Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mishti Doi recipe: a caramel flavoured sweetened yogurt from Bengal

Mishto Doi means meethi dahi or sweetened yogurt and is a famous Bengali delicacy. Once you taste a good Mishti Doi you will forget any frozen yogurt or ice cream, this is such a rich and creamy caramel flavoured yogurt.

We actually tasted Mishti Doi for the first time when my younger sister got married (this was a month before my own wedding) in a Calcutta based family and her mother in law sent a huge handi of Mishti Doi to our home as it is considered auspicious. We licked the handi clean within a matter of minutes once it was opened and tasted.

Later I asked a few Bengali friends from Calcutta an they would say Bengali shops in Calcutta use a lot of additives to make this special yogurt rich and creamy. Apparently few of them add trans fats and even corn starch to make the yogurt well set and rich in taste.

I happened to taste the bad, the good and one of the best Mishti Doi in Calcutta later, we even tasted Mishti Doi and other sweets from Bankura as a Mishtiwala used to ferry these to our Dhanbad campus.

The traditional way of making Mishti Doi is simpler but time consuming and the cost of making it becomes higher for commercial establishments. Full fat milk is reduced till the milk sugars (Lactose) caramelizes and the reduced milk starts looking brownish and gets thick. Then sugar is added and the milk is cooled down to lukewarm temperature, yogurt starter is added and the Mishto Doi is kept to set in earthen pots. Once set, it can easily be scooped out just like ice cream.

The total fat content of the reduced milk also becomes quite high and that helps the yogurt to set beautifully and smoothly.

If you make this Mishti Doi at home you can control the fat content if you wish.

You know I am a homemade freak and made this many times to recreate the taste of the best Mishti Doi I had back then. I succeeded and found that it was always better at home. The fresh ingredients, no added fat or color and sweetness just as much you want.

Initially I used to make this using condensed milk as the perfect dark color of Mishti Doi came from it but then it used to get too sweet. Later I tried reducing the milk at home and found the best results.

Whenever I forget the milk on the gas stove for a couple of hours (Yes it happens when I am busy with something or a phone call comes and I forget) and the milk reduces and becomes brownish, I don't feel bad as Mishti Doi is just a few hours away.

(4-5 servings or as greedy as you feel)

Milk version..
Full fat milk 2 liters
yogurt starter (or fresh yogurt) 2 tbsp
sugar 3 tbsp or more to taste OR equal amount of palm sugar

The condensed milk version (this will be quite sweet) 
full fat milk 500 ml
condensed milk 200 ml
yogurt 2 tbsp


If using the first set of ingredients for milk version reduce the milk so much that it becomes 700 ml. Cool down till lukewarm to touch.

Caramelize the sugar (if using) in a shallow pan by heating it with a tbsp of water while rotating the pan gently over high heat. The sugar melts and then starts browning, wait till it becomes like honey and then pour into the cooling reduced milk.

If using palm sugar no need to caramelise, add the sugar and whisk to dissolve.

Once the milk is lukewarm, add the yogurt starter and whisk nicely till the mixture froths. Cover and keep in a warm place till set.

If making the condensed milk version, just heat the milk, mix with condensed milk and wait till the mix becomes lukewarm. Ad the yogurt, whisk well and keep in a warm place to set.

Serve chilled with chopped nuts as a topping .

This Mishti Doi keeps well in the fridge for a week if you make larger quantities though it is difficult to save it for that long..


  1. This is really tempting Mishti Doi......
    Hehehe.....when my MIL leaves milk on the gas and it turns in to that light pinkish colour.....I make ice cream or basundi out of it

  2. Haven't eaten mishti doi in a while.. have to try it soon.

  3. Wow this must have tasted delicious! Hmm reduced milk with yogurt culture...ohh heavenly!

  4. Seems to be a nice item as the sweet course of a meal ie dessert too? Isn't it ?

  5. wow what a lovely dish...I love authentic dishes and you say you make banaras food..yummy!...will check out the rest!

  6. Wow, sounds easy enough. Is misthi doi the same as rabdi in Hindi? We make it in the north by reducing milk by boiling it and then adding sugar to it.

  7. Jaya...the mishti doi is similar to the srikhand you might be familiar with....the only difference is that mishti doi is set with the curd starter after reducing the milk and in srikhand it is hung curd blended with sugar n kesar elaichi etc...

    both of them are variants of sweetened curds but the taste is very very different ....

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  9. Thank you for clarifying Sangeeta. :)
    I like your simple yet healthy recipes and the easy way you write about food and yourself. :)

  10. Hi Sangeeta,
    What do u mean by Yoghurt culture here...do u mean home-made dahi ?

  11. Crazy...yoghurt culture is what we call dahi ka jaman.....a small amount of yoghurt is added to warm milk to introduce lactobacilli ( curd bacteria) into the milk so that they ferment he milk into curds...

  12. ha main jaman hi likhnewali thi but was not sure if you also call it jaman so wrote home made dahi...thanks...will keep u updated on the results...btw i had tried out your dhoklas on friday but it did not ferment at all maybe i added very little soda..will try them again.....but it tasted like real dhoklas...it was my first attempt towards dhokla

  13. Please tell me how much sugar to be added

  14. Hi Anonymous...sugar should be added as per taste . We like it lightly sweetened so 2 tsp per cup of the reduced milk is good enough. some people like it sweeter so more sugar can be added , at the same time it should be taken into account that too much sugar will make the texture of the doi syrupy . Take care.

  15. Just hopped on from Everyday Gyaan....am making this delicious one today...right away....I love mishti doi. :)