Category Archives: Bengali

Mishti Doi (Bengali firm yogurt dessert)

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Last week I tried 2 new dishes to celebrate Gokulashtami/ Janmashtami. The first was the Thatai, for a savory snack and then I decided to accompany it with a sweet dish. I know, Mishti Doi is is not a conventional gokulashtami preparation, but it is a great dessert nevertheless. 🙂 It is one of the flagship Bengali desserts from and my must-have-favorites at K.C. Das. What makes this a great dessert is that it can be easily made with commonly available ingredients, almost like making regular curd/yogurt at home. I started out with the recipe (version 2) from Dishesfrommykitchen, a very beautiful food blog. But I replaced most of the sugar with honey and made a couple of changes. And as you can see from the pictures below, the H and I have been trying to get a little creative before we dug into the cups. I was really happy with the outcome of this dessert, both the taste and our presentation, hence proudly presenting to you, the Mishti Doi.

Mishti Doi – sweet yogurt dessert

The Recipe:

Source- inspired from Dishesfrommykitchen
Active cooking time – 20 minutes
Wait time – at least 6 hours
Serves – 2

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups milk (I used low fat)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/3 cup fresh yogurt/curd
  • Saffron for decoration (optional)

How to make it:

  1. Boil the milk in a heavy bottomed pot, until it reduces in quantity (to almost half its initial volume).
  2. As the milk boils, heat a flat pan and add the sugar into it. Keeping stirring in medium flame until the sugar caramelizes (turns golden brown with a distinct aroma). It should be done in around 5 minutes.
  3. Once milk has reduced in volume, add the caramelized sugar and honey and mix well, and turn off the heat. Taste check the milk for sweetness.
  4. Let the milk cool down a little. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200 deg F.
  5. Once the milk is warm, not hot, add the curd into it and stir the milk well. Pour it into your little serving cups.
  6. Place the cups in the oven and bake for 5 minutes, not longer. Then immediately turn off the oven, and let the cups bake in the warmth of the oven for at least 6 hours. I left the light in the oven turned on after the oven was turned off.
  7. After the waiting time, check if the yogurt has set and then refrigerate until you serve them. Decorate and serve.

Additional notes:

1. The amount of yogurt you add into the milk can be modulated based on how quickly you want the dessert ready. The quantity of yogurt I have mentioned in this recipe is great to get the mishti doi set in 5-6 hours. If you’re not in a hurry, or live in a very hot place then you can slightly lesser yogurt.

2. I mentioned right in the beginning that I used low fat milk, mainly because that was what I had in my refrigerator. I was afraid it wouldn’t set well or be as creamy as whole milk, but it turned out firm, smooth and creamy.

3. I used honey in the recipe to make it a little more healthy. I also used organic raw sugar which was caramelized. Both together added that hue of caramel color to the doi in the pictures.

4. The slightly uneven bubbly edge in the pictures is due to the air bubbles while pouring the milk into the cups. Pour the milk slowly and carefully to avoid the formation of air bubbles.

5. I would have loved to make the mishti doi in earthen-ware, but I had to be resourceful with my kitchen so I used regular chai-cups and they were pretty and presentable as well. 🙂

Rasgulla (Cheese balls in sugar syrup)

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Yes, I made Rasgullas… much against my long held belief that Rasgullas were extremely difficult and best left to be made by the sweet-makers at K.C. Das. Last Friday was Varamahalakshmi festival and holds quite a prominent place in many tam households, and rightfully calls for the preparation of some sweets. Sadly both the H and I aren’t big fans of payasam, except pal-payasam. But what we both are, is big fans of bengali sweets (Who isn’t, right? :)) Anyway, this was the perfect opportunity for me to make Rasgullas. Well, I must thank Swarna for finding this super easy recipe for rasmalai at superveggiedelight. Once we found this, I knew I had to share this secret with all of you. This was the second time I was making the rasgullas and I have tuned it down to suit my tastes, especially by reducing the sugar. The good thing about rasgullas is that it is not extremely unhealthy. It is made mainly from milk solids and not much else, so its like eating a lot of paneer. Plus this doesn’t take too long to make. So go ahead and make some mouth watering rasgullas in your very own kitchen and break the myth that rasgullas can’t be made at home. 🙂

Rasgullas – flavored with saffron and cardamom

Rasgulla – and here’s a close up. 🙂

The Recipe:

Source- Bhavna Patel

Preparation time – 30 minutes

Cooking time – 15 minutes

Makes – 20 -25 rasgullas

What you’ll need:

  • 0.5 – 0.75 litres fresh milk
  • 1 medium sized lemon
  • 4-5 tbsp sugar (you may need more if you like things very sweet)
  • Cheese cloth or a muslin cloth
  • 1/2 tsp chapathi flour/all purpose flour

For garnishing and flavor (optional)

  • a few strands of saffron
  • a pod of cardamom crushed

How to make it:

Making the Paneer –

  1. The first part of making rasgullas is making paneer. If you’re already used to making paneer at home then you’ll be familiar with this step. So start by heating the milk in a heavy bottomed pan at medium heat to avoid charring it at the base. While it heats up, squeeze the lemon juice into a cup and dilute with water. Once the milk begins to rise up or boil, add the lemon juice little by little, stirring it all along. Stop adding the lemon juice when the milk begins to curdle and the fat (white particles) separate from the water.
  2. Once the milk has completely curdled, layer a strainer with the muslin cloth and pour the curdled milk into it and separate the water. Then bunch up the muslin cloth and tie it up letting the milk solids sit in a small pouch below. In order to strain the remaining water from it, place the cloth pouch you just made on a pan turned upside down. Take a heavy bottomed pan (probably the one you just used to heat the milk) and place it on the pouch. The idea is it to create some weight on top of the cloth to squeeze out the water quickly. So try your own contraption.

Making the Rasgullas –

  1. After 15-20 minutes the water should have sufficiently drained out. Make sure that the water has drained out and bring the milk solids onto a plate or a board. Sprinkle very little flour on it and knead the mixture with your hand until it becomes a smooth dough (like chapathi dough). You’ll probably need to knead it for a couple of minutes.
  2. The next steps are the make the ‘gullas’ or the balls and the ‘ras’ which is the sweet syrup. Take a medium sized pressure cooker and add 3 cups of water. Add sugar to it and heat it on medium flame. While this is heating, work quickly and start rolling the balls. The balls need to be tiny, around the size of kabuli channa or slightly larger. Don’t worry, they will swell once they boil in the water.
  3. Stir the syrup occasionally. Once you have the balls ready, add them carefully to the boiling syrup. Make sure that the syrup is sufficiently watery. Cover the lid, add the weight and continue heating in medium-high flame. Let the cooker whistle 3-4 times and then turn off the stove. Let it cool and then open it. You will see that the rasgullas have grown in size. You are almost done! 🙂 Taste the gulla and the sugar syrup. If it is not sweet enough, then remove the rasgullas alone carefully into a bowl leaving behind most of the liquid in the cooker. Add a couple of more spoons of sugar, based on your taste and heat once more. Add in the saffron and cardamom and bring to a boil. Turn off the flame and pour the liquid into the bowl waiting with the rasgullas and you’re done!
  4. Serve hot or refrigerate. It tastes great eitherways. 🙂

Note:

  1. It is suggested to dilute the lemon before mixing into the milk so that it mixes evenly in the milk. Also add the juice little by little and stir as you do so because the lesser juice you add the lesser lemon flavor you introduce into your final cheese.
  2. Try rolling out the rasgullas as quickly and smoothly as possible, to avoid drying and cracks from developing on the surface. Smoothen out any cracks that may form to prevent rasgullas from breaking while cooking.
  3. Very little flour is added to help bind the rasgullas. Don’t overdo it though, since the paneer already binds very well.
  4. I tried to use as little sugar as possible. But considering that any amount of refined sugar is still dead calories providing no other nutrients, I am considering using honey, jaggery or palm sugar next time. Have you tried any desserts with alternative healthy sweeteners?