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Indian Yogurt Pudding With Saffron

Yields 4 servings (serving size 1/2 cup per person)

1 quart plain yogurt

1/4-1/2 cup granulated sugar (or to taste) or honey

2 tablespoons ricotta

1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, steeped in 2 tablespoons warm milk/cream

Garnish: saffron threads

To prepare yogurt cheese, place a colander over a medium bowl. Line the colander with several layers of cheesecloth.  Place yogurt in cheesecloth. Refrigerate at least 8 hours, until whey has drained out (overnight works best).

Spoon yogurt cheese into a clean bowl. (You can discard the whey.) Add granulated sugar and ricotta. Mix well with a spatula or hand-held blender. Adjust sugar to taste, adding up to 1 tablespoon more.

Blend the saffron and milk into the yogurt mixture.

Chill at least an hour.

To serve, spoon the yogurt cheese mixture into serving cups and garnish with saffron.

Variation: You can also top with plain, unsalted sliced pistachios. You can also garnish with pomegranate arils, strawberries, kiwi slices and more.

Adapted from Modern Spice by Monica Bhide (Simon & Schuster, 2009)

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