An easy dessert thats festive and can be served in indivIdual portions with fresh fruit. To make 500 grams of strained yoghurt you will need 1 kg of full fat plain yogurt.


Makes 1 shallow 7 inch pie/tart dish or 8 small to medium ramekins

  • 500 grams full fat strained dahi or yoghurt
  • 1 can ( 380-400 gm) condensed milk
  • ¼ cup full cream milk powder
  • 1.5 cups hot water
  • 2 tbsp of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon high quality Kashmiri saffron strands
  • 1 tsp powdered cardamom seeds or use nutmeg if you prefer
  • 3 tablespoons roasted almond flakes
  • 2 tablespoons shelled unsalted pistachios, chopped
Baked kesar pista yogurt


  1. To make strained yogurt at home put 1 kg of full fat plain yogurt in a cheesecloth, tie it tightly and place over a sieve. Place the sieve over a dish and refrigerate overnight. If you live in a cool climate you can leave the yogurt outside. Squeeze the liquid from the cheesecloth a few times. The why can be added to lentils and soup.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 325°F and prepare bottom rack.
  3. Combine saffron with hot water. Let sit 5 minutes then add milk powder and combine till smooth
  4. In a mixing bowl combine all remaining ingredients and whisk well until very smooth and free of lumps. Add saffron milk and stir well.
  5. Pour into a wide baking dish about 8 inch in diameter and 2-2.5 inches deep
  6. Place the dish in a roasting pan and fill the tray with hot water to approximately ½-¾ of the way up the sides creating a water bath. This will allow the yogurt to cook slowly.
  7. Cover with aluminium foil. Use a fork to prick a few holes on the top of the foil to allow steam to escape.
  8. Bake for 45-55 minutes until the top starts to turn a very golden. Remove from the oven, take off the foil and allow to cool completely. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
  9. Garnish with roasted nuts and serve chilled with fresh fruit or poached fruit. Its terrific as is also.



To make this middle eastern dessert vegan substitute the butter with vegetable oil.


  • 8 sheets frozen phyllo pastry
  • 200 grams roasted almonds with skin
  • 150 grams finely chopped dried Turkish apricots
  • 2.5 tablespoons of granulated sugar powdered in a mixer
  • 250-300 grams butter, melted or unflavoured vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2 cups of water
  • 4 tablespoons granulated or castor sugar
  • 1 cup honey (organic bee friendly honey where possible)
  • Juice of one lemon or lime juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick about 3 inches



  • Set the ingredients for the syrup to boil on a medium flame. Let the volume reduce by half. Switch off flame and remove the cinnamon stick. Reserve.
  • Pulse almonds until they are very tiny but not powdered.
  • Combine all the ingredients for the baklava in a mixing bowl. Reserve.
  • Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare bottom rack.
  • Brush bottom of 11 by 13 inch baking tray with butter
  • In a large baking tray place 2 sheets of phyllo at the bottom. Brush generously with oil or butter and ensure that the sheets are uniformly greased.
  • Lay 2 more sheets over this and butter or oil again from end to end.
  • Spread the nut filling all over these sheets.
  • Cover with 2 more sheets of phyllo. Oil or butter them from end to end.
  • Place 2 more sheets over the baklava and brush with remaining butter or oil.
  • Using a sharp kitchen knife cut into the baklava to form 12 equal squares.
  • Do this slowly to prevent the sheets from tearing. Your knife doesn’t have to go right through all the layers but once the phyllo bakes it will be easier to separate the pieces.
  • Bake about 35 minutes until golden brown all over.
  • Pour warm syrup over hot baklava so as to drench it completely.
  • Cool 30 minutes. Using a knife gently separate the 12 pieces.
  • This will keep refrigerated for upto 2 days in an airtight container but serve it as soon as you can because in a humid climate the pastry can soften and lose its crispness.