The words “Mitha Dahi” paint one of the most dynamic, colorful and picturesque scene in my mind – one of dainty, little earthen pots, of inviting dark beige yogurt served at the most pious places – The Puri Jagannath temple. The hustle and bustle, the road side wooden benches and the hub of all action – the quaint little shop at the corner serving the best, most luscious sweetened yogurt I have ever tasted. It stirs up memories of immense happiness and utter satisfaction; of a taste like none other. The charm of the earthen clay pot is something I have not been able to take my mind of. Those are primarily the very reasons I have been so hesitant to try replicating the dish at home.
Traditionally back home, sugar is caramelized and then milk is added in. This mixture is then simmered over low flame till a thick, creamier mixture is obtained. Once done, they are poured into earthen pots and let to ferment overnight. The result is absolutely divine. That’s why I considered myself a fool (not anymore though!) to even think to try so – until I mustered up the courage with persistent efforts from M to actually go for it. How bad can it really be? I thought. At the most, baked sweet yogurt (not nearly comparable to the one I an used to) , I can suffice with that. Although, that utter creaminess of the earthen-pot yogurt still beats the homemade version any day; this recipe comes really really close! Since all this is coming from me – you can rest assured that this will be the best form of Shrikhand you have ever tasted. Move over churned, hung yogurt – here comes your nemesis! 😉
After the immense success of the dessert, there was still another hiccup. The story goes like this. Last weekend we had friends over for dinner and I had prepared this dessert for them. Served with sliced peaches, just the look blew them away; but when I mentioned the name “Mitha Dahi” they found it less impressive than its taste and look. As very rightly put by our friend, for a decadent dessert like this – “Mitha Dahi” sounded somewhat underwhelming. What a point! and I totally agree. If I were to hear “Mitha dahi” without previously having tasted it, it would bring up a picture of some sugar dissolved in dahi / yogurt. But keep in mind that this is no ordinary dahi, not just a sweetened dahi to say the least. In that fun discussion “on names we could probably market it well” were, Shahi yogurt, Peach-Khand etc etc. Although none of it felt like it made justice to the dessert that is as rich, creamy, decadent and absolutely marvelous; we were unanimous to how marvelous the dessert actually is and how underwhelming the name is. And so we settled in with its original name “Mitha Dahi”, with a lack of a better term. If you think of one, then do chime in.
All said, I have a confession – I am a diehard milk sweet person (duh! I am from Odisha ). and this has become my new go-to quick dessert for any party. It is like a blank yet utterly delicious canvas that can be used to serve up say the fruits in season or some home made jam or a crushed pistachio crumble. The variations are numerous and the options unlimited. This three-ingredient baked steamed yogurt is dessert popular in Odisha and Bengal where it is also known as Bhapa Doi / Steamed Yogurt.
~Peach Mitha Dahi/ Mishti Doi~
Rich, creamy and decadent steamed peach yogurt with a hint of cardamom exudes a distinct earthy aroma that makes this so unique. A quick three ingredient dessert for those last minute preps.
The words “Mitha Dahi” paint one of the most dynamic, colorful and picturesque mise en scene in my mind - one of dainty, little earthen pots, of inviting dark beige yogurt served at the most pious places – The Puri Jagganath temple. The hustle & bustle, the roadside wooden benches and the scene of
- Preheat the oven to 350 oF.
- In a mixing bowl, mix in the yogurt, condensed milk and evaporated milk. Sprinkle in the crushed cardamom and the chopped peaches and mix.
- Pour the mixture into greased bakeware and place the bowls in a large roasting pan. Pour water into the roasting pan (about 1 inch to the sides of the bowls). Make sure not to splash water into the yogurt bowls while transferring to the oven.
- Note: I used earthen bakeware to bake and the yogurt had that tinge of earthiness that is so atypical to Mitha Dahi. I would recommend using earthen bakeware if you have it. Else any other bakeware works just as fine.
- Place the roasting pan at the center of the oven and bake for 30 mins. After 30 minutes, the mixture should look set at the top.
- After taking out from the oven, leave it on the counter to cool and then place it in the refrigerator. It sets further when cold. Serve with sliced peaches and pistachio crumble.