Shrikhand and Puri Pie

Puri Crusts Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups of graham cracker broken.

  • 2 tbsp of sugar (optional)

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter (.375 cups)

  • ⅛ tsp of salt

  • ½ tsp of turmeric

  • ¼ tsp of red chili powder

  • ¼ tsp of cumin powder

  • A pinch of asafoetida

  • A bit of ajwain (carom seeds) (optional)

Shrikhand Ingredients

  • 16 oz of whole milk strained yogurt

  • ½ tbsp milk

  • ¼ to ½ cup of sugar (depending on your level of a sweet tooth)

  • 10 - 12 Zameen green pods

  • Mixed nuts chopped (Substitute w/ Almonds or Pistachios)

Puri Crust Instructions

  1. Take your graham crackers and throw them into a food processor. Blend until the crackers become sand-like in texture but not dust. I like to use my pulse mode in my VitaMix. I used Trader Joe's Cracker Squares. I only used 1 of 2 packets in the box.

  2. Melt butter and let it cool for a couple of minutes

  3. Preheat the oven to 350F.

  4. Mix the 1 ½ cups of graham cracker crumbs into a large mixing bowl with salt, turmeric, red chili, cumin, asafoetida, ajwain. You could double the spices if you want something like a spicy dessert.

  5. Fold in the melted butter and sugar. The mixture should be pliable.

  6. Grease your pie pan. I used a 9" pie tray.

  7. Spread the graham cracker crumb spice mixture evenly throughout the pie pan. I used a measuring spoon and a bowl end to evenly distribute the pie crust throughout the pan.

  8. In the end, I took off any excess on the edges with a butter knife to get even edges.

  9. Place the pie in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes. The color of the pie crust will change from dark brown to orange beige.

  10. Let the crust cool before you add the shrikhand.

Shrikhand Instructions

  1. While the crust is baking, you can make the Shrikhand.

  2. First, measure out the right amount of milk.

  3. Break the saffron with your fingers or use a mortar and pestle.

  4. Add the broken spice to the milk and let it sit for 5 minutes.

  5. Depod the cardamom, crush the black pods to a fine powder and set them aside.

  6. Mix sugar into the strained yogurt. You can buy store-bought shrikhand. I prefer the whole milk variety since traditionally, shrikhand requires a more significant fat content to bring out the flavors of the spices.

  7. Chop up the nuts and set them aside.

  8. Add the milk saffron and cardamom powder to the shrikhand.

  9. Once the crust is cool, you can add the Shrikhand to the crust and top with chopped nuts. You could also add some edible flowers to decorate the top.

  10. I would chill in the refrigerator until the greek yogurt sets. Typically, 3 to 4 hours, depending on your refrigerator and its cold setting. You will know it's ready when the yogurt stops jiggling.

  11. Your pie should last in the fridge for about a week. Keep it in a sealed container. Enjoy! I usually make these the night before I want to serve them to ensure they set well.

Rushi's Love of Shrikhand

We often celebrated Holi and most Indian holidays with food as a child. Mummy would make homemade yogurt from gallons of whole milk. After the yogurt set, she would strain it overnight on a Costco-bought stool.

A whole contraption was made to ensure the yogurt got correctly strained. The yogurt was placed in an old dhoti cloth, usually, muslin khadi, tied together to create a pouch, then suspended from the stool's tallest handle over a stainless steel pot to collect all the water. I imagined the process as Mummy, the scientist running experiments while I was her assistant, helping her get more string, or spotting her while she hung up the yogurt pouch.

Shrikhand is a dessert original from the region of Maharashtra, but it's popular all over India, especially in Gujarat, the state that my family is ethnically from. We would eat shrikhand with delicious masala puris that Mummy would make on Holi, so my inspiration for this dish was to combine those flavors of sweet and savory together. I hope you enjoy this recipe. Let me know what you think in the comments below.