Recipe: Mishti Doi (Sweet Yogurt)
- 1 liter full-fat milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons yogurt (as a starter)
- A pinch of saffron strands (optional)
- A few crushed cardamom pods (optional)
- Chopped nuts (for garnish, optional)
Step 1: Preparing the Milk
- Pour the milk into a heavy-bottomed pan and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Once the milk comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the milk from scorching. The milk should reduce to approximately half its original volume.
Step 2: Adding Sugar and Flavor
- Add the sugar to the simmering milk. Stir well to ensure the sugar dissolves completely.
- If you're using saffron strands and cardamom pods, add them to the milk for a delightful flavor and aroma. Stir gently to incorporate.
Step 3: Cooling the Milk
- After adding sugar and flavorings, continue to simmer the milk for an additional 5-7 minutes, allowing it to thicken slightly.
- Remove the pan from heat and let the milk cool down to lukewarm temperature. It should be warm enough to activate the yogurt culture but not too hot.
Step 4: Introducing the Yogurt Culture
- Once the milk has reached the desired temperature, add 2 tablespoons of yogurt as a starter. Ensure that the yogurt contains active live cultures. Stir well to evenly distribute the yogurt culture.
- Cover the pan with a lid or a clean kitchen towel to keep it warm. You can also place it in a warm, draft-free spot in your kitchen.
Step 5: Fermentation
- Allow the milk and yogurt mixture to ferment for at least 6-8 hours or overnight. The longer the fermentation, the tangier the mishti doi will become.
- After the fermentation period, check if the mishti doi has set by gently tilting the pan. It should have a firm, custard-like consistency.
Step 6: Chilling and Garnishing
- Once the mishti doi has set, refrigerate it for a few hours to cool and firm up further.
- Before serving, garnish the mishti doi with chopped nuts, if desired, for an added crunch and visual appeal.
Step 7: Savor the Sweetness
- Serve chilled in individual bowls or earthenware pots, savoring the delicate sweetness and creamy texture of this classic Bengali dessert.
Enjoy your homemade Mishti Doi, a delightful blend of sweetness and creaminess that's sure to satisfy your dessert cravings!
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