Monday, October 29, 2007

Amrakhand


Amra + Shrikhand = Amrakhand. Amra is Mango in Sanskrit. So mango flavored Shrikhand is called Amrakhand. I remember my office friend, Annette was new to Mumbai. She used to live in a hostel. One day she excitedly told us that she has found a yummy cheesespread for bread and that has been her morning breakfast for the whole week. None of us was familiar with this kind of cheesespread. So she promised to bring it for us for taste. Next day, at lunch break, she took out this mango shaped box and it was "Amul Amrakhand". We just couldn't get over the fact that she used it as a spread for the bread! We tried to explain to her that it's not a cheesespread but a very traditional sweet made in Maharashtrian and Gujarati households. But hey, what's in name? If you want to use it as a cheesespread, be my guest!

Here's my recipe

Amrakhand (Serves 6- 8)

Ingredients

1 container of whole milk yogurt (Preferably Organic)

1 cup sugar (More or less based on your own preference)

1 cup Alphonso Mango Pulp

A pinch of nutmeg powder

A pinch of cardamom powder

A pinch of salt

Garnish

Few threads of saffron

1 tbsp Milk

Method

1. Line 2-3 coffee filters with a big strainer. Choose a container that has similar diameter as that of the strainer. Keep container under the strainer to collect all the yogurt water (Whey).

2. Empty the yogurt onto the strainer. Keep the entire apparatus - strainer with coffee filter along with bottom container - aside for 6-8 hours in fridge.

3. The "cheese" that remains in the coffee filter is called "Chakka" in Marathi. It reminds of cream cheese. Take all the chakka in a mixing bowl.

4. Add sugar and mango pulp. Stir well. Add in salt, nutmeg and cardamom powders.

5. Keep saffron threads is a spoon and roast them quickly on a low flame . Put roasted sfarron in 1 tbsp milk to get a vibrant yellow color. Garnish Amrakhand with the saffron milk.

Note

If you do not add mango pulp, you get plain shrikhand. For strawberry shrikhand, add some chopped strawberries in the plain shrikhand. For dryfruit shrikhand, add about 1/4 cup chopped dryfruits of your choice (figs, almonds, pistachios, dates etc.)

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