Mango shrikhand, also known as Amrakhand, is a fruity variation on the classic -- and very simple -- Indian dessert shrikhand, or strained, sweetened yogurt speckled with cardamom and saffron. For those who think that yogurt could never be an ultra-decadent dessert, meet the exception to the rule. Straining the yogurt gives it a dreamy thick texture, while the mango adds a rich, lush flavor that really complements the aromatic spices. Mango season typically only lasts through the summer months; luckily, there is mango pulp (I recommend going to an Indian market for the best quality), which usually comes in a can, and allows you to get that unbridled flavor of a ripe mango all year round. In this version, a pistachio crumble topping adds texture and a sweet-salty touch. Enjoy by itself or dolloped onto pie.
For the mango shrikhand: Line a colander with coffee filters or paper towels, and set over a deep bowl. Pour in the yogurt and refrigerate for at least 8 hours to allow the whey to drain out. The yogurt should feel very thick -- like a creamier, richer Greek yogurt.
Crush 1/4 teaspoon of the saffron threads into a powder with a mortar and pestle.
In a large bowl, whisk together the strained yogurt and mango pulp until combined and the mixture becomes pale yellow. Stir in the cardamom and crushed saffron, then add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, tasting until you’ve reached your desired sweetness level.
Top with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads -- don’t mix -- and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours if time allows.
For the pistachio crumble: Combine the pistachios, digestive biscuits, melted butter, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse until the mixture forms a thick crumb. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
Serve the mango shrikhand in small bowls topped with the pistachio crumble.
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