Gulab Jamun and Saffron Yogurt Tart

Gulab Jamun and Saffron Yogurt TartI must be in sixth grade at that time or maybe seventh when I went for one of my cousin’s wedding. This was at my maternal uncle’s place in Bihar, one of the eastern states of India. A very vibrant state, full of culture, enthusiastic people who love their food. Well, that’s probably true with any place in India but if there’s one thing Biharis love the most then it has to be their sweets. True even with my mum who can practically not function without her mithais. This trip to my uncle’s place back then only reconfirmed what I already knew.

One of Mamaji’s friend had a huge house. So big I do not think I saw the whole of it even after staying in their for three days. He had lend Mamaji (my uncle) his whole house for the wedding ceremonies and had moved out of there. Just like that. As a favor! Even as a thirteen or fourteen year old back then I thought it was pretty insane. Who does that?

S94A6643 ShrikhandGulab JamunAnyway, everyone was their for the wedding. The whole clan. All of mummy’s eight siblings (oh yes, talk of family planning!), their kids and also many grand kids. It was a complete mayhem in that house. And if you have been to an Indian wedding then you will know exactly what I am talking about. If you have not been to one then nothing can compare. Mummy being the youngest in her siblings hence my brother and I being the youngest amongst the cousins, we would end up being the butt of several jokes. So I’d try my best to find a quiet corner and watch the chaos from there. At such times or otherwise, making friends with the cooks is always a good idea. Of course there were halwais (cooks) stationed on one of the corners of the backyard even at this wedding, a very common practice in Indian weddings. I watched them dishing out delectable food through out the day specially mithais. Softer than clouds rasgullas, Flaky khaja, melt in your mouth motichoor ke laddu and “atom bomb”! I will never forget atom bomb or Pantua as I was told they call it their. A take on famous Indian dessert, Gulab Jamun, which is made with milk solids kneaded into a smooth dough then deep fried in ghee and soaked in sugar syrup. Only Pantua or atom bomb (to give its due respect), is slightly elongated and is not soaking in syrup like gulab jamun.

S94A6684Out of all the craziness and fun this wedding brought one memory always stuck in one corner of my head. I remember being in deep sleep on this hot summer afternoon while there, one of the aunts just sat me up and shoved this warm gulab jamun dunked in tart cold yogurt. The sweetness and warmth of gulab jamun covered in the tangyness of thick chilled yogurt just blew my mind. I was out of my sleep in seconds and couldn’t stop eating that darn thing. That afternoon and that flavor combination was the highlight of my trip.

Gulab Jamun and Saffron Yogurt TartWhen some of the friends decided to make a pie for a fun blog party those flavors just popped in my head. I wondered how the combination of sweetness of gulab jamun and the tartness of yogurt work if I put them in a pie or tart. I have to admit, I gave myself a serious pat in the back when I put the first bite in my mouth. I made the crust out of almond meal which I was not so sure about at first but proved to be great choice later, layered it with gulab jamuns and covered the whole thing with some spiced up thick sweetened yogurt or Shrikhand as we call it. Shrikhand is thick hung yogurt just lightly sweetened and whipped with some cardamom and saffron.

Gulab Jamun and saffron Yogurt Tart

Made this pie as part of Pie It Forward, a blog party I am hosting with a few blogger friends where we make a pie this holiday season and share it with some folks who are out working on a holiday. Ashlae came up with the idea, rest of us jumped in. Just our small way of saying thank you and hey, here have a pie while you are working hard just to make my life a little easier. Come join us and spread holiday cheer one pie at a time! You might see less of me in the coming few days so in case I forget, Merry XMas to you and yours!

Gulab Jamun TartThanks so much Pie Box for sending this gorgeous pie box my way. 


For Shrikhand (Saffron and Cardamom scented thick yogurt):

Yogurt (full fat)- 32 oz (2lb)

Granulated sugar- 1 cup

Saffron- 1/4 teaspoon

Green cardamom pods – 8-10 (Seeds crushed into powder. Discard the skin)

For Almond Flour Crust: (makes a 9 inch tart)

Almond meal/flour- 2 1/2 cups

Honey- 3 tablespoon

Olive Oil- 3 tablespoon

A couple pinches of salt

Other Ingredients:

Gulab Jamuns- 8-10 no. (I used store bought)

Silvered almonds- 2 tablespoon


For Shrikhand (Saffron and Cardamom scented thick yogurt):

Live a wide mouth strainer or colander with thin muslin cloth or fold a cheese cloth and use that.

Mix saffron strands to the yogurt. Transfer yogurt to the lined strainer and let all the excess liquid from the yogurt strain out of the yogurt. Bring all the edges of the cloth together, covering the yogurt then place a little weight on it like a glass bowl or I use a small sauce pan and place a can of beans to give it some wight.

Let the liquid strain out for atleast 4-5 hours. Some leave it over night. Once done you should see thick and creamy yogurt, almost the consistency of cream cheese.

Add sugar and crushed cardamom. Whip in electric mixer or with hand for a couple minutes until the sugar dissolves and the shrikhand is light. Set aside.

For Almond Flour Crust: (makes a 9 inch tart)

Heat oven to 350 F.

Bring all the ingredients together in a food processor. Pulse for a few times until it all blends together.

Transfer to a tart pan. Pat into a 9 inch tart pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool down completely before assembling.

Assembling the tart:

Cut the gulab jamuns from the middle into two halves. Line the halves on the tart pan flat side down.

Transfer the prepared shrikhand on top covering the gulab jamuns and filling the tart to top.

Sprinkle silvered almonds on top. Transfer to the refrigerator and let it chill for atleast 4-5 hours before serving with hot mug of coffee on the side.


  1. Hi Prerna,
    I am planning to make it this weekend. Just wanted one info- does the tart shell become soggy when left in the fridge with yoghurt filling?

  2. Hi Prerna, for two weeks, I have been wanting to make it and finally I did it. Came out wonderfully. Just one small change, I used 3/4 cup sugar for the Shrikand and my crust took a bit more time to bake.

    Fantastic Dish

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