This light, airy curd-based dessert is one of the oldest desserts to emerge from India and also finds mention in food historian’s KT Achaya’s book, The Historical Dictionary of Indian Food. “To dewater curd, it was hung in a muslin bag for a few hours; sugar and spices added to the mass yielded shikharini (identical to modern day shrikhand), first noted around 500 BC,” writes KT Achaya. Flavoured with cardamom, pistachios, almonds, saffron, and nutmeg, shrikhand can be had on its own or lapped up with thin, hot puris.

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