It's going to take longer to tell the story of this dessert than it is to prepare it! (or eat it!) Making Shrikhand the proper way takes hours, but do it my way and it'll be ready in less than 5 minutes!
Here's what you'll need:
But first, the backstory...
I first enjoyed Shrikhand in London over a dozen years ago, in one of those great Indian Bhel Poori restaurants on Drummond Street behind Euston Station. (I'm not sure which one; it might have been the Diwana?)
I then emigrated to the USA and any time I was in an Indian restaurant I asked for Shrikhand, but for all the years I've been here I never found it anywhere. So I decided to make my own... I followed many Indian recipes but never got the flavor or the texture right. Recipes called for yoghurt, and I tried plain, I tried Greek, I made my own - but it was never right. And I tried flavoring with cardamon but never got the flavor right either.
Then years later, an Indian store opened in our town, and among the things I tried there was a packet of flavoring called "MTR Badam Feast", intended for milk drinks and desserts. Well blow me over - it was the exact flavor I remembered for Shrikhand. All I needed to do now was work on the texture, which to my recollection had been far less like yoghurt and more like butter, or ... maybe ... cream cheese? Well, why not? ... I tried it, with the Badam Feast, and could not believe that I had stumbled on the perfect recipe at last. Given it was some years since I had it, this was exactly the treat I remembered!
(By coincidence, I had to return to London later that year, and I stopped off at Drummond St to check my recollection. Yes, it was spot on! This quick & easy substitute really is a good copy of the style of Shrikhand they serve in London...)
So... how to make it? Could not be simpler. Read on...