Bhapa Doi

// Enjoy the taste of Bengal with Bhapa Doi, a creamy, melt-in-mouth yogurt dessert. Perfect for any occasion, ready in 30 mins.



The Bhapa Doi recipe, or steamed yogurt pudding, is a supremely delicious, melt-in-mouth, and creamy Bengali dessert.  It is one of the most popular desserts in Bengali cuisine.

This traditional yogurt based dessert has a delicate texture and succulent taste. Made using strained yogurt and sweetened condensed milk, this classic and beautiful sweet dish is prepared in just 30 minutes.

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Overhead view of a bhapa doi with a slice removed, showing pistachios and rose petals garnish on a pale patterned plate. This picture is of a popular Indian dessert called Bhapa Doi. It is a creamy, yogurt-based dessert that is often flavored with cardamom and saffron.

On this page, you will find a step-by-step picture and video recipe on how to make Bhapa Doi at home.

About Bhapa Doi

Bhapa Doi, or Bengali yogurt pudding, is a popular Bengali sweet made using hung curd (aka strained yogurt), condensed milk, cardamom powder, and saffron strands.

This bengali sweet is generally served chilled as an after-meal dessert. Plus, it is elegant enough to serve at parties, gatherings, and other special occasions.

Originating from the rich culture of Bengal, this sweet dish is popular across India. Every spoonful of this creamy dessert has the taste of Kolkata’s rich culinary heritage.

Not only is it popular in Bengali households, but it is also served at restaurants worldwide. This classic Indian dessert has a taste like an Indian sweet and a velvety texture like cheesecake.

This elegant and easy-to-make dessert recipe has the beauty of cheesecake in the form of an Indian-style dessert. Plus, for a healthier alternative, you can try making Bhapa Doi without condensed milk.

Bengali cuisine is cherished for its decadent milk-based desserts such as rasgulla, rasmalai, chum chum that use evaporation or curdling. 

However, there are other desserts such as mishti doi and bhapa doi which use yogurt or hung curd as the main ingredient. Other than bhapa doi, there are endless hung curd dessert recipes you can try like pineapple shrikhand, strawberry shrikhand, or thandai shrikhand.

It is a very simple yet luxuriously creamy and delicious dessert.

A slice of bhapa doi garnished with pistachios and rose petals on a black plate with the remaining portion in the background. Bhapa Doi is typically made by steaming a mixture of yogurt, milk, sugar, and spices in a mold. The dessert is then chilled and served.

Among the variety of dessert recipes I have shared, Bhapa Doi holds a special place in my heart as I have many childhood memories associated with this humble dessert.

One of our neighbors used to make desserts like Sandesh, Rasgulla, Nolen Gur, Mishti Doi, and Bhapa Doi at home. And she often used to gift it to us and my mom gifted her authentic Rajasthani dishes. It was like an Indian culture, where you don’t send back empty dishes. A homemade dish in return for an Indian dish.

As a child, I just loved a piece of this sweet dish, because it looked so different from the regular sweets we used to eat at home. It had the essence of authentic Bengali cuisine and was made with so much love.

Astoundingly easy to prepare, this sweet dish needs only two key ingredients, making it an easy-going treat for any occasion.

The traditional Bhapa Doi is made with just plain yogurt and condensed milk. But it can be flavored with cardamom and/or saffron.

For this recipe, I have added saffron and cardamom flavorings. 

This Bhapa Doi

  • is easy and quick

  • tastes simply irresistible

  • is nourishing & indulging

  • is perfect for any occasion

  • can be served at parties

  • can be made during festivals

  • is vegetarian & gluten-free

  • can also be made vegan

  • can also be customized

  • has 2 main ingredients

  • is made with minimal ingredients

Ingredients

  • Yogurt: It is the star ingredient of this recipe used for making hung curd (aka strained yogurt). It creates the base of this dessert while giving it a smooth texture and slight tang. You can use homemade thick yogurt or even Greek yogurt to make strained yogurt.

Strained yogurt is the main ingredient for making other Indian yogurt dessert recipes such as this popular Indian dessert, Shrikhand.

  • Condensed Milk: It is the second main ingredient for this dessert recipe. Sweetened condensed milk adds sweetness to this while adding richness. I have used homemade condensed milk here, but you can also use store-bought condensed milk for making this sweet recipe.

As a healthier alternative, you can use 1/2 cup of milk diluted with raw sugar or jaggery powder to make this dessert.

  • Milk: I have used about 2 tablespoons of full-cream milk for soaking saffron strands.

  • Cardamom and Saffron: I have flavored this dessert with cardamom and saffron strands. Saffron and cardamom infuse this dessert with delicate floral and aromatic flavors.

  • Garnishing: I have garnished it with dried rose petals, sliced pistachios, and edible silver leaves. You can use any chopped nuts, or other garnish of your choice.

How to Make Bhapa Doi

To make Bhapa Doi, make strained yogurt by placing yogurt into a muslin cloth or a cheesecloth. Then fold it and place it on a colander to remove excess water for 1 hour. This process is also known as making ‘hung curd.’ 

Now, make a smooth mixture by whisking hung curd, sweetened condensed milk, saffron-soaked milk, and cardamom. Once smooth, transfer it to a container. 

Cover it with aluminum foil, and steam it for about 20 minutes over medium heat or until steamed and well set. This steaming helps achieve cheesecake-like consistency without the need for gelatin or agar-agar.

Once steamed, remove the pan from the steamer. Let it come to room temperature, and then chill for 2 hours before demolding. Your delicious Bhapa Doi is ready to serve.

A  a plate of bhapa doi, a Bengali dessert made from steamed yogurt held by a person with a floral dress, garnished with pistachios and rose petals.

Bhapa Doi Recipe in Oven

To make Bhapa Doi in an oven, simply preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Add the sweetened condensed milk, yogurt, cardamom powder, and saffron milk to a mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth. 

Pour the mixture into an oven-safe dish and cover it with foil. Now, create a water bath by filling a baking tray with water. Place this yogurt dish on the prepared baking dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until set.

To check, insert a toothpick; if it comes out clean, your Bhapa Doi is cooked.

Remove it from the oven, and let it cool completely at room temperature. Once at room temperature, chill it in the refrigerator for 2 hours before demolding. Your baked yogurt dessert recipe or baked Bhapa Doi recipe is ready to be served.

Bhapa Doi in Instant Pot

To make the Bhapa Doi Instant Pot version, place the yogurt-filled container on a trivet in the Instant Pot with a cup of water at the bottom. Now, set the Instant Pot to steam mode for about 15 minutes. 

Let the pressure release naturally before opening the lid. Let it chill for 2 hours. Your deliciously creamy and rich dessert Bhapa Doi Instant version is ready.

Variations

Bhapa Doi Cheesecake

Love a fusion cheesecake like Thandai cheesecake? Then why not turn it into a classic cheesecake. To make Bhapa Doi cheesecake, make the cheesecake base by crushing digestive and melted butter. Chill the cake pan for about 30 minutes. Top with the cheesecake filling and bake it in the oven.

Mango Bhapa Doi

In this version, add about 1/2 cup of mango puree to the yogurt mixture. Just like mango kalakand or mango halwa, this Bhapa Doi has a refreshing taste and tropical flavor.

Strawberry Bhapa Doi

To make this strawberry Bhapa Doi version, add about 1/2 cup of fresh strawberry puree to the yogurt mixture and steam it until it is set.

Bhapa Doi without Condensed Milk

To make Bhapa Doi without condensed milk, you need to swap sweetened condensed milk with 1/2 cup of milk and 1/4 cup of sugar.

Storage Suggestions

It can be refrigerated for up to 5 days, making it an excellent make-ahead dessert. 

Serve it chilled, garnished with nuts or a drizzle of saffron-infused milk for an added layer of flavor. It pairs wonderfully with hot, aromatic tea or as a cool conclusion to a spicy meal.

Bhapa Doi Vs. Mishti Doi

These both desserts hail from Bengali cuisine made using yogurt. They are quite similar in preparation and texture, so you may call them sister cousins. 

Bhapa Doi is a steamed and cooled dessert that has a creamier consistency, whereas Mishti Doi is a fermented dessert and has a tangy flavor.

Serving Suggestions

This Indian dessert that can be served as a dessert after lunch or dinner. You can also serve it as part of an Indian thali along with aloo puri, matar pulao, raita, and rasgulla.

You can also pair it as part of a dessert platter along with other Indian desserts such as rasmalai, chum chum, rajbhog, mango shrikhand, Indian milk cake, besan halwa, and walnut burfi.

Storage suggestions

This dessert stays fresh for up to 4-5 days when stored covered in the refrigerator. To store, transfer it into an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Close-up overhead view of bhapa doi with one slice taken out, garnished with pistachios and rose petals on a pale patterned plate.

Professional Tips & Tricks to Make the Best Bhapa Doi

  1. Perfect Consistency: Make sure to use the exact yogurt and condensed milk ratio to ensure that it is well blended and gets a smooth and melt-in-mouth texture.

  2. Flavorings: I have used cardamom and saffron flavors for making this dessert. You can also experiment with other flavors like rose water or kewra water for a different flavor and taste.

  3. Yogurt: You can use homemade thick yogurt. Or you can also use any thick variety of yogurt such as Greek yogurt as it has a creamy texture and mild taste. Just make sure the yogurt you are using is fresh, as sour yogurt will ruin the taste of this sweet.

  4. Condensed milk: I have used homemade sweetened condensed milk to sweeten this recipe. For a lighter dessert version, you can swap sweetened condensed milk with 1/2 cup of milk. To sweeten it, you can either use jaggery powder or raw brown sugar.

  5. Steaming: The bhapa means steam in Bengali language, hence the traditional way of making this dessert is steaming. You can either use a steamer or steam it using a stovetop pan or stovetop pressure cooker without the whistle.

  6. Serving: It tastes best when served chilled, but it can also be served warm if you like warm desserts.

  7. Bhapa Doi in Microwave: If you want to speed up the cooking process, you can microwave it for about 5-7 minutes or until set. Make sure that you use a microwave-safe container and cover it with plastic wrap before microwaving.

  8. Straining: The longer you strain the yogurt, the thicker the hung curd will be. So if you are using yogurt with more liquid, you need to adjust the straining time accordingly.

If you are looking for more delightful treats, I would advise you to check out my dessert category where I have shared plenty of amazing dessert recipes, from traditional to modern to fusion innovative desserts. There is something to please every palate.

FAQ

Can I make Bhapa Doi vegan?

Yes, you can surely make a vegan version of this dish. To make vegan Bhapa Doi, substitute dairy yogurt with dairy-free yogurt alternatives such as coconut or almond milk yogurt. Also, substitute sweetened condensed milk with coconut condensed milk.

Is there a quick method to prepare this dessert?

Traditionally, Bhapa Doi is steamed, but you can also microwave it to significantly reduce the cooking time and fasten the cooking process.

How can I prevent water from seeping during steaming?

Make sure to cover the dish with aluminum foil. This step will ensure that your Bhapa Doi mixture stays dry and you achieve the smooth texture after steaming.

Is Bhapa Doi gluten free?

Yes, it is an entirely gluten-free dessert as it only contains milk, yogurt, sweetened condensed milk, and flavorings.


Bhapa Doi (Step-by-step photo instructions)

Make Bhapa Doi Mixture

  1. Start by adding the crushed saffron strands in 2 tablespoons of warm milk. Mix well and set aside for 15-20 minutes. This resting time will allow the saffron to infuse its color and flavor into the milk.
  2. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-1 for Bhapa Doi
  3. Place the fine mesh strainer or colander over a large plate or a bowl. Ensure the plate is big enough to catch the whey that will drain out of the yogurt without touching the bottom of the strainer. Now, line the strainer or colander with the clean cotton cloth or cheesecloth. Make sure that cloth is spread out and covers the sides to prevent any yogurt from slipping out.
  4. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-2 for Bhapa Doi
  5. Pour the yogurt onto the cloth-lined strainer and gather the edges of the cloth and gently twist to cover the yogurt.
  6. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-3 for Bhapa Doi
  7. After that, place some weight on top like a mortar or heavy jar to remove the excess whey. Keep it aside for 30 minutes for the whey extraction process. TIP: If you are using store-bought thick yogurt such as Greek or Turkish yogurt, then you might have less whey to drain. If it is homemade with more liquid, then expect more whey to drain out. So, you might need to adjust the timing accordingly to get a thicker consistency. After the desired draining time, open the cloth and check the consistency of the curd. Your hung curd is ready; it should be significantly thicker and creamier than the original yogurt.
  8. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-4 for Bhapa Doi
  9. Transfer the hung curd to a large mixing bowl.
  10. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-5 for Bhapa Doi
  11. Also, add the sweetened condensed milk, saffron-infused milk, and cardamom powder to the yogurt.
  12. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-6 for Bhapa Doi
  13. Whisk well until all the ingredients are mixed and you have a smooth mixture.
  14. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-7 for Bhapa Doi

Steaming the Bhapa Doi

  1. Line the bottom of the steaming dish with parchment paper for easy removal after steaming. You can also grease the dish.
  2. Image of the recipe cooking step-2-1 for Bhapa Doi
  3. Pour the yogurt mixture into prepared dish. You can also use individual terracotta ramekins.
  4. Image of the recipe cooking step-2-2 for Bhapa Doi
  5. Cover the prepared dish with aluminum foil to prevent water from dripping into the mixture during the steaming process.
  6. Image of the recipe cooking step-2-3 for Bhapa Doi
  7. Prepare a large pot or a steamer with enough water for steaming. Bring the water to a boil.
  8. Image of the recipe cooking step-2-4 for Bhapa Doi
  9. Once the water is boiling, place the trivet on the bottom. Now, place the prepared steaming dish on it.
  10. Image of the recipe cooking step-2-5 for Bhapa Doi
  11. Cover the pan with the lid and steam for 20-22 minutes over medium, or until the Bhapa Doi is set and firm to touch.
  12. Image of the recipe cooking step-2-6 for Bhapa Doi
  13. You can check the doneness by inserting a toothpick; if it comes out clean, your Bhapa Doi is set.
  14. Image of the recipe cooking step-2-7 for Bhapa Doi
  15. Once done, carefully remove the dish from the steamer and let it cool completely to room temperature.
  16. Image of the recipe cooking step-2-8 for Bhapa Doi
  17. Then chill it for a few hours before serving. This chilling time enhances the flavor and texture.
  18. Image of the recipe cooking step-2-9 for Bhapa Doi

Serving

  1. Loosen the sides of the pan with a knife.
  2. Image of the recipe cooking step-3-1 for Bhapa Doi
  3. Place a plate on the pan and flip it over to remove it from the mould.
  4. Image of the recipe cooking step-3-2 for Bhapa Doi
  5. If the bhapa doi is not coming out easily, then place the container on low heat for about 30 seconds and then flip it onto a plate.
  6. Image of the recipe cooking step-3-3 for Bhapa Doi
  7. Garnish it with nuts of your choice. I am garnishing it with chopped pistachios, dried rose petals, and edible silver leaves.
  8. Image of the recipe cooking step-3-4 for Bhapa Doi
  9. Slice and enjoy your homemade Bhapa Doi chilled. It's a creamy, rich, and delicious yogurt-based dessert.
  10. Image of the recipe cooking step-3-5 for Bhapa Doi

Recipe Card


Bhapa Doi [Recipe]

Recipe Image
Enjoy the taste of Bengal with Bhapa Doi, a creamy, melt-in-mouth yogurt dessert. Perfect for any occasion, ready in 30 mins.
★★★★★
(Rating: 5 from 6 reviews)

Prep time 🕐 Cook time 🕐 Total time 🕐
32 mins
Category ☶ Cuisine ♨ Serves ☺
Desserts Indian 6
Nutrition Info ⊛ Serving size ⊚
200 calories 1

INGREDIENTS

For Bhapa Doi
  • 2 cups yogurt (preferably hung or Greek yogurt for a thicker consistency)
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 10-12 saffron strands
  • 2 tablespoons warm milk (for soaking the saffron strands)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Make Bhapa Doi Mixture
  1. Start by adding the crushed saffron strands in 2 tablespoons of warm milk. Mix well and set aside for 15-20 minutes. This resting time will allow the saffron to infuse its color and flavor into the milk.
  2. Place the fine mesh strainer or colander over a large plate or a bowl. Ensure the plate is big enough to catch the whey that will drain out of the yogurt without touching the bottom of the strainer. Now, line the strainer or colander with the clean cotton cloth or cheesecloth. Make sure that cloth is spread out and covers the sides to prevent any yogurt from slipping out.
  3. Pour the yogurt onto the cloth-lined strainer and gather the edges of the cloth and gently twist to cover the yogurt.
  4. After that, place some weight on top like a mortar or heavy jar to remove the excess whey. Keep it aside for 30 minutes for the whey extraction process. TIP: If you are using store-bought thick yogurt such as Greek or Turkish yogurt, then you might have less whey to drain. If it is homemade with more liquid, then expect more whey to drain out. So, you might need to adjust the timing accordingly to get a thicker consistency. After the desired draining time, open the cloth and check the consistency of the curd. Your hung curd is ready; it should be significantly thicker and creamier than the original yogurt.
  5. Transfer the hung curd to a large mixing bowl.
  6. Also, add the sweetened condensed milk, saffron-infused milk, and cardamom powder to the yogurt.
  7. Whisk well until all the ingredients are mixed and you have a smooth mixture.
Steaming the Bhapa Doi
  1. Line the bottom of the steaming dish with parchment paper for easy removal after steaming. You can also grease the dish.
  2. Pour the yogurt mixture into prepared dish. You can also use individual terracotta ramekins.
  3. Cover the prepared dish with aluminum foil to prevent water from dripping into the mixture during the steaming process.
  4. Prepare a large pot or a steamer with enough water for steaming. Bring the water to a boil.
  5. Once the water is boiling, place the trivet on the bottom. Now, place the prepared steaming dish on it.
  6. Cover the pan with the lid and steam for 20-22 minutes over medium, or until the Bhapa Doi is set and firm to touch.
  7. You can check the doneness by inserting a toothpick; if it comes out clean, your Bhapa Doi is set.
  8. Once done, carefully remove the dish from the steamer and let it cool completely to room temperature.
  9. Then chill it for a few hours before serving. This chilling time enhances the flavor and texture.
Serving
  1. Loosen the sides of the pan with a knife.
  2. Place a plate on the pan and flip it over to remove it from the mould.
  3. If the bhapa doi is not coming out easily, then place the container on low heat for about 30 seconds and then flip it onto a plate.
  4. Garnish it with nuts of your choice. I am garnishing it with chopped pistachios, dried rose petals, and edible silver leaves.
  5. Slice and enjoy your homemade Bhapa Doi chilled. It's a creamy, rich, and delicious yogurt-based dessert.

WATCH RECIPE VIDEO: Click the play button and video will load ...


NOTES:

  1. Make sure to use the exact yogurt and condensed milk ratio to ensure that it is well blended and gets a smooth and melt-in-mouth texture.
  2. I have used cardamom and saffron flavors for making this dessert. You can also experiment with other flavors like rose water or kewra water for a different flavor and taste.


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