I have done a post earlier about trying to combine all the yoghurt/milk based desserts between Marathi and Bengali cuisines and in that post I spoke briefly about a very easy to prepare Bengali dessert called Bhapa doi or steamed yoghurt pudding.
Keen to do more with it, I kept doing some research on yoghurt based desserts till I stumbled upon ricotta cheese. In my quest for yoghurt, I had overlooked the fact that Bhapa doi, once cooked, was also close to cheese, either as a cheese cake or ricotta.
And so inspired by many ricotta based desserts I came across, I did my own trials and came up with what I think is a beautiful dessert – Bhapa doi, served with poached apricots (poached in a simple sugar syrup with cardamoms, cinnamon and rose water), toasted almonds and pistachios and a generous drizzle of orange and lemon zest. And it is beautiful, both to look at and to eat!
This particular serving was for a friend’s dinner party and it was a hit!
Although there is little in common between Marathi and Bengali food in terms of flavour, there are some ingredients that are commonly used. Yoghurt is one such ingredient, used in both savoury as well as sweet preparations. It is called dahi in Marathi and doi in Bengali.
As I started to think of what else I could do for a dessert option on our dining menu, the idea of playing around with all the versions of yoghurt started appealing to me. I have already spoken about shrikhand and sandesh (sandesh is technically made from curdled milk, but why let facts get in the way of a good story?) I decided to add another Bengali yoghurt dessert to my repertoire – Bhapa doi. Bhapa means steamed and doi is yoghurt, so this is a steamed yoghurt pudding.
You couldn’t find a simpler recipe to make – equal parts of yoghurt and condensed milk mixed together with a little vanilla essence for flavour. This is then steamed to allow the mixture to set and become like a pudding or cheescake.
And so with that I have a nice little trio of milk/yoghurt based desserts – Shrikhand tart with mango, Bhapa doi and sandesh! All light in taste and so different from typical Indian desserts! Only one more needs to be added to this….a shrikhand vadi. But that is going to take a little practice to get right 😉
Inspired by a combination of India and Middle Eastern flavours, this is a sweet tart with a filling made by combining yoghurt cream, honey & toasted and crushed hazelnuts, walnuts and pistachios. Decorated with edible flowers, blueberries and slivered pistachios.
Heaven in a bite!
This seemingly innocuous looking glass contains one of the most refreshing and tasty drinks you can find. Mattha is a spiced buttermilk drink made of yoghurt, water, ginger, fresh coriander and salt. It’s a great way to refresh yourself on a hot day or to soothe your stomach after a spicy meal.
Mattha is similar to Chaas, the North Indian buttermilk drink although the spices used are slightly different.