Sikarni, A Nepalese Dessert
Inspiration for this dessert first came from a small book on Nepalese recipes. It was gifted to me by my sister-in-law several years ago. This picture was taken when I made it for the first time using whatever ingredients I had in my kitchen at that moment. Since then I have been experimenting quite a bit with the additions to the dessert.
Sikarni is a curd-based dessert. The time taken is in draining the whey by lining a colander with cheesecloth and leaving it to drain for 12 hours. Later it is taken out and mixed with cardamom powder, sugar or any sweetener and saffron added to warm milk. Then nuts like pistachios, almonds, and cashews are chopped and added to the mix. It goes back to the fridge and is served cold.
This goes very well with most fruits like grapes, apples, bananas, chikoos, kiwis and so on. Fruits like mangoes can be pureed and mixed to the dessert. And instead of ice cream or whipped cream, sikarni makes a nice change served as a topping with fruits.
I used 800 grams of plain store-bought yoghurt. After draining out the whey this was what I got. This weighed 369 grams.
To this, I added a bit of cardamom powder, 3 tablespoons of icing sugar and a pinch of saffron which was mixed/crushed in two tablespoons of warm milk.
This was added to the drained curd and mixed with the help of a beater. Then I used it with different pairings.
With more oranges, seedless black grapes and nuts.
The next day the curd took on an orange hue in some places from the saffron. I used some jamun syrup I had prepared earlier from frozen jamuns from my tree. This tasted absolutely delicious!
I had some grated coconut left over from making pithas so I used it for a small tart shell with a coconut crust. With the similarity to labneh (till the point where the whey is drained) it made me think of how good it would be for a tart filling.:) I must say it wasn’t the greatest of all pairings but I’m glad I tried it. My newest pansy to bloom took it a notch higher (looks-wise), don’t you agree?