Shrikhand Parfait: The Sweetest Way to Celebrate Diwali

published Oct 25, 2019
Shrikhand Parfait

A recipe for Indian shrikhand parfait, from the cookbook Milk & Cardamom by Hetal Vasavada.

Makes8 (8-ounce) parfaits

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Credit: Hetal Vasavada

When I was growing up, my family would visit friends and family with boxes and boxes of mithai (small desserts) to give as gifts as a way to wish them a sweet and prosperous new year during Diwali. Over time we stopped house hopping and eventually started having massive Diwali dinner parties instead. 

One of my favorite desserts to make for Diwali is my shrikhand parfait. Shrikhand is a dessert that is popular in the Western states of India and is made with yogurt that has been hung in cheesecloth and strained until it is thick and creamy. It’s similar to labneh or Greek yogurt, but it is little bit thicker. The yogurt is typically flavored with saffron and cardamom, but you can also add Alphonso mango purée to it to make a different dessert known as amrakhand (mango shrikhand).

Learn more: What Is Diwali?

How to Serve Shrikhand Parfaits

Traditionally shrikhand is served by itself with a little sprinkle of chopped pistachios or charoli seeds (an almond-flavored seed that’s used in Indian cuisine as a cooking spice or in desserts). Instead, I like to add a bit more texture to the dessert by layering it with speculoos cookie crumbs, juicy fresh mango, cardamom whipped cream, and toasted pistachios. 

You can make this parfait ahead of time and keep it cool in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. For a big party, you can use this recipe to make about 25 mini desserts using two-ounce clear cups. This dessert really is Diwali in a cup — colorful, bright, and full of goodness! If you’re looking for more Diwali recipes, here are 10 I think you’ll love.

Hetal Vasavada, Author of Milk & Cardamom

Shrikhand Parfait

A recipe for Indian shrikhand parfait, from the cookbook Milk & Cardamom by Hetal Vasavada.

Makes 8 (8-ounce) parfaits

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the shrikhand:

  • 3 cups

    plain Greek yogurt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    saffron

  • 1/2 tablespoon

    warm milk

  • 1/4 cup

    powdered sugar

  • 1/2 tablespoon

    cardamom seeds, finely crushed

  • 1/4 cup

    unsalted shelled pistachios, chopped, plus more for topping

  • 1 tablespoon

    charoli seeds or pine nuts, plus more for topping

  • 24

    speculoos cookies (I prefer Biscoff)

  • 1/2 cup

    small dice mango

For the vanilla whipped cream:

  • 2 cups

    cold heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup

    powdered sugar

  • 2 teaspoons

    vanilla bean paste or extract

Instructions

  1. To make the shrikhand, place a strainer over a bowl. Cover the strainer with 3 layers of cheesecloth. Pour the yogurt into the cheesecloth. Pull up all the corners of the cheesecloth and twist it tight. Place a plate and a heavy jar or can on top of the cheesecloth. Refrigerate for 8 hours.

  2. The next day, add the saffron to the warm milk and let it bloom for 5 minutes. Remove the yogurt from the cheesecloth and place it into a medium bowl. Whisk in the powdered sugar, bloomed saffron and milk, and cardamom. Whisk until well incorporated. Place plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the yogurt and refrigerate for 4 hours.

  3. While the shrikhand is chilling, toast the pistachios and charoli seeds in a skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Once done, pour into a bowl and set aside to cool. Add the speculoos biscuits to a blender and pulse until you have coarse crumbs. Set aside.

  4. After the shrikhand has rested, whisk the shrikhand for 2 minutes so it's nice and fluffy. Spoon the shrikhand into a piping bag and snip off the tip of the bag so there is a 1-inch opening. Set aside.

  5. To make the whipped cream, add the cream, sugar and vanilla to a large cold bowl. Use a hand mixer to whip the cream on high for 5 minutes, until it forms stiff peaks. Spoon into a piping bag and snip off the tip of the piping bag so there is a 1-inch opening. Set aside.

  6. To assemble the parfait, spoon 1/4 cup of the speculoos cookies crumbs into the bottom of each of 8 cups. Pipe about 1/4 cup of the shrikhand on top of the cookie crumbs. Spoon 1 tablespoon of mango on top, and then top with whipped cream. Sprinkle the chopped pistachios and charoli seeds on top. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

Note: There are two types of cardamom: green and black. Black cardamom is dried over a fire pit, giving it a smoky, savory flavor. Green cardamom is picked before the plant reaches maturity and is sold as is, without any processing. The light floral, vanilla-like flavor of green cardamom is found in almost every Indian dessert. I like to think of it as the vanilla of India!

Reprinted with permission from Milk & Cardamom by Hetal Vasavada, © 2019 Page Street Publishing

Hetal Vasavada was a contestant on Season 6 of MasterChef and is the founder of the blog Milk & Cardamom. Her recipes have been featured in Huffington Post, TASTE, and The Times of India. She also consults on recipe development and content creation for culinary businesses. She lives in San Francisco, California.