Mishti Doi / Sweetened Curd
The truth is sometimes we have the ideas in our head but until and unless we get 'proof of the pudding' from someone else we are too afraid to take up the challenge. You see I have always made thick curd at home. My trick, well its simple I thicken the milk a bit and strain it to remove all that unwanted layers of cream which does interfere with the curd's smoothness. I have often thought of adding sugar or jaggery to the curd while setting it but then backed out because I was not sure. Now there are a lot of recipes for the typical Bengali sweetened curd out there but most of them require you to bake it and that is perfectly logical but somehow I have a mental blockage. You see having been born and brought up in Calcutta I literally grew up with numerous sweetmeat shops around me and baking curd is not an option followed by any sweet shop in Calcutta and then I came across Swati Burman's recipe which simply used sugar and then set it like one would with normal curd. Simple enough for me. I did reduce the quantity of milk and what I ultimately had after overnight setting and 4 hours of chilling is thick luscious sweetened curd. I do use those big hot pots which keeps food warm.
Serves 5 to 6
Recipe Courtsey : Swati Burman from Ranna-Bati
So this is what I required :-
1 litre of full fat milk
1 tbsp of store bought thick curd . In Calcutta I relied upon my local famous sweetshop which makes curd thick enough for one to confuse it with clotted cream
4 tbsp sugar , now the original recipe did call for 4 tbsp sugar for 2.5 litres of milk but that seemed a tad too less for me and so I did increase the amount of sugar
2 tsp clarified butter
So you begin by reducing the milk to half its quantity on low heat after you have added the clarified milk before you begin reducing. Please check notes. I took 35 minutes. Add the sugar after 15 minutes of reducing the milk. Now use a spoon and cream the curd in the bowl in which you are setting the curd. I usually use a stainless steel bowl. You can only use the milk when it reaches a lukewarm stage, slowly add the milk bit by bit after straining it and keep mixing well with a whisk or spoon. I used a spoon, then cover with a steel lid and put it in a warm place. I put it in my hot pot and let it set over-night. In the morning it was a pot of thick luscious curd. I chilled it well and served it.
To be fair I did buy some of Bengal's famous 'Mishti doi' sweetened curd to just compare and found that the sweet shops use some more sweetener but the amount of sugar I used worked perfectly for me.
Note :Using the clarified butter does ensure that your milk does not stick to the bottom of the pan. I have heard that Earthen pots help you set the curd well. Since I have not used an earthen pot I cannot confirm this bit of information but to be fair all sweet shops in Bengal does serve the curd in earthen bowls.