Mishti Doi, literary translated to “sweetened yogurt”, is one of the most popular Bengali desserts that can be found in every sweet shop in Kolkata. Big or Small! All it needs is three ingredients and a little bit of time.
What is Mishti Doi?
No matter what the occasion is, most celebratory Bengali meal ends with Mishti Doi. This version of light brown shade sweetened yogurt is an emotion for us and even considered auspicious.
In India, Yogurt is consumed a lot throughout the year. Misti Doi is just an upscale version where the yogurt is sweetened with caramelized sugar or date palm jaggery.
Ingredients for Mishti Doi
Misti doi can be made light by using just full fat milk or creamier like flan by using condensed milk mixed with heavy cream. I used a mix of full fat milk and heavy cream.
Hung Yogurt – You need to drain out any excess water from the yogurt. This will ensure a much thick texture to the sweetened yogurt.
Sugar or Jaggery – I like to use date palm jaggery for the extra boost of flavor and taste. But on more regular basis, I go with caramelized sugar. For today’s recipe I used caramelized sugar.
In my cookbook - Taste of Eastern India, I have shared the recipe of Misti Doi using date palm jaggery
Steps to prepare Mishti Doi
- Hung yogurt in a muslin cloth to drain excess water.
- Caramelize sugar. I have explained below easy steps on how to caramelize sugar without getting it crystalized in the process.
- Add milk and heavy cream to the caramelized sugar and then bring it to boil.
- Let the milk cool down enough so it’s warm but you can dip your finger comfortably.
- Whisk the hung yogurt (watch the video at the end of the recipe card, to understand this step better)
- Pour it in containers and let it set in a warm oven for 8 hrs.
- Then it let it cool down completely in the refrigerator for couple hours before you serve.
How to set Yogurt?
There are several different ways you can set yogurt.
I prefer the oven method. I place the prepared milk in 350 preheated oven and bake for 5 minutes. Then I switch off the oven but keep the lights on. The warmth helps to set the yogurt to perfectly thick consistency. I leave it there for 8 hrs. After that I place it in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
You can use the yogurt mode in Instapot of any electric pressure cooker.
There are yogurt makers of different brands available in Amazon.
In India my Mom would always set yogurt by placing it inside a warm pot. And then she would wrap the pot with few thick fabrics, or hand towels. The hot and humid temperature in India makes this process easy to set yogurt.
Easy step to Caramelize Sugar:
Caramelizing sugar can be tricky as it can get crystalize making an unmanageable mess.
Typically, a little squeeze of lemon juice helps, but you CANNOT take this step here as it will curdle your milk and the yogurt won’t set.
So, the best way is to cover the pan as you caramelize the sugar. The steam will not be able to escape and there by it will create condensation which will avoid the crystallization of the sugar. Once the color starts to change, remove the lid and continue cooking until you get the dark caramel color.
FEW KEY STEPS to follow:
Make sure you hung the yogurt for creamy texture.
Milk needs to be boiled and then cooled down just enough so you can dip your finger comfortably.
Whisk the yogurt properly before adding it to the boiled milk.
Take a little bit of the warm milk and whisk with the yogurt before adding the whole content to the warm milk. This will temper the yogurt.
Make sure not to move the container in which you are setting the yogurt for at least 8 hrs.
I personally don’t like overly sweet Mishti Doi and so I always keep the sweetness subtle. The texture is so creamy and delicious that you will end up licking the bowl clean.
for caramelized sugar
- ½ cup white granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup thick yogurt
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Place a cheese cloth on a colander and pour the yogurt on it. Then grab the edges of the cloth and squeeze it gently to drain off the excess water. Keep it aside for 30 minutes.
- Mix the milk and heavy cream in a pitcher or bottle and keep it aside to be used later.
- Take a deep sauce pan with a lid that can hold the total quantity of the milk.
- To that pan add the sugar, water to caramelize. Cover the pan and let it simmer in medium high heat. Keep an eye and lift the lid occasionally to notice the change of color.
- As soon as the color changes to mild orange, take the lid off and let it caramelize until the color changes to a dark shade.
- Then very carefully, taking your face off the pan, pour little bit of the milk and mix it aorund.
- Then pour rest of the milk, 2 tablepsoons sugar and bring it to boil.
- Once it comes to boil, let it simmer for 5 minutes. Stir constantly.
- Then let the milk cool down enough so you can dip your finger comfortably. The milk should be warm so do not keep it in the refrigerator.
- Once the milk has cooled down, take the hung yogurt out of the cloth to a bowl and whisk it.
- Then pour little bit of the warm milk to the yogurt and whisk until it's smooth.
- Pour the entire yogurt mixture to the milk and whisk until you see no lump.
- Pour the mixture to your choice of container. Could be earthenware, ceremic, galss or even steel.
- Cover with alluminium foil.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and place it in the oven. Bake for 5 minutes. Then switch off the heat but keep the light inside the oven turned on. Leave the containers there for 8 hours. Do not move it in between.
- After 8 hrs, place it in the refrigerator to further set and cool down.
- Enjoy it plain or garnish with extra caramel on top.