Easy Bhapa Doi Recipe – Bengali Cheesecake

March 17, 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!!



25 Responses to “Easy Bhapa Doi Recipe – Bengali Cheesecake”

  1. Scott Says:

    March 17th, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Where’s the cheese? :)

  2. yash Says:

    March 17th, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    LOL, Hilarious!

  3. Nandita Says:

    March 17th, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    The presentation is lovely…I have noted down the recipe for Bhapa doi from a magazine that once featured bengali cuisine and it asked to be steamed in a pressure cooker in a closed ‘dabba’ – but this one is nicer with individual portions! Would love to try it out…
    Having bought the Calcutta Cookbook recently, I’m quite excited about the RCI Bengal event, trying out whatever vegetarian recipes I can from the book..
    Hope you’re doing well!

  4. Mallika Says:

    March 18th, 2008 at 2:10 am

    Scott – there isn’t any! I liken it to cheesecake because of its taste and texture. You have to try this one. It’s a winner…

    Yash – Thanks for leaving a comment on Youtube. Although it took me a while to figure out what Vlog meant!!

    Nandita – I have that one too. It’s great.

  5. Asha Says:

    March 18th, 2008 at 5:23 am

    HeHe!! Latest craze in US is “Iyengar Yoga”! Even Martha Stewart is doing it!:D
    Bappa Doi is yum, great entry Mallika.
    Okaey dokey, time for me to say Adios to you until May, take care and enjoy the Spring.
    (I will keep my fingers crossed for me and for you too that we don’t get severe allergy this season!;D)

  6. sra Says:

    March 18th, 2008 at 11:12 am

    More than the post, the title set me off, and I can’t stop.

  7. sandeepa Says:

    March 18th, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Mallika both the blog and you look so glam. Khub bhalo lagche, now checking out your video next

  8. r keith friend Says:

    March 18th, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    To what consistency did you crush the cardamom?

  9. sia Says:

    March 19th, 2008 at 1:33 am

    hilarious… r u planning to continue with that Yoga class? ;)
    and loved this low fat recipe… is it really just 6 gm per serving? ah!!! guilt free indulgence.

  10. sia Says:

    March 19th, 2008 at 1:35 am

    oh… thanks for pointing out abt that link not working in the round-up. have changed it and its working fine now. thanks again for sending me that lovely entry:)
    see ya later…

  11. Homecooked Says:

    March 19th, 2008 at 4:04 am

    Wow…this looks delicious!!! And its so easy to make.Is this something like sandesh?

  12. enjay Says:

    March 19th, 2008 at 11:14 am

    Wow!! Bhapa doi is one of my favorite idea it was this easy to make! Will definitely try this one..thanks!!

  13. poornima Says:

    March 26th, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Great recipe and easy too.Made it for a dinner party and heard a lot of oohs and aahs!Thanks ever so much.It was actually the photo which prompted me to try them out!!!

  14. mandira Says:

    April 2nd, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    this is soul food… bookmarked for weekend :) looks fabulous

  15. rosie lovell Says:

    April 9th, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    malika, when you say in the 4th paragraph, ‘golden milk on the yoghurt’ do you mean, the whey from the uncooked yoghurt in the pot, or some kind of whey emerging from the baking ramekins? or do you mean the milk goes golden from the saffron? am i being stupid? really want to try this.. and maybe crumble some sort of biscuit on top? hope all’s well. this is all looking FANTASTIC!!! love Rosie xxx

  16. tik tiki Says:

    April 9th, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Looks delicious. Keeping a stash of your own homemade doi for recipes is nice too! See:

  17. Mallika Says:

    April 10th, 2008 at 1:20 am

    Heyyyyy Rosie – Lovely surprise! I just mean the milk that the saffron is soaking in. It turns golden and gives the tops of the bhapa doi a lovely colour.

    Hi tik tiki – another Kolkata gal!! How is life on the mean streets of the City these days? Great to have you visit here and thanks for the home made doi, although I am loathe to recommend it. This is not that kind of blog because I myself struggle to hit the shops for a pot of yogurt, forget about making my own. Any plans to start your blog again – I love it!

  18. Manasi Says:

    May 2nd, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Hahaha!!! So will u continue the yoga lessons?
    Bhapa Doi looks awesome! Will try it once my parents visit me as a treat for them! Thanx!

  19. Roshni Says:

    October 23rd, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    You’re too funny!! Just loved the yogi sequence! Will try bhapa doi soon!

  20. Eeshani Says:

    November 13th, 2008 at 10:34 am

    This recipe is absolutely fantastic. I made it for a dinner with friends last weekend, and everyone loved it. I never had Bhapa Doi growing up because my mom (a single parent with a full-time job) always thought it was crazy hard (at least the way my Dida made it), but your version is so easy! And I love the smoky depth of the roasted cardamom. Thank you!

  21. pumba Says:

    April 2nd, 2009 at 3:07 am

    Can this be cooked in a microwave oven? Thanks!

  22. Mallika Says:

    April 3rd, 2009 at 6:04 am

    Pumba – Nope, because it is slowly steam baked in a conventional oven. You could try a low heat cook and see what happens.

  23. Quick Indian Cooking » Eating humble koftas Says:

    June 8th, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    […] with eclectic recipes that nod to London’s vibrant cafe culture. That aside it featured my Bhapa Doi Bengali cheesecake recipe with a mention of yours […]

  24. jane martin Says:

    July 13th, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    I love bhapa! Great to read this…

  25. Jubilant dal Says:

    September 11th, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    […] to ignite their senses. The dinner of Bhuna Gosht, Achari Baingan, Anda Raita, Lasuni Dal Palak and Bhapa Doi went down almost as well as Obama’s victory.  The Lasuni Dal Palak, or garlicky spinach […]

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