A few days ago, I was visiting a friend and artist. Damn my punctuality! I was there ten minutes ahead of our allotted time. I had to pick up a painting that she did for me on request. It was long overdue! We both had our personal commitments towards our families and couldn’t find the time to meet the deadlines that we had set initially.
This painting was special for me as it was a translation of my Amma’s (mother-in-law) love for her baby Krishna (Her UnniKrishna) I knew that this friend was the right person to sense my pulse and utilize her canvas to emote my request. I have shared her link .
The big reveal arrived and I was more than elated to find her teenage daughter home as well. The latter had an unforeseen break from school hence was at the headquarters with the mothership. Double whammy for me as I got to chat with the mother-daughter duo. Having no daughters of my own and being slightly biased towards the female gender I take immense pleasure in chatting with them and keeping a tab on their likes and dislikes, ambitions, goals and how they bloom.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that she literally set an element of astonishment for welcoming me with a dessert that she baked with the mothership by her side. That truly ripped my heart apart! Getting too emotional as the years roll by and the greys get more prominent! Am grateful for such well brought up children; I am grateful for such encouraging parents; I am truly grateful for such overwhelming kind gestures; I am grateful for the Universe and the moment captured!
Hence, when I got back home with my painting in tow I decided that I must revisit and recreate the baked delight that the young one offered me. I could easily say that this was my first time having this as a “Baked Yogurt” the name by which the youngster called it; but if this is also known as BhapaDoi then I have had this many years ago in the streets of Mumbai during my mother’s initial days after discovering her cancer as we had to rush her to Tata Cancer Centre.
BhapaDoi, a delectable Bengali dessert with minimal ingredients is what I am about to share with you. There are many routes and options that one can take to create this dish but I have just two lovers merging as one in this, almost replicating the last scene from Chemmeen where the lovers die and lay side by side in the fondest embrace I have seen in the Malayalam movies.
The lovers are Hung Curd (strained yogurt/curd/Greek Yogurt) and Condensed Milk.
have taken equal volumes of both (a cup each) and whisked them together
to get a smooth batter like consistency. You may reduce the quantity of
condensed milk if you are not too fond of sweets. Remember Bengali
sweets are like morphine in your system with a mystical dance on your
taste buds as the milk and sweeteners merge together as one and are
later set in the refrigerator.
Once they are merged well, if you would like to add a flavouring, you may do so with a tsp. of vanilla essence or swirl in a tsp. or more of strawberry crush, mango etc. I did add strawberry crush as I intended to serve this dish with fresh strawberries. One may keep it plain as well and then serve it with a garnish of cardamom powder and slivers of pistachios.
Pour the prepared mixture into an oven proof dish, preferably a Pyrex or in individual glass servings or in ramekins. This may be steamed or baked in the oven. I baked them in my oven as I had been doing some baking earlier on in the day. The temperature set for this particular bake is 120 degrees celsius. I placed my mixture in a bake dish and placed it in the baking tray that comes along with the oven with some hot water poured in it such that my dish is anchored in that water bath which is technically called a Baine-Marie. It was baked for less than ten to twelve minutes as the oven was already hot. Each oven differs from yours so ensure that you bake/steam it in such a way that when you check on it in between that the top must seem jiggly and the rest of the dish seems set.
That’s it! The dish is baked. Serve it with any fruit coulis or compote over it once it has been cooled. The dish has to be refrigerated. As mentioned I served it at a family dinner with fresh strawberries and mango chunks.
The options may be the addition of fresh cream, corn-starch or milk in the batter. Mine were just hung curd and condensed milk.
Amma was delighted with the precious painting and was curious to know more about the painter and her personal details which is typical of my inquisitive Amma. From there on churned out another long chat between Amma and me. Watched her with folded hands as if in a silent prayer gazing at her Unnikrishnan’s eyes.
Recipe Courtesy: Miss K
Inconsistent Chef' is a food blogger who shares her personal experience of cooking
traditional and fusion dishes using ingredients available in India. Some
of her dishes are outrightly native, while some are exotic and brings
in elements from different continents and cultures. The accent here is
on the experience of conjuring up a dish - the texture, colours,
flavours and their play on the palate. The presentation of recipes is
unique that there is no need for measuring cups or quantities. It's
measuring by your senses and getting it right by sheer instinct.
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