Benjamuna's Blog

Stories…. with a touch of India….

How I came to like Mishti Doi May 10, 2023

I have always been reluctant towards milk products, I hated milk when I was a child. It took me ages to appreciate yoghurt, especially plain yoghurt. So when I came to Calcutta for the first time, and my landlady Katy urged me to try Mishti Doi, I simply said no thank you. But she didn’t give up that easily …

Mishti means sweet and Doi means curd or yoghurt, translated into Hindi it would be Meetha Dahi. Mishti Doi is a classic, sweet yoghurt variety made of milk, curd culture and jaggery or sugar. It’s a famous and much appreciated Bengali dessert, traditionally set or even baked in earthenware which gives the Mishti Doi an unique flavour and consistency.

It was the pot that did it for me, a little crooked, filled with an -until now – unfamiliar mass with a light, brownish hue. If nothing else, I thought, it will make a good photo …

In Calcutta, you often buy chai from tiny earthenware cups which are smashed afterwards. Shards of these cups are present all over the city. And now a bigger size cup, filled with Mishti Doi, was placed in front of me so I simply gave in and slid the spoon carefully into its contents. The yoghurt attacked my tastebuds and I instantly fell in love! The taste was mild and strong at the same time, but so rich. Velvet might be a good word to describe the consistency.
I still eat it with delight …

Mishti Doi also comes in plastic containers. On my last visit to Calcutta I walked across the street of Katy’s home, entered the famous sweet shop Mouchak and asked for Mishti Doi, which – it turned out – was now contrary to earlier only found in plastic containers. Disappointed I came back, empty handed. Katy responded by sending her secretary to Bow Bazaar, to another famous sweet shop who makes sure to sell Mishti Doi from earthenware cups, and that in several sizes.
Mishti Doi is a staple dessert in the Bengali culture and available in every sweet shop, but Katy – like many other – has her favourite supplier: Bhim Chandra Nag in Bow Bazaar. So off we went one day, for me to see for myself. The sweet shop is fairly simple but beautifully decorated; a high counter with a variety of other sweets on display and a few tables. But I had only eye for the Mishti Doi in its earthenware cups covered with printed paper paper.

I probably had a spoonful or ten every single day during my stay knowing that it would be some time before I could have more!