The last whole week was quite a frenzy, and I was utterly unable to post. I was preoccupied with so many things, that the transition from unrelated short sentences in my head to coherent, meaningful paragraphs was just not happening.
It feels strange, but just a few weeks back, my mom and brother were down with dengue, and this time around my mom-in-law (Mom-IL) and dad-in-law (Dad-IL) were down with typhoid and pneumonia respectively. I had only heard of these things before, and in a matter of three months, I am dealing with all of it, in my own house. With not one, but two people to be looked after suddenly.
My Mom-IL and Dad-IL are super-independent and I realized that even after 2 and half years of my marriage, I knew so little about their daily habits and routines. For instance :
- Dad-IL likes to have masala tea atleast 15 times a day, and just a super hot quarter cup each time. And he complains if you give him any more than a quarter cup.
- Mom-IL liked to have something sweet everyday. It is odd, because on normal days, both of them swear away from sweets, and only ‘taste’ it when I make some new dessert.
It was not an easy task keeping those two almost hyper-active individuals home-bound, but being a daughter in law here, I could not be over-assertive. My secret weapon was my husband, their son. I would immediately call him up in office and ask him to call them to persuade them from doing something, viz. gardening on the third day after being detected with pneumonia. Yeah.
I also realized certain things about myself in this week. I found my brain was working like clock. It would automatically wake me up at 2 hour intervals at night to check on their temperature. I found that when left on my own, I do kitchen-work exactly like my mom. I line up used cups on the wash-basin just like she does, heck, I even cut onions the same way she does. I teased her for being so particular, but now I am doing the same things!
It was a hectic week, no doubt, but interspersed with so many realizations, it was quite a ride. And both of them are quite fine now.
Meanwhile, last week I had made this Misti-Doi or Sweetened Curd. I remember a few years back, when I was in Kolkatta for audit, I had this misti–doi in the earthen pots and it was so good, that I ‘smuggled’ a big pot of that curd on the flight back home. It was thick, full of flavor and very creamy.
The real method is to boil and simmer and reduce milk and then add sugar, and some curd as a starter and let it rest. But I substituted it with condensed milk, making it a very easy and quick dessert, which can even be made on a large scale for house parties. It is baked to get a thick creamy texture, but it can also be kept to set overnight in a warm environment.
Misti-Doi or Sweetened Curd recipe :
What you will need:
Plain Yogurt : 2 cups / 500 gm / 17.6 Oz
Sweetened Condensed Milk – 1/2 can or 200 gm or 7 Oz or as per taste
Sweetened Rose Syrup (preferably with rose petals in it) – 5-6 tbsp
What to do:
- Take a cheese cloth, or a soft cotton cloth, pour the yogurt into it, tie the cloth loosely and hang the yogurt along with the cloth on the kitchen faucet / tap for 15 to 20 minutes or till most of the whey ( yogurt-water) has been drained.
- Take the yogurt out from the cloth, put it in a big bowl and add the sweetened condensed milk and the rose syrup. Mix all the ingredients nicely by using a spoon and check the sweetness. Pour the mixture into a oven proof dish. ( cup / bowl / pan )
- Preheat the oven to 220°F or 100°C. Bake the yogurt for 30 minutes on the middle rack.
- Check it if the top of the yogurt has set, and turn off oven. Cover the yogurt with foil and let it sit there in the oven for another 4-5 hrs or overnight.
- Then take it out and put it in the refrigerator for couple of hours.
- Serve chilled, garnish with rose petals.
The next time, I am going to let it set in earth pots, for a very rustic Kolkatta feeling.