Mishti Doi is a thickened, reddish-coloured yoghurt sweetened with jaggery used as a snack or dessert in India.
It is not usually made at home, it is usually bought. It is sold in small, unglazed clay pots. The unglazed pots absorb any excess water that comes out after the dessert has set.
The yoghurt gets its reddish colour from carmelized sugar and milk being boiled until reduced in volume, though some makers now help out the expected colour with artificial food colouring.
It is not always coloured, though: some makers such as Girish and Khagen Das make theirs pure white.
It is available in various flavours.
Recipes for making it in the West have you lightly-carmelize some white sugar to replicate the taste and colour of jaggery. Make sure, though, that the caramel does not turn dark in colour. Stop cooking the caramel as soon as it has turned a light yellow colour.
Some have you start with milk and have you boil it down till it’s half its volume. Some have you bake it all to make it set.
Mishti Doi is best served chilled, and is eaten with a spoon. It may be sprinkled with chopped toasted nuts.
In Bengali, “Mishi” means “sweet”; “doi” is a thick version of plain yoghurt. In the other name, “Lal Doi”, “Lal” means “red”.