Available at many of Brick Lane’s Indian restaurants, Mishti Doi is a traditional Bengali dessert made of delicately sweetened curd or yoghurt.
The best things in life are sometimes the simplest, and the traditional Bengali dessert Mishti Doi is one of them. It’s made with just two ingredients, jaggery and curd, types of sugar and yoghurt.
A go-to dish for families to serve to their loved ones during Eid, Mishti Doi is traditionally served in individual terracotta bowls. If you spot this on the menu at one of Brick Lane’s Indian restaurants then be sure to try this delicate palate-cleansing dish – it’s the perfect way to round off a spicy meal.
If you’re just passing through you can buy Mishti Doi at Rajmahal Sweets on Brick Lane.
And if you’re feeling a little bit adventurous, try serving homemade Mishti Doi at your next dinner party. We’ve got you two recipes to try, one traditional and one with a flourish.
Tips for traditional Mishti Doi recipe
‘Mishti’ means sweet, and ‘doi’ means curd and really there are only two ingredients to this simple dish – sugar and yoghurt.
The most traditional way of making Mishti Doi is to sweeten it with jaggery, an unrefined product made by evaporating palm sugar or sugar cane. However, you can caramelise your own sugar or use condensed milk instead.
The traditional Bengali recipe also uses homemade curd, or ‘dahi’, too. Most of us don’t have the time to make homemade curd, which requires a starter, so you can replace it with shop bought curd or regular yoghurt.
Mishti doi is best made in earthen bowls or pans. The porous walls of the earthen bowls absorbs the moisture from the doi, which in turn makes the Mishti Doi nicely thick.
Simple Mishti Doi recipe
If you’re looking for a simple method, we like the one from Archana Kitchen as it has good balance between a simple ingredients list and detailed method. For this you will need:
3 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon of curd (or yoghurt)
1 tablespoon water
To begin making the Mishti Doi Recipe, place a heavy bottom pan on the heat. Add the milk and warm it on a medium heat.
Reserve 1/3 of the sugar and add the remaining sugar to the milk. Allow it to dissolve while the milk comes to a boil.
Turn the heat down and allow the milk to continue boiling until it reduces by half. Then, take it off the heat and set aside.
In another pan, add the reserved sugar and place the pan on the heat. Keeping a low-medium heat allow the sugar to warm and melt, and you will notice it gradually changes colour to brown and starts caramelizing.
When the sugar is a light golden bubbly mixture, remove from heat and add a tablespoon of water in the caramelized sugar and pour it into the reduced milk. Stir well until combined.
Let the milk cool slightly. Then add the whisked yoghurt, stir well and pour the mixture into earthen pots or glass bowls.
Let the doi set in a warm place for a few hours. When set, store the Mishti Doi in the refrigerator and serve chilled.
Cheats Mishti Doi for Dinner Parties
If you’re planning a dinner party, we like Will Bowby’s flamboyant version of Mishti Doi taken from Kricket: An Indian-Inspired Cookbook. It uses condensed milk, a shortcut popularly used in South Asian countries, and Greek yoghurt, which is easy to find in the U.K.
1. Preheat an oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. Place 4 ramekins in a large roasting pan and fill the pan with hot water until it reaches two-thirds of the way up the outer sides of the ramekins
2. Combine the condensed milk, yoghurt and cardamom in a bowl and mix well, then divide the mixture between the ramekins. Transfer the tray into the oven and cook for 6 minutes.
– 250ml of condensed milk
– 250g of Greek yoghurt
– 2 tsp ground cardamom
3. Meanwhile, soak the rose petals in the sugar syrup for a few minutes, then drain and place in a small bowl
– 50g of rose petals
– 100ml of sugar syrup
4. Remove the ramekins from the water-filled roasting pan and allow to cool, then place in the fridge to cool completely and set
5. When ready to serve, garnish the Mishti Doi with the soaked rose petals, pistachio nuts and pomegranate seeds. Finish with the mint leaves
– 4 tsp pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
– 1 pomegranate, seeds only
– mint leaves, to garnish