before serving.
Meanwhile, stone and chop the dates.
Peel the lychees. Working over a bowl to collect the juice, make two or three slits in the flesh of each and remove the stones. If using canned lychees, halve or quarter each one.
Cut the papaya into quarters, scrape out the seeds and the membrane with a teaspoon, then peel each quarter and cut the flesh into bite-size pieces.
Cut the pomegranate in half and remove the skin and the white membrane attached to the seeds. Reserve all the seeds.
In individual dishes, arrange alternate layers of shrikhand and fruits and seeds (reserving a few pomegranate seeds for a garnish), along with any fresh lychee juice. Garnish with the reserved seeds and serve.
Variation: if you do not like cardamom, use ½ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg instead.