Sweet Yogurt Sundae with Saffron & Pomegranate

Sweet Yogurt Sundae

The moment my toes met carpet this morning, I could feel 12,035 pounds of heavy clouds whoosh towards my home, settling just above my tangled mess of hair. I should have just made myself a bloody mary, grabbed a bag of peanut M&M’s and surrendered back to bed, as there was no way that I would come out ahead at the end of this day. I knew it was over. I had an out of control problem and needed to address it head-on.

(sigh) “I’m sorry, Emeril. I’ve got to give you up, sweetie 

What I once called a “collection” had turned into an embarrassing epidemic. The books covered my kitchen counter, littered the floor like a trail of cookie crumbs leading from bed to bookshelf and completely took over every available dry, horizontal surface in my home. Every day at 5pm, it was the same routine – shuffle books from kitchen counter to dining table to make room to cook. Then shift the volumes back to the kitchen for dinnertime. Just last night, I spent 2 hours searching for my laptop, only to find it wedged between the Bread Bible and the past 6 years of Food and Wine.

But oh how I love my companions! In the late hours of the night, I love caressing Tyler’s, Giada’s and even Raichlen’s glossy pages of beautiful, lusty photographs of food. My husband is secure enough in our relationship that he lets Rocco hang out at the edge of the nightstand, just inches from my sleeping head.

No. I had to let go.

It was time to de-clutter. Wiping off yesterday’s black eyeliner that streaked down my cheek, I cradled Nigella and whispered, “Honey, it’s better this way, your Coconut Macaroons never really came out that great anyways.” With a single deep breath, I looked away, turned her face down and tearfully trailed my finger one last time along her spine.


Then suddenly, I heard a dull “thump” at the door. It was my prince, Amazon, who rode in a big brown truck coming to rescue me from this silliness. He quickly snapped me right back with the RRRRRIIIIPPPPP of the packing tape being torn off.

Ahhhh….dreamy Hari Nayak and his Modern Indian cookbook greeted me with a welcoming, warm cover that seduced me with exotic combinations of spices like cardamom, cinnamon, coriander and cloves. He even whispered sweet promises with innovative spice techniques like dry-toasting saffron threads for a smooth, creamy dessert.

So smitten I was with Chef Hari’s book that I emailed him for 3 signed copies for you. Oh, I know it sounds like I’m try to clutter your home with another cookbook, just so I could feel a little better about my situation. And yeah, ok, you got me there. But how could you resist recipes like Marsala Mashed Potatoes, Tamarind Rice with Roasted Peanuts and Pink Peppercorn Chocolate Truffles?

Quickly glancing back at the Tetris-like piles of books, I smiled sheepishly. I’ll try again tomorrow.


Sweet Yogurt Sundae with Saffron & Pomegranate


Sweet Yogurt Sundae with Saffron & Pomegranate

Servings: 8 Prep Time: Cook Time:
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My version is a bit different from Chefs Hari and Vikas - but definitely inspired by their spice combinations. Straining the yogurt creates a creamy, rich dessert without the calories of let's say, ice cream or creme fraiche. Instead of straining plain yogurt, you can use unstrained Greek yogurt. Use whatever fruit combinations you like, I love the festiveness of pomegranate and kiwi. Fresh grated cinnamon would also be a great addition. I would have loved to have pistachios in the dessert too! Inspired by Modern Indian by Hari Nayak and Vikas Khanna


4 cups plain yogurt
1/4 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 pomegranate
2 kiwis
large pinch of saffron strands


1. Line a large sieve or colander with cheesecloth. Place colander over a bowl. Place yogurt in colander to drain for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator. Discard the water (or whey.) Turn the yogurt into a bowl and mix in the honey, nutmeg and cardamom.

2. Lightly toast the saffron strands in a small dry skillet over medium heat, until brittle. Let saffron cool on plate and with your fingers, finely crush the strands. Cut kiwi into small pieces and remove the seeds from the pomegranate.

3. Layer yogurt, fruit and saffron in dessert cups.


This next recipe was also inspired by the book – I would have never thought to combine vanilla and sweet chili sauce for a salad dressing, but let me tell you, it was wonderfully sensuous. Seared Scallops with Vanilla & Sweet Chili Dressing.

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Comments 113

  1. Nabeela

    I came here through Sandeepa’s comment on my blog. What a nice blog you have here…..and a fellow cookbook fanatic! 😀
    This yogurt sundae is extremely similar to a version in mangoes and curry leaves. Do you have that book? It’s a must have for Indian cooking.

  2. Larissa

    I have been meaning to find a good Indian cookbook. This one looks great!

    I submitted the Classic Naan. The first time I had an Indian meal with fresh baked naan, I just about died of happiness.

  3. Dawn Kang

    Hi Jad,
    Thanks for organising the contest again! I have entered the Tomato Chicken recipe by recipesindian.com as the ingredients and cooking for it aren’t complicated and most importantly, it can be made for people who don’t take spicy dishes 🙂 cheers

  4. Rachelle

    I’ve posted the recipe for the roti canai. This is one of my favourite hawker food must-haves whenever I go back home during the holidays! It goes great with all sort of curries :D. Part of the fun is actually watching the seller twirl the dough before it goes onto the griddle!

  5. Ed

    Rice kheer has to be one of the most satisfying desserts – especially for those who don’t really like cloyingly sweet food. This hits the spot after a nice and spicy Indian meal.

  6. Ed

    And who can forget gulab jamun – they’re like donut holes bathed in butter and syrup! Love these too!

  7. Vicki

    I absolutely love Indian food, but I’m a complete failure when it comes to cooking it. Must be the over-abundance of Caucasian in my blood. So, I haven’t cooked the Malai Kofta I linked to on Bawarchi, but I wish I could…

  8. Hyderbadi Chicken Biryani

    What a lovely dessert. Love pomegranates so I’ll be sure to try it. Would also love to win this cookbook. I completely understand about the cookbook obsession:) I actually just gifted my very rare copy of Alice Meidrich’s Cocolat. Amazing book but with 3 kids I rarely make desserts like that anymore.
    My entry is a delicous Hyderbadi Chicken Biryani that is very easy to make.

  9. Samantha

    If there is one thing I really miss about India, its the snacks. Its usually a pain in the neck to make it for just me or one other person. But its sooo good. My contribution was/is: bhel puri.

  10. Sig

    Wow, you are such a generous lady 🙂 It is so tough to pick one favorite dish, but I entered a fish curry that my husband makes.. that is my favorite 🙂 That book sure sounds great, pleeaaaaaaase pick my name (randomly of course ;))

  11. Nicisme

    Another great dish and photo!
    You sound as bad as me when it comes to cookbooks, and there’s nothing like snuggling down at night with a bit of food porn!

  12. Nate

    There are so many Indian and Indian-inspired dishes we like that it’s hard to choose. But last April, Annie made a Malaysian Nasi Lemak feast of Rendang Chicken, Sambal Ikan Bilis, and also Dhal so I’m adding that dhal recipe (#63) in to this giveaway.

  13. barbara

    How does draining the yoghurt reduce the calories? I’ve added a spice powder I make but it’s from Sri Lanka. Does that count.

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  17. Jen

    I posted the recipe for the jeera aloo. i love the exotic twist on the potatoes! and chicken curry with it sounds absolutely delicious!

  18. Steve

    There is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day (here in Florida it’s always summer) than an Indian Lassi – a frothy iced yogurt drink with spices and flavorings. This one’s a bit spicy – and we do like it spicy, don’t we!

  19. Foodfreak

    I love Madhur Jaffreys vindaloo, it is one of the recipes from Flavors of India I return to again and again. (I love Indian food). And your dessert up there looks wonderful.

  20. Denise

    Moong Dal with Palek – I have entered the link to this wonderful and one of my favorite Dal soups. Anything with spinach I’ll try at least once, and this recipe is amazing – SO IS THE SITE…http://www.indianfoodforever.com/daal/moong-dal-with-palak.html – check it out!
    Please enter me into the contest for the cookbook! THANKS Jaden – where do you get all the energy and time to do this and look after those wonderful little boys!

  21. Denise

    Hi Jaden,
    Yes, http://www.indianfoodforever.com/daal/moong-dal-with-palak.html is a great site for recipes. The baking soda is used to keep all green veggies “green”. I haven’t had a problem with spinach, however, if you add a pinch or so to the water before cooking green beans or asparagus, they will retain their “bright green” color while simmering or blanching. Try it – it truly works.
    Thanks again,

  22. cushion

    What a wonderful opportunity! I love chicken tikka masala, but have only made it once at home and it was not so good. I love Indian food…maybe all I need is a really good cookbook….:) Thanks for your great website!

  23. Lillian

    i love indian food, esp kulfi, mango lassi, samosas, tandoori chicken, garlic naan…man i’m getting hungry.

  24. Pritya

    Hi, You have a lovely site. I love shrikhand which is the Indian name for sweet yoghurt. We love the dish at home, but I have never tried it with honey…that sounds absolutely yumm. I laughed merrily as I read your witty descriptions about books. Oh yes, we are always wondering how to fit our books at home…cupboard spaces stay the same afterall :).

  25. Emily Lauren

    I left number 75-ish, the vegetable korma. It’s my favorite at an Indian place, and this recipe is pretty good.

  26. Pritya

    Hi jaden, You have a lovely site. I love shrikhand which is the Indian name for sweet yoghurt. We love the dish at home, but I have never tried it with honey…that sounds absolutely yumm. I laughed merrily as I read your witty descriptions about books. Oh yes, we are always wondering how to fit our books at home…cupboard spaces stay the same afterall :).

  27. Claude-Olivier

    Hi, first, thank you very much for your sweet comment on my blog! Your pictures are great too! Especially this one! I hope that the translation is not so bad…Anyway, if you need something to be translated, just ask me! Have a very nice afternoon! Cheers

  28. Jane

    I love eating Indian food out, but I never cook it at home. I do tend to just thow some curry powder in recipes where it doesn’t belong – maybe this book could help me with that. 😉

  29. Denise

    Ok, I left the link to Potato Stuffed Samosas…I didn’t make them – a friend did, and they are really, really good.
    Had to enter for the cookbook contest – would love to have a signed copy no less!

  30. Jeff

    Curry is my fallback food, when I don’t feel like cooking anything else. I’ve linked to a coconut chicken curry that’s one of my staples. Thanks to this contest, I’ve at least got links to a handful of other recipes to try.

  31. Erin

    I hope you will enter my name into the contest for the signed copy of the indian cookbook. My family enjoys spicy foods. I am expecting my second child on Dec. 25 and I am hoping plenty of spicy food will help the baby not only turn, but bring it on a little earlier so I can spend Christmas Day with my family and new baby! THANKS FOR YOUR GREAT SITE.

  32. Erin

    Was I supposed to mention that I entered Tandoori Chicken above to enter the contest? Anyway, here I am again.

  33. argus lou

    The pomegranate seeds always remind me of rubies and other precious stones. They look almost too pretty to eat. In fact, their taste is very delicate.

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