Friday, 10 August 2007

Desert the Dessert


Indian desserts are a thing that I have had great problems with over the years. As much as I adore all things Indian and savoury, I have always struggled to stomach their sugary offerings. To me, they always seemed to be that - too sugary. Either a pastry or a batter steeped in a sugar syrup, or those sugary and nut multi-coloured squares that look ever so pretty but taste ever so sickly. Always looking good, but rarely tasting as good as they look.

Of course this is my opinion. And I am of the nature that opinions are there to be changed. As the years have gone by and I have opened my mind up to the myriad of foodstuffs out there, my dislike of Indian desserts has become one of irritation to me. How can somebody love one side of a country's cuisine so much and not like the other? I always knew that it was a matter of just being shown a few alternative Indian desserts from their vast country to change my opinion. And last week that very thing happened.

I was introduced to a dessert called Shrikhand which is a dessert like no other. It is simply a strained yoghurt flavoured with cardamon and saffron, sweetened with a little honey and covered in fruit and nuts. Incredibly simple, it tastes exotic and cools the palate after a spicy main course. It is also light on the stomach, which is always a blessing after a starchy main. This is one of those desserts that you will always remember, and if you leave out the yoghurt straining, you will be able to whip up a very impressive dessert with minimum effort. My opinion has of course been changed. Indian desserts - I love them!

Shrikhand
Feeds 2

1 large tub of natural yoghurt
5-6 tbsp honey
1 large pinch of saffron, steeped in a little milk
15 green cardamon pods, seeds removed, pan roasted then ground
A handful of pistachios
A handful of sliced almonds
1 pomegranate, seeds removed

1 - If you want to make yoghurt 'cheese', line a sieve with kitchen roll and place over a large bowl. Pour in the yoghurt and place in the fridge overnight to remove all of the water. This is optional - it will make for a thicker, creamier and more sumptuous dessert.
2 - In a large bowl, beat together the yoghurt and honey. Then beat in the saffron and ground cardamon.
3 - Place piles into bowls. Scatter over the nuts and seeds.

7 comments:

Valli said...

What a simple and wonderful dessert!! I usually forgo dessert but my hips would like this one with all its healthy ingredients. Isn't it funny how different countries have the same ideas in cuisine because this is similar to a Greek dish... they just have honey and walnuts.

Coffee & Vanilla said...

Wow, it looks amazing!! :) I have never tried cardamoms in sweet dish yet... I have to try this dessert one day!

Have a wonderful weekend,
Margot

Squishy said...

We both must be on the Indian trail at the moment. Indian desserts are extremely sweet and I really don't like them either. The lady who owns and runs my little peanuts daycare is Indian and she brought me some of those ball things soaked in some sort of sickly syrup. I really did not enjoy it at all. I like the lightness of your desert and I will definately give it a go.

Cheers Amelita

David Hall said...

Hi Valli, this is very healthy, the lack in fat and sugar is made up with the amazing flavours and textures. And yes, very similar to Greek desserts

Margot, make sure you go easy when using cardamons in desserts, you don't want it to be screaming of cardamon, just subtle.

Amelita, it will change your mind forever!! I know exactly what you mean

Figs Olives Wine said...

Looks so refreshing after ANY heavy meal. I really look forward to trying this!

Holler said...

That looks great!
I know what you mean about Indian desserts, I have steered clear of them too, but this looks altogether lighter!

Sasha said...

Thank you for the recipe, this looks lovely! How much yogurt is a large tub? 500g?