We seem to be in the throes of a heat-wave here in Copenhagen, facing daily temperatures of around 27 degrees. And the heat seems to be relentless, since the sun never goes down till 10:30 pm and is up again at 4 am! So you can’t blame me for gorging on loads of ice-cream; I need something to keep me cool & water just ain’t cuttin’ it…
But with ice-cream comes guilt and that I can do without. So, I needed something cool, healthier than ice-cream and still luscious enough to satisfy my dessert craving.
I thought of making Mishti Doi, the creamy, yogurt dessert that is an integral part of Bengali cuisine. Now for the uninitiated, a bit about Bengal and Bengali food: The Indian state of West Bengal is known for its rich culinary heritage and the use of certain distinctive ingredients such as fresh-water fish and mustard, which give its food a unique flavor.
And the cuisine has taken dessert-making to an art-form: Roshogolla, Mishti Doi, Shondesh, Chomchom, Langcha… really beautiful desserts which are as gorgeous to look at as they are delicious.
Sweets are such an important part of the Bengali culture and all their celebrations, that it has been said that there are more sweet shops in Bengal than there are lamp posts :).
Back to Mishti Doi (which translates to Sweet Yogurt): it is a dessert prepared by slowly cooking milk and sugar till reduced to a thick consistency and then adding a bit of yogurt to ferment the milk. Once the milk has fermented into yogurt, it is chilled and served cold.
The resultant yogurt is sweet, creamy, rich with a flavour of caramel. It is available in small terracotta pots all over Bengal and also in most Indian cities, which have Bengali sweet shops.
So as I said, I had planned to make Mishti Doi. But then I noticed the Mango Pulp in my refrigerator and wanted a way of incorporating it into the ‘doi’. I let google do all the hard work for me and it came up with this cousin of Mishti Doi called Aam Doi (Mango Yogurt).
Aam Doi uses a different technique. It starts with ready-made yogurt. The yogurt is mixed with mango pulp and then baked to create a thick, creamy mango dessert. It is hence also known as Bhapa Aam Doi (Baked Mango Yogurt). Aam Doi is also served chilled, which for me makes it one helluva perfect summer dessert!
The goodness of mangoes and yogurt combine together to create a perfect alchemic balance: creamy, melt-in-your-mouth, cool and delicate, all at once.
Try it, you won’t be sorry
Here’s the recipe:
Aam Doi: Baked Mango and Yogurt Dessert (Adapted from Mix & Stir)
1 cup Greek Yogurt
3 tablespoons Sweetened Condensed Milk (add more to get a sweeter dessert)
5-6 tablespoons Sweetened Mango Pulp
In a large bowl, combine the Yogurt, condensed milk and the mango pulp, till smooth.
Pour the mixture into a oven proof dish. ( cup / bowl / pan )
Preheat the oven to 220 degree F or 104 degree C and place the dish on the top rack of the oven.
Bake the yogurt for 30 minutes. Just check it if the top of the yogurt has set, and turn off the oven.
Cover the yogurt with foil and leave it in the oven for another 4-5 hrs or overnight.
Then take it out and refrigerate for a couple of hours.