Relax! Summer is (nearly) here!
As is Gujarati tradition, I thought that it might be a good idea this weekend to bless this blog with something sweet. For as long as I can remember at the start of any new journey, my mum would feed me a magical elixir of natural yoghurt and sugar into my tiny mouth. Somehow, it brought me luck throughout that whole day and as a child it made me feel like a superhero – as a (kind of) adult in the middle of exam-season, eating this little concoction each morning is an instinct now. It fills me with strength and with good reason.
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolfe
Natural yoghurt, in my opinion, should be a superfood. A perfect balance of carbohydrates and good fats, it delivers half your daily requirement of calcium and is also a great source of illness-fighting bacteria. Fat-free natural yoghurt also contains a load of amino acids, making it a complete lean protein which is perfect for building muscle and toning up! However the sugary side of the sweet yoghurt isn’t as sunny as it tastes – refined sugars come with a lot of health risks which is disappointing for a Gujju girl with a sweet tooth.
So I decided to re-create my favourite sugar-saturated, yoghurt-based Indian dessert – srikhand – but with a healthy twist in honour of Gujarati traditions. Summery, decadent and fragrant but totally nutritious, this recipe uses a plethora of foods that will nourish your body at only 226 calories per serving.
Prep time: Overnight straining + 15 minutes | Serves: 4
- 1 kg (preferably fat-free) natural yoghurt – full of protein and calcium
- 1/2 tbsp Manuka honey – a powerful anti-bacterial
- 2 tsp agave nectar – a natural sweetener that boosts the immune system
- 1 ripe mango – an anti-carcinogenic skin cleanser
- 1 apricot – an anti-oxidant fruit that’s great for your eyes
- 1 tbsp ground nutmeg – a brain stimulant
- 1 tbsp ground cardamom – can detox and alleviate depression
- 1 tbsp flaked almonds – lowers cholesterol
- 1 tsp saffron – aids digestion
- Drain the yoghurt overnight or for 5-6 hours in a muslin cloth over a colander. It may look like a lot now but it will shrink as the water falls away.
- Transfer the strained yoghurt to a mixing bowl and soften it with a spatula until soft but thick. (Work out those biceps!)
- Add the Manuka honey and the agave syrup and fold into the yoghurt, followed by the nutmeg, cardamom and almonds.
- Peel and cube the mango and apricot and fold these into the srikhand.
- Finally, gently fold in the saffron and add a few strands to garnish.
- Chill in the fridge or serve straight away either on its own or as a dip for other fruits! Voila.