Ah, the banality and excitement of leftover wine. Yet another fail at finishing the bottle paves the possibility of drinking some at work the next day. Drinking it through food, ofcourse…what were you thinking.
No one’s judging you for a wine spiked monday meal. No one I know, atleast.
But then a strange scene took place in the Thakur household on sunday. Not only was the bottle unfinished, but so was the Srikhand.
This rare and unsettling sight demanded rescuing, just as the traditional Maharashtrian meal (made by the lovely mother- a rare and unsettling sight in itself, seeing her in the kitchen) ended in gusto and aplomb.
So as the family made time with their pillows, one unsettled dessert aficionado worked through the afternoon to spin gold (in this case maroon)
Lets talk about Srikhand. For the uninitiated, it is a simple yoghurt dessert which is made by hanging yoghurt to create a ‘chakka’ which is then beaten and sweetened for a creamy and smooth consistency.
For me, the ‘chakka’ makes a lot more than Srikhand – add lime zest and some juice to make refreshing yougurt pops. Scrape a vanilla pod and whisk it into oblivion to make a great frosting for cakes.
Moist cake + Srikhand frosting = match made in culinary heaven.
Tasting notes: Rich and luxe with a balance of sweet and tart topped with soft poached pears for that extra oomph. Throw in a sprig of rosemary for subtle herb-ness or Indianize it with some roasted nuts.
Red Wine Srikhand
Serves 4 people
– Yoghurt – 2 kgs
– Castor Sugar – 1 cup
– Flavouring like cardamom powder, nutmeg powder, chironji nuts or saffron
To make the Srikhand
– To make the yoghurt ‘chakka’ : tie up the yoghurt in a clean tea towel or any other cloth and hang it for alteast 6-7 hours. Its important for the whey to trickle out for that trademark creamy consistency. If its too hot around you, place the tied yoghurt in the fridge to stop it from souring.
– Add 2/3rd the quantity of castor sugar (make it sweeter if need be)
– Refrigerate for 15 – 30 mins for the sugar to settle.
– Put the ‘chakka’ into a traditional Srikhand churning device or beat it with a hand whisk till its smooth and the sugar is mixed in well.
– At this point, you can add flavours as suggested above or leave it as is.
For the poached pears:
– 2 Medium sized pears
– Sugar – 3 heaped tablespoons
– A fruity, not too overwhelming wine like Merlot
– Rosemary – 2 sprigs
To Poach the Pears
– Peel and core the pears. Cut them into half and place them in a pan . Add the sugar and rosemary.
– Fill it up with wine till the pears are fully submerged.
– At this point you can add spices like cinnamon sticks, all-spice, peppercorns and even mace. Remember, this is your syrup – have fun customizing it!
– Cover the pan with foil and let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes or till the pears become tender.
– Remove the pears from the poaching liquid and keep aside to cool.
– Return the poaching liquid back to the heat and reduce the syrup till its thickened and is half the original amount.
– Once cooled, add the poaching liquid with the Srikhand till its mixed in well.
– Remember, the consistency of the Srikhand must not change. So mix the poaching liquid in slowly and add only as much as needed. You don’t want a syrupy Srikhand.
– Cut the poached pears into slices or cubes (as you prefer) and mix it in with the Srikhand.
Chill for atleast an hour to let the flavours mix.
Serve in wine glasses and enjoy the magic!
(All Images by Ishita Thakur)