This week, we in India, will celebrate Holi, the festival of colours. Holi marks the arrival of spring, of good harvests and fertile land. It is celebrated in a boisterous manner by throwing water and colour on each other. You may find that either exhilarating or rambunctious, depending on your inclinations. And like every other Indian festival, this is also a time for friends and family and the good food that inevitably goes with it.
But, in these days of global warming and rising temperatures, Holi is beginning to feel like it signals the arrival of summer rather than spring. I won't get into another of my hate speeches about the Indian summer but you will agree that summer is all about food and flavours that are light on the palate. So, this Holi, I decided to make this beautiful yoghurt dessert, from the eastern Indian state of Bengal.
Until my friend Vinati showed me otherwise, this dessert was always shop bought. You can rely on Vini and her collection of recipes, that she has painstakingly collected over the years, to show you a way to replicate the classics at home. What won me over was that this dessert took all of 5 minutes, from start to finish!
This is not a traditional method of making this dessert but is a cheat's version. It uses yoghurt, condensed milk and a microwave. But, when you see and taste the final product, you will never guess at how easily this was made. I turn to a recipe by Tarla Dalal and believe me, the cooking time for this dessert is one minute!! You won't believe me and I too, did not believe it, until I tried it out for myself. One minute... seriously!!!
The texture of the final product, as Anjum Anand puts it, is between a panna cotta and a ricotta cheesecake. It is neither cloyingly sweet nor heavy on the palate. It is beautifully light and a perfect dessert for the weather. I am partial to cardamom and so, the addition of crushed cardamom powder. But, that is completely optional and according to your taste and liking.
This dessert is ideal after a heavy, Indian meal when you want a sweet ending which is neither greasy nor overpowering. And I am confident that once tried at home, it will be a dessert you return to again and again!!
Wishing all you beautiful people a very Happy Holi!! Much like the bright colours of Holi, I wish you and your loved ones, days full of love, laughter and optimism!
Bhapa Doi - Steamed Sweetened Yoghurt
- 1/2 cup thick yoghurt (If your yoghurt has a lot of water, then let the excess water drain off, by straining the yoghurt for up to 2 hours)
- 1/2 cup condensed milk
- 1/8 tsp cardamom powder (optional)
- Mix the yoghurt and condensed milk in a bowl. Whisk them together until they are no lumps. If using, add the cardamom powder now and mix well.
- Pour into 2 ramekins or earthern ware bowls and microwave on high for one minute.
- Remove from microwave and allow it to stand for 2-3 minutes.
- Refrigerate and serve chilled.