I am a South Asia food enthusiast. I just love desi food. (Desi is short-hand for South Asian.) Here you will find some recipes and information on desi food culture, as well as my reflections on the process of learning to cook desi dishes. Please excuse my amateur food photography!
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Strained Yoghurt Delights
In desi English, strained yoghurt is called hung curd. It is another desi ingredient that you can do lots with. Use it in place of sour cream, or as a base ingredient for dips and spreads. What an amazing substance it is...and you don't have to strain yourself to make it :-P . But how ever do you make it? Start out with some yoghurt, a strainer, a dish to simultaneously hold the strainer and catch the water which separates from the yoghurt, and some kind of thin cloth. For the cloth you can use a very well worn cloth kitchen towel or even a thick, high quality paper kitchen towel, as pictured above. You just lay the cloth into the strainer, prop strainer on top of dish, and dump in some yoghurt. Place this in the fridge and let it strain for about 3 hours or overnight. Seeing the liquid accumulate beneath my strainer gives me a sense of self-satisfaction, though it is a completely effortless procedure to strain. You can make strained yoghurt with full fat or low fat yoghurt.
Now you've strained your yoghurt. What are you gonna do with it? How about...
Yummy Mint Dip
I got this idea from a lovely cooking class I attended. The instructor showed us several dip recipes for strained yoghurt, and after experimenting, I have decided to create my own.
1 cup strained yoghurt
1 heaping tbs dried mint
1 clove of garlic
1/2 tsp or so salt or to taste
1 tsp white vinegar
1 heaping tsp chile flakes (you can use chile powder but it will turn your dip pinkish)
1 tsp honey OR plain sugar OR Splenda
1 tbs sugar free peanut butter (crunchy or pasty is fine)
Take your garlic clove and put it in a small microwaveable bowl of water. Put in the microwave and nuke for 1 minute. Remove the garlic clove from the water and mash it into the strained yoghurt. (Microwaving the garlic reduces its strength and prevents your dip from having an overpowering raw garlic taste) Add in all of the other ingredients and mix very well. Serve as a dip for chips, celery sticks, carrot sticks, etc, or use it in place of mayonnaise on a sandwich.
Sri Khand is a dessert. I usually associate it with Gujaratis, but I think these days it is widely enjoyed by people of many communities, and you can enjoy it, too because it is killer easy to make. It is silky and somehow light and rich at the same time.
2 cup strained yoghurt (make sure it is very fresh yoghurt and not sour)
2.5 tbs sugar
10 strands of saffron soaked in 1 tbs milk (just add to milk and allow to soak for a few minutes)
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
for garnish: Roasted almond slivers and pistachios, a few strands of saffron
Whip all of the ingredients into the strained yoghurt. Whip for a while to ensure that the sugar completely dissolves. Pour into a serving dish and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Before serving, garnish with the almonds and pistachios and a few more strands of saffron if you like. Dish out into small dessert bowls, or even eat it with hot puris.
In both recipes, low fat yoghurt and Splenda can be used.