Easy Bhapa Doi Recipe – Bengali Cheesecake

Mallika Basu - Easy Bhapa Doi Recipe – Bengali Cheesecake

Posted 17th March 2008

Normally, I kick back on Fridays with a drink. But last week, I chose something a little different. Yoga.

I looked around nervously at the 24 Nirvana-seeking faces. Nothing to be afraid of, I reassured myself. I am Indian. Yoga runs in my blood.

And then he wafted in. A small, bearded bloke in white linen and oversize beads. He turned on Irish-Sanskrit trance music meets Hed Kandi chillout. And lit some incense.

Is this guy for real?

The class, he stated in a low voice, is a meditational, spiritual awakening of the inner consciousness of our self.

Sorry, what?

We are going to balance our left brain with our right brain, finally centering ourselves with our highest awareness of our being.

This sounds complicated. Can I go home?

Balance yourself on one leg, raise your opposite arm and start flapping. Soar until you reach the peak of self transformation. Unleash your creativity.

This man’s on drugs!

Higher. Faster.

I paid to do a chicken impression?

When they started singing abut peace and love, I finally clocked off and started focusing my inner self on Smirnoff and Bhapa Doi, delicious Bengali cheesecake flavoured with saffron and cardamom. This is an easy bhapa doi recipe, oven baked in a bain marie with easily sourced ingredients.

The flow of power in my home is all about moving from living room to kitchen. Transferring the contents of a deliciously sweet and creamy Bhapa doi pot to the mouth. Knowing it took all of 20 minutes to make. And washing it down with a stiff drink.

Next time I’ll stick to what works best.


Feeds 6:

  • 500 gm low fat natural yoghurt
  • 400 gm condensed milk
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • About 10-12 saffron strands
  • 2 tbsp milk


Preheat the oven to 190 Degrees Centigrade. Put the cardamoms in a large shallow baking tray in the oven for about five minutes. Heat the milk with the saffron strands in the microwave fr 10 seconds and leave until later.

In the meantime, mix the yogurt and condensed milk together until smooth. Crush the cardamoms and stir them into the cheesecake mix.

Fill six little ramekins or a pyrex baking dish with the doi or yoghurt. Place in the large, shallow baking tray. Fill this tray with enough hot water to come half way up to the ramekins/dish. Then carefully place the whole lot in the oven for 10 minutes.

After this time, spoon a couple of saffron strands and a little bit of the golden milk on top of the yoghurt. Keep cooking for another five minutes until the cheesecake has set. A fork inserted should come out clean.

Leave to sit for 10 minutes and then refridgerate for later. This is a delicious low fat desert after a full meal – only 6 grams of fat per serving.

PS = This is my first entry to Sandeepa‘s Bengali food event. I am tripping over with excitement about showcasing the food I grew up with in Kolkata!!

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