When you think of Kolkata, its delicious desserts come to your mind, especially roshogulla and mishti doi. Let us see the history of mishti doi, know its types and find out the top spots to enjoy it in the city.
Mishti Doi is an authentic Bengali delicacy that has captivated taste buds across the globe. It is the perfectly balanced dessert that one needs after a big, heavy meal. It is an important part of every festival and celebration in Bengali households. This sweet, creamy, and slightly tangy yoghurt-based treat is a signature dish of Kolkata, and its history is as intriguing as its flavours. Most Bengalis, who have grown up outside of the state, might often ask relatives to bring Kolkatar mishti doi bhaad, or an earthen pot full of Kolkata’s mishti doi, whenever their loved ones would come to visit them from West Bengal.
The word "Mishti" in Bengali means "sweet," and "Doi" translates to "yoghurt." This dessert is a sweetened and caramelised version of plain yoghurt, where sugar and milk are slow-cooked until the mixture thickens and acquires a rich, brownish-reddish hue. The caramelisation process is key to its distinctly rich flavour.
Recipe - Kabita's Kitchen
The Sweet History of Mishti Doi
The history of mishti doi can be traced back to 19th-century Bengal, although there is little to no actual recorded history of the origin and popularity of the dish in its initial days. There is an intriguing story, though, which some dismiss as hearsay while others believe to be the truth. It is said that the dessert was first made by the famous and respected Ghosh family of Bogra, which is in present-day Bangladesh. Another version says it was the Bose family of Sherpur. But in both versions, the patron is said to be Altaf Ali Chowdhary, the Nawab of Bogra.
5 Types of Mishti Doi
Mishti doi is healthier in comparison to most desserts, subtly delicious, and great to eat after a big lunch. Here are some of the different types found on the market:
Classic Mishti Doi: This is the traditional, unadulterated version of Mishti Doi. It features creamy yoghurt, sugar, and the signature caramelization. It's often served in earthen pots called bhaad in Bengali, enhancing its earthy flavour.
Fruit-Infused Mishti Doi: To add a fruity twist, various fruits like mango, strawberry, or pineapple are blended with yoghurt before the caramelization process. This variation offers a nice, fruity taste to the dessert. Aam doi has actually become a very popular variety.
Nolen Gur Mishti Doi: Nolen Gur, or date palm jaggery, is a cherished ingredient in Bengali sweets. It's used to make Nolen Gur Mishti Doi, infusing the dessert with the unique flavours of this sweet, earthy jaggery. It is dark caramel in colour than the classic version.
Recipe - Rimli Dey
Chocolate Mishti Doi: A modern twist on the classic, chocolate Mishti Doi incorporates cocoa or chocolate chips, creating a fusion of Bengali tradition and international indulgence. A lot of companies, like Amul and Sudha, also have chocolate mishti doi options.
Dry Fruit Mishti Doi: In recent years, inventive chefs have experimented with Mishti Doi by adding new but complementary ingredients like saffron, pistachios, or cardamom, topped with cashews, raisins, and almonds. These additions make the dessert more decadent.
5 Places To Visit For Mishti Doi In Kolkata Today
Today, Mishti Doi remains an integral part of Kolkata's culinary landscape. You can find it in traditional sweet shops, fine-dining restaurants, and even street food stalls. It's not just a dessert but a symbol of Bengal's cultural identity, served at weddings, festivals, and everyday meals. Here are 5 places where you can enjoy it.
Located in Fariapukur, this legendary shop is equally popular among senior citizens who grew up eating mishti doi from here and college students who are now experiencing the same magic. The best thing is that the mishti doi from this place still tastes the same as it did years ago.
Jadab Chandra Das
An all-time favourite shop of legendary Bengali celebrities like Satyajit Ray and Kishore Kumar, this unassuming place on College Street This place is still frequented by celebrities, who stop by to buy mishti doi for their celebrations.
The thick, creamy, and extremely rich mishti doi from this shop, which opened in 1923, is one of the most indulgent ones that you will ever have. Situated on Rashbehari Avenue, the secret behind the super creamy texture of mishti doi here is that they use only locally sourced ingredients and do not remove any fat or malai from the milk.
Jashoda Mistanna Bhandar
We have talked about the rich red colour of the mishti doi, but the most unique one is found in this Taltala shop. The doi here is perfectly white in colour, and the secret recipe has remained with the karigars for six decades now!
New Naba Krishna Guin Sweets
This Bowbazar shop is 200 years old, and the secret to their success is consistency. The mishti doi and aam doi are very popular here, with the texture being smooth as silk. The shop remains popular among Bengalis all over the country.