Bengali Bhape Doi
Bengali Bhape Doi
Bhape doi, or steamed Indian egg-free custard, is one of a kind dessert and is the pride and joy of Bengal, a state in India where I grew up.
What is Bhape Doi?
Bhape Doi is a traditional Bengali sweet made with hanging curd. Bhapa is an abbreviation for "steamed or cooked," while Doi is an abbreviation for "curd." It's a steamed yogurt treat that's best served cold. Bhapa Doi can be served with nuts or fresh fruits on top to make it even more scrumptious. Bhapa Doi can be flavored with saffron, cardamom, and other spices.
This is important to note that there is a fine line difference between the traditional Bengali Misti Doi and Bhapa Doi. Mishti Doi is a traditional Indian delicacy created by fermenting thickened milk with sugar (mainly jaggery). This fermented sweet yogurt is well-known around the world. Bhapa Doi, on the other hand, is a treat produced by boiling sweetened curd. To put it another way, a Mishti Doi can be transformed into a Bhapa Doi by steaming. However, it cannot be the other way around. Bhapa Doi literally translates to "steamed curd."
Notable Ingredients at a Glance
Plain yogurt: I have used approx—400 grams in this recipe. If you are using Greek yogurt, then use 300gms or 3/4 that of a pound roughly.
For this dish, the yogurt must be fresh and less sour. If you use fresh curd, it will not have a sour taste. If you must use store-bought yogurt, try Greek yogurt because it is creamy and less sour.
Condensed milk: I always pick condensed milk as the sweetener since it adds creaminess and satisfaction to the finished result. You can also use jaggery, sugar powder, or any other sweetener.
Approximately 400 grams of condensed milk will be perfect for this recipe. But, of course, if you are a sweet tooth like me, you can add some more.
Cardamom powder: Cardamom is very crucial because this is what will give the authentic Bengali Bhapa Doi taste. Just a teaspoon of it is good to serve the purpose.
How to prepare Bhapa Doi or Steamed Curd?
If you're using ordinary curd (yogurt), wrap it in a cotton towel, squeeze to drain out all the excess water, and hang it for 2 to 3 hours to allow the whey to separate. Hanging it overnight will give the best results. But if you are out of time, 2-3 hours is good to go.
If you are using Greek yogurt, there is no need to hang the curd because Greek yogurt is exceptionally thick.
Transfer the curd to a large mixing bowl once the whey has been removed.
Whisk the yogurt until it obtains a smooth and creamy texture. Now, combine the condensed milk and cardamom powder in it and mix thoroughly. Set aside once done.
Now, take a deep-bottomed vessel, fill it with water, and bring it to a boil (a water bath). Next, insert a stand into the vessel and place the curd bath, i.e., the condensed milk mixture.
Cover this curd condensed milk container so that water does not enter the mixture. Cover the huge vessel or water bath with a lid as well.
Steam the curd mixture for 35 to 40 minutes over medium heat.
Insert a skewer and see if it is done. If not, steam it for some more time, maybe 4-5 minutes more.
Allow the Bhape Doi (steamed yogurt-based custard) to cool entirely.
Refrigerate the Bhape Doi before serving. Garnish with chopped nuts and serve. It takes 10 minutes to prepare this Bhape Doi.
Some expert tips for preparing Bhapa Doi
- First and foremost, use thick curd since it will yield a large volume of hung curd.
- You can also use hung curd or Greek yogurt directly if you have access to them.
- Additionally, depending on the sourness of the curd, modify the amount of condensed milk.
- Finally, the bhapa doi dish is best served chilled. So, refrigerate before serving.