Mishti Doi

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“De doi, de doi paate| ore beta haari haate||”

The above quote is from a poem I read long time back, but can’t exactly remember the poet now. It says, give me the sweet yogurt the one who carries the pot with him.

Mishti Doi

A few days back when I saw Dolon write about Mishti doi on her blog, the sweet greedy Bong awoke within me. Mishti doi reminds me, and probably all Bengalis an earthen pot filled with a brownish mass of sweet curd. Misti doi is an inseparable part of all festivals in Bengal- be that a tika (a dot on the forehead) for Bhai phota (festival to mark the well being of brother), or the charanamitro (offering made to God during worship), or just a dessert to end the meal for a feast.  While we were searching for links on Mishti doi, K found an interesting one. I never knew this; SJ prepared it in an oven. That is really a nice and quick way to prepare misti doi, I believe. The post even wrote about the mention of curds in Vedas as the “Food of God”, and probably that explains why it’s offered during all rituals.

I have tried out mishti dahi in Bangalore too, but here it’s sold in plastic containers. The smell of the wet earthen pot holding the misti doi gives the actual feel of this dessert. So, when I came back to Kolkata yesterday I just couldn’t wait to devour some misti doi. Earthen pots are easily available here, and mom had some handy in her kitchen, so that was not a problem at all. While the color of the yogurt helps all to remind them of this dessert, there are some sweet shops in Kolkata too where mishti dahi looks white similar to the set sour curd.

Mishti doi though a very popular dessert throughout Bengal, it is rarely prepared at home. This may probably because it’s readily available in the market (sweet shops in Bengal are more frequent than light posts on the streets) and also preparing it takes a long time almost over night and even more. So a time taking recipe, but still is worth all the labor. Here, it is all for you to grab.

Cooking time: 35min
Preparation time: 5min
Incubation: Overnight (10-11hr)
Makes half-litre of yogurt


  • Full Cream Milk (Dudh): 1ltr
  • Sugar (Chini): 8 tablespoon
  • Yogurt (Dahi): 1 tablespoon
  • 1 Earthen pot (optional)


  • Pour the milk in a thick bottom vessel and start heating over low flame
  • As it starts boiling add 4 tablespoons of sugar and keep on simmering till the volume is reduced to little less than half
  • Take the remaining sugar with 2 tablespoons of water and heat till the sugar melts and attains a golden brown color
  • Gradually add the molten sugar over the milk and boil for another 15 minutes over low flame
  • Take out of flame and let it become lukewarm
  • Pour the milk over the earthen pot and add the yogurt
  • Keep the pot in a cool dry place, and let the yogurt set over night
  • Refrigerate the set dahi and serve as a dessert

Mishti Doi

Hot tips – Instead of using yogurt to set the dahi, freeze-dried bacteria can also be used for the same purpose.

Further readings – Bengali sweetsYogurt in ten steps, List of misti doi

Linda is celebrating the World Breast Feeding Week on her blog with the event Got Milk?. Mishti doi is on way to the event.

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91 thoughts on “Mishti Doi

  1. The curd just refuses to set. The milk was just about lukewarm when I added it to the earthen pot with curd. Also the first batch that I tried, the milk curdled after I poured the caremelized sugar. Why did that happen?

    1. If the milk curdled, that means the milk or sugar is too warm.

      The temperature should be that you put your finger inside and can count to ten without it burning your finger. Also the sweet yogurt takes longer to set than regular yogurt. Leave the yogurt to set for at least 8 hours, and do not move the pot, or touch the mixture until it is finished

      Also the yogurt culture must be room temperature. If it is in fridge, take it out for sometime.

      Also, do not cool milk by putting in fridge. Let it cool naturally

  2. Hi i tried ur recipe but it didn work for me.
    just a thin upper layer was made n rest was liquid milk
    Can i keep it for more hours or it wil remain d same

    1. Hi kashish,
      Sorry to hear that your yogurt didn’t set. You can definitely keep it for a longer time, and try keeping it in a warm place, probably inside a oven and please do not move it around to check whether it has set. Give it at least 4-5 hours better over night and then check whether it has set. hope this helps

    2. The same thing happened to me. I kept the Mishti Doi to set for almost 18 hours. I stay in Bangalore, and it is summer here right now. I thought it was set and I moved it to the fridge, but the lower part is still liquid. Does the depth of the earthern pot matter?

      1. It should not. The setting depends on a lot of things. You should boil the milk, and only when you can touch the milk with your fingers you can add the starter to it. Mix the starter well and keep it in a warm place.

  3. Hi i am thinking of making mishti doi as i love cooking planned to do today night so that it can set overnight but mom is not allowing, so will try tomorrow morning.
    Please clarify after how many minutes of removing from flame should i add curd, and whether to let it stay for 9-10 hrs in fridge or room temp, also i have earthen cooking kadai can i use that instead of normal iron kadai.

    1. Ravi, here are your answers:
      1) take a few drops of milk and test it on your palm. If it is warm, add the curd and stir well, so it mixes evenly. Use about a teaspoon. More can make the curd too sour
      2) keeping the mixture in fridge will cool it and not set it. To set curd keep it outside, and if the temperature outside is cold, keep inside a warm place like the inside of a showcase
      3) never set curd in an iron vessel. It will rust, spoil the curd, and also prove messy for your health. Best is to use an earthen pot, or even a steel vessel is good.

  4. Hi Sudeshna,

    Thank you for the recipe. I followed your recipe to the T and the results were fabulous. Giving in to my temptation of trying something different, I tried this using jaggery in place of sugar and it turned out equally good. Also using mango and strawberry flavors the third time. I know the purists would probably breathe fire at this, but ita amazing how a stable basic recipe can work wonders for an experimentalist like me. Thank you once again and keep up thw good work. Cheers!

  5. Hi,
    I have tried your mishti doi receipe. The good thing is that taste wise it turns out to be perfect. But inspite of trying various methods to set, it doesn’t work. I have even tried to alter the proportion of curd and also leaving it to set for about 24 hours.

  6. Made this just now, exactly as per the reipe (modified a little by adding some cocoa for extra browning). Kept it to set. Only problem – I can’t wait to try it – it’d be another 12 hours or so before it sets and cools in the fridge.

  7. hi sudeshna..another sudeshna is writing to u.. u know..my name is also sudeshna.. saw ur recipes..they r so interesting..wud try kosha mangsho nd misti doi tmrw

  8. Hi Sudeshna,

    I have had Mishti doi just once or twice in Delhi and I loved it. Never got a chance to try it at home.Your recipe looks so tempting that I feel like trying it out right away. Just have one question. I do not have full cream milk at home. Will it come out good with 2% milk?


    1. Shilpi,
      You can definitely try with 2% milk, but I’m not sure if it will set properly. Let me know how it goes.

      1. Hi Sudeshna,

        I tried your recipe with 2% milk and the taste was good. Just that it was not as thick as yours, which I had already expected. Also I made it like regular yogurt and did not boil the milk to half. I will try it again with full cream milk and follow your directions as per your recipe.Wish me luck and thanks a lot again for sharing this wonderful recipe.



    1. Hi Smita,
      You can prepare rasogolla in the same way like this one, but just use about 3 cups of gur inplace of sugarin both the syrup and gollas

  10. Your recipe is the most authentic of all that I have looked over in the net. I should be trying it soon.

  11. Hi,

    I am a bengali with a sweet tooth (surprised??), married to a UP-ite who is as crazy about Bengali food as me or probably more. Mishti Doi is one of my all time fav’s and whenever I visit Kol, Baba makes sure I get plenty of it.

    With a little penchant for cooking, I will definitely try the recipe and surprise my better half.

    Hopefully it will be a pleasant surprise !

  12. Does this work with Splenda? Someone in the family is diabetic but cannot resist Mishti Doi as described in your post and the comments.

  13. I have enjoyed all the conversation on this topic of mishti doi.

    I have savoured this delicacy in Kolkata and many towns in West Bengal. I wanted to try making it at home. I however didn’t have the time and patience to boil down the milk to condense and reduce its bulk and then add sugar, etc., etc.

    So I bought some ‘basundi’ from the local dairy farms, heated it, added doi (the freshest and least sour doi is the best) and sugar to it and let it set in a warm place for 4-5 hours. Voila ! Mishti doi. This way you save on gas and time, letting those bhaiyyas do the dirty work of boiling and condensing.

    Try it and let me know….

  14. Hi,

    I never tried Bengali cuisine. I came across your site while looking for interesting recipes. Well, your site sure offers them. Everything is beautifully displayed. I am going to attempt some of recipes you published.

    Thank you for sharing. Dana

  15. I tried Misti Doi for the first time last weekend. I reduced the milk, then added the gur, but the whole thing curdled. It still tasted good, but is this supposed to happen?

    1. Hi Kay,
      I think its probably because of the gur that you have used. Try it once with sugar instead of gur. Add the sugar just before you take out the milk from flame.

    2. Kay, you need to mix the gur after taking the reduced milk off the fire.

      Allow the milk to cool slightly before you mix.

  16. hi sudeshna good to find yr blog as being in kolkata i am a marathi married a bong so easier for me to follow yr recipe and make and i am confused 1.should i set the curd with khatta dahi.
    2.will i smear the pot with the curd or just drop the curd in the milk

    i would love to make thisthanks dear

    1. Hi Sunita,
      You can use sour curd for it and the other steps as mentioned. No need to smear the pot with curd, as pour the lukewarm milk over the curd. And do not disturb the pot until set. Hope this helps.

      1. Hi

        I had made this and it turned out awesome. thanks for the recipe. I would just like to know that i wud like to make this with jaggery. wht wud be the quantity.

        thanks in advance


        1. Thank you for the comment Sunita. If you are making it with jaggery, I would suggest you add the a little less jaggery than you have added sugar.

  17. Oh my god! My husband has spend a better part of his life in Kolkata and he can’t stop talking about food up there. And he has a horrible sweet tooth. Recently I made yogurt in earthen pot where he mentioned about Mishti doi and how he loves it. I’m so glad I found your blog.

  18. Hello, I am from Bangalore but married to bengali and I tried this recipe and it takes very long time for the yoghurt to set in cold countries, mine almost took 24hrs to set. Also for mishti doi, using more yoghrt for setting (more than the normal quantity used for regular curd setting), is must.

    And one more correction, normal yoghurt doest set in metallic utensil. My regular yoghurt never goes bad, but I always have problem with Mishti doi…maybe sugar is the culprit…. but thanks for the recipe Ms Baneerjee.

    1. HI,
      This is probably because you have used very little curd for setting. Do add a little more and check.
      Never disturb the curd while its setting, and in winter its better if you put it in an oven. Just heat the oven for around 10mins and keep the curd bowl inside the oven.
      Use a glass bowl or clay bowl. Curd don’t set in metallic vessels.
      I hope this helps. Please do let me know if you need any help.

      1. Hi!
        I have always set my curd in metallic containers (stainless steel at home and aluminium degchis)and I always get a perfect result. Also, I have not faced any difficulties even after I stir the milk after adding the curd to the warm milk. The problem occurs due to insufficient quantity of the bacteria in the milk, improper fermentation temperature, or the addition of the bacteria to milk at high temperature.There is one point to be noted and that is, during the fermentation process do not disturb the utensil.

  19. Hi Sudeshna, Thank you for this wonderful recipe. It looks amazing. I have been craving bengali doi the last few days and unfortunately it is not available where I am in California. I have a question about cooking the milk. How long does it usually take for the milk to reduce to less than half the volume?

    .-= msmeanie´s last blog ..New York Times CCC Again! =-.

    1. Hi,
      To tell you the truth, I have never looked at the duration it takes to make the volume half. It mainly depends on the type of milk you are using. For full cream milk, on low flame it will take more than 25mins.

    2. Hi,

      I live in North America and here is a version that tries to aspire to be Mishti Doi….actually, it is pretty tasty and is a favorite at Indian potlcuks.

      Plain yogurt- 1 container
      Evaporated milk- 1 container
      Condensed milk- i container

      I usually stick to one container of condensed milk, but you can add more according to your sweet tooth. I usually use low fat varities of all the ingredients.
      Mix them up and bake in an oven till set @ 400 for 2 hours or so.
      Always turns out well.

  20. Hi, I followed your recipe very precisely but the curd did not set properly. It was very watery. Where do you think I could have gone wrong?
    When I add the tablespoon of curd to the milk should I mix it or just leave it as it is?

    1. Hi Anand,
      There is no need to stir the curd to the milk. It will set like that itself.
      I don’t know whether you have disturbed the bowl while it was setting, please don’t disturb the bowl any how while the curd is being set.
      Also, in winter there is a little problem in setting the curd, as the temperature goes down. The best temperature of setting curd is at 37 degree Celsius. You can preheat the oven at 150 degree Farenheit, switch off the oven and keep the curd bowl in there for 8 hours.
      I hope this helps.

        1. I tried this recipe twice without success. Now I know the reason why. To set the doi I had been using curd from the supermarket which did not have active bacteria. Most of the brands in the supermarket here do not have active culture.

          Now I have purchased curd with active bacteria so shall try it again this weekend. I havnt had mishti doi for almost 10 years since I left Kolkata so I’m not giving up till I really make it 🙂

          1. Anand,
            Hope you succeed this time, and do share with us your result. Wish you luck. 🙂

  21. Pingback: make life sweeter!
    1. Bee,
      Thanks for visiting my blog. Yeh I think that would be a nice variation for preparing mishti doi, and the color will just come like that without even making use of the caramelized sugar. Thanks for the idea. I’ll try it the next time I prepare doi.

  22. Hi,

    I here for the first time and should tell you that I am awestruck. Your site looks damn professional with lovely dishes and apt and awesome pics. I am loving it. 🙂

    Will be here often and I am glad that your responded to my mail.

    Misti doi is going to be my dish tomorrow. 🙂
    .-= Nithya´s last blog ..My Interview and Khaman Dhokla 🙂 =-.

    1. Nithya,

      Thank you so much for visiting :). Please do let me know how it turned up, and if you make any changes please do include that too, I would just love to customize the recipe.

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