Helloooo everyone… Happy St. Nicholas’ Day to all.. I am glad that I got the opportunity to post my feast recipe on this auspicious day, in the Food Advent Calendar hosted by Jenny Rojas.
St. Nicholas’ Day is the feast day of Saint Nicholas. St Nicholas is none other than the man behind the story of Father Christmas or Santa Claus. To know more about this day, click Here.
Do you know while we are anxiously waiting and preparing for Christmas, What Santa is up to? Well, He is busy collecting exotic delicacies from all corners of the world. He has already collected Jenny’s German Stollen, Rachel’s Eggnog Cookies and Natalie’s Eggnog in his cart.
When He passed through India, He, first of all, grabbed Jyoti’s delicious Kesari Angoori Rasmalai and then when He was crossing over my kitchen, He couldn’t resist the aroma of cardamom in my dessert and wanted to have it. He liked it so much that he gulped the whole dessert in a go and said that He wanted this ‘Indian Cheese Cake’ in his Christmas Collection. He didn’t stop here and insisted me to share this recipe with Him. And when He went through the recipe, he couldn’t believe it was so simple to make it and said: “Who says simple recipes can’t produce exotic results?” Being overjoyed by His response I decided to put up this recipe only for Jenny’s Advent Calendar.
So, with Santa’s approval, I am presenting Steamed Yogurt Pudding for all my readers.
Steamed Yogurt Pudding or Indian Cheese Cake or Baked Yogurt or Bhapa Doi, call whatever you want to, is a traditional sweet dish belonging to the state of West Bengal. Bengali sweet dishes are a rage all over the world, be it Rasgulla (Cottage Cheese Balls in sugar syrup) or Ras Malai (Cottage Cheese dumplings in thickened and sweetened milk) or Mishti Doi (Sweet Yoghurt) or other cottage cheese preparations.
For Jenny’s advent calendar, once Santa approved it, even I found this very appropriate and decided to present this simple yet yummilicious pudding to you all. The main reason is that it is very much Indian, originating from the state of West Bengal in India. Besides this, it has spices like cardamom and saffron. It is a very healthy dessert. And lastly, as we all know Christmas is associated with cakes and puddings, so here comes a pudding cum cake only.
This pudding/cheesecake sets wonderfully without gelatin or china grass or cornflour. It has no flour, no baking soda, no baking powder, no eggs, no butter, no oil. Then what does it have?
Steamed Yogurt Pudding is a very simple recipe made with just yogurt and condensed milk. The mix of yogurt and condensed milk is steamed on medium heat for about half an hour. Once properly steamed, it sets beautifully like a cheesecake. And then you can decorate it with nuts or fruit compote or have it plain, as it is. So, what about having this cake for your next birthday? Ideal for elderly people who don’t like the usual cakes.
For this pudding, we need thick curd or say Greek yogurt. This is because yogurt has a lot of water content which makes it sour. Once this water is removed from the yogurt, sourness also goes away and it becomes ideal for converting it into a sweet dish. You can use storebought Greek yogurt or can make it at home also. For preparing hung curd, put the yogurt in a strainer and keep the strainer on a bowl which will collect all the whey (water from the curd). Do not throw away this whey as it is very nutritious. Details of how to use this whey and how to make hung curd, click here.
The best thing about this pudding is that you can make it in the oven or in a steamer or in the pressure cooker. Also, you can have lot many variations in it. Like in summers, when mangoes are in plenty, then I like to add mango puree along with mango pieces in it. Similarly, you can make it with strawberries or any other fruit.
Today, I am making it with spices and nuts only. I have added cardamom powder, saffron, slivered almonds and blanched pistachios.
Cardamom is popularly known as Queen of Spices… owing to its qualities. No wonder it is o highly priced!!! Do you know Cardamom is the world’s third most expensive spice – surpassed only by saffron and Vanilla?
Cardamom is a spice made from the seeds of several plants belonging to the family Zingiberaceae.
The spice is native to India, Bhutan, Nepal, and Indonesia. Cardamom pods are small, triangular in cross-section, and shaped as spindles. It comes in two different forms, green and black. While green cardamom can be used both in sweet as well savoury dishes, black cardamom is apt only for savoury dishes like Biryani ( a rice preparation) or gravies or making Whole Spice powder. (In this recipe, being a dessert, of course, we are using Green Cardamom).
As far as medicinal properties of cardamom are concerned, it is immensely good for skin, hair and health.
Cardamom is best stored in pod form, because once the seeds are exposed or ground, they quickly lose their flavour. However, high-quality ground cardamom is often more readily (and cheaply) available, and is an acceptable substitute. For recipes requiring whole cardamom pods, a generally accepted equivalent is 10 pods equals 1½ teaspoons of ground cardamom.
Okay, tell me what do you like more about it? Its aroma or its health benefits? Cardamom tea is relished by all. Having Cardamom after meals is also very common, not only as a mouth freshener but also because it aids in digestion. To read more about the amazing benefits of Cardamom, click here.
Coming back to our recipe of Steamed Yogurt Pudding…
First time when I made this pudding, I made it in the oven using Bain-marie (or water bath) method, that is baked the yogurt on water bath. It took almost 45 minutes, which is a pretty long time. Then recently I came across Opos method of cooking, wherein, the same pudding gets ready in just 15 minutes. When I made this pudding following Opos method, I was mesmerised. Exactly after 15 minutes, it came out perfect, got unmoulded beautifully without any running the knife around the pudding. Though I checked for the doneness by inserting a knife but actually there was no need of doing so. This method of making pudding is FLAWLESS. This is similar to Bain marie method only but Pressure Cooker replacing the oven and hence reducing the time to one third. Really, it is amazing. Once you make it following Opos you wouldn’t like to go for any other method. Atleast I don’t.
Opos, is a revolutionary cooking method which means One Pot One Shot. The OPOS methodology has been created and copyrighted by Mr Ramakrishnan of One Page Cookbooks fame. Opos method of cooking is a scientific, simple and very brief method of cooking. To know more about Opos, click here.
I have started following Opos in my day to day cooking but I am just a beginner and have a long way to go. This is my first OPOS post. All thanks to Mr Ramakrishnan for this.
Initially, it may appear to you that there are too many steps but actually it is a very simple method. Steps are given in detail so as to help you to understand the method clearly. Please follow the instructions given in the Method and Notes below for desired results.
So, here I present you the steamed Yogurt Pudding, flavoured with cardamom and saffron, steamed in the pressure cooker.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Passive Time for making Hung Curd: 2 hours (or overnight)
Passive Chilling Time: 4 hours
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
My 1 Cup = 250 ml
1 Cup (250 ml) Hung Curd (Or Greek Yogurt)
3/4 Cup + 2 Tbsp(200 g) Condensed Milk
1/4 Cup Milk (at room temperature)
1 Tbsp Pistachios (Green)
10 to 15 Almonds(with skin)
7 or 8 Green Cardamom Pods (or 3/4 Tsp Ground Cardamom)
Few Strands of Saffron soaked in 1 tbsp milk
1 Tsp Clarified Butter (Ghee) for greasing the vessel
- Take a round vessel of steel or aluminium, preferably of 4″ or 5″. Whatever vessel you choose but ensure that it fits into your pressure cooker. Grease it with clarified butter. Keep it aside.
- Ground cardamom finely.(See Note 2)
- Blanch pistachios and chop these finely.(See Note 3)
- Chop almonds. Prepare saffron milk. (See Note 4)
- Take hung curd / Greek Yogurt in a bowl.
- Whisk it to smooth and creamy consistency.
- Add condensed milk and whisk again.
- Lastly add milk, slivered almonds, chopped pistachios, ground cardamom and saffron milk. (Reserve some pistachios and almonds for garnishing).
- Mix everything nicely.
- Pour the mixture into the greased vessel.
- Sprinkle the reserved pistachios and almonds on the top.
- Cover the vessel with a lid or aluminium foil.
- Take a 2 or 3-litre pressure cooker and put 1.5 cups water in it.
- Put the vessel in the pressure cooker.
- Close the lid of pressure cooker.
- Switch on the gas stove to medium-low flame. The flame should be such that it covers half of the base of the pressure cooker.(See Note 8)
- Let it get baked for 15 minutes by the clock. Do not count the whistles. (However, there will be 8 to 9 whistles) during this period.
- After 15 minutes switch off the gas stove and wait till the pressure settles down.
- Now open the pressure cooker, take out the vessel. By now the yogurt pudding must have set. But still can check for the doneness by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out sticky then again put in pressure cooker and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Invert it onto a plate. Tilt the plate little to remove water, if any.
- Invert it once again so that the garnished side comes on top.
- Though you can serve it warm also but it tastes good when cool. So, keep it in the refrigerator for few hours.
- Serve with love.
- If you are using store-bought Greek Yogurt then passive time is not relevant. But you can make Greek Yoghurt or hung curd at home also. For this, keep the curd in a strainer, resting on a bowl for few hours or overnight (depending upon the consistency of yoghurt). By doing so, all the water in the yoghurt will get separated and you will be left with thick curd. For the detailed method of making Hung Curd, click here.
- Cardamom, once ground, loses its flavour soon. Therefore it is best to ground it at the time of use only. To make Ground Cardamom: First, crush the cardamom pods to break them up so that the seeds get separated. Remove the skin and grind the seeds with the pestle or rolling pin or in the grinder.Whatever method you choose, grind cardamom along with 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar. Sugar helps in grinding the cardamom better and quickly by creating the friction which cardamom seeds do not have on their own. The skins can be used for flavouring tea or curries or soups.
- You need green pistachios for this recipe. These pistachios are covered with skin. To blanch, boil these in boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the water. Put pistachios on a napkin and rub the napkin for few seconds. By doing so, the skin will get separated and you will have bright green pistachios. Now chop these finely.
- To make saffron milk: Soak saffron strands in very little milk ( 1 tablespoon). After 5 minutes or so, muddle it with a spoon or pestle to extract fully the colour and flavour of saffron.
- You don’t have to put any stand or ring in the pressure cooker. Simply put the covered vessel in it.
- Switch on the gas stove only after closing the pressure cooker lid. No preheating is required.
- Keep the flame on medium-low only. (Full pressure will build up in 6 minutes and the first whistle will come in 11 minutes).
- If making it on an induction cooktop, use 600-watt settings.
- Once the pudding is set, there are chances that some water gets into the pudding also. So to remove it just tilt the vessel a little.
- You may adjust the quantity of nuts and spices as per your taste and preference
Detailed Recipe with Step By Step Pics
Take a round vessel of steel or aluminium, preferably of 4″ or 5″. Grease it with clarified butter. Keep it aside.
Chop almonds. Prepare saffron milk.
Ground cardamom finely.
Take hung curd in a big bowl.
Whisk it to smooth consistency.
Add condensed milk and whip again.
Lastly add the remaining ingredients, like almonds, pistachios, milk, saffron milk and ground cardamom.
Mix everything nicely.
Pour the mixture into the greased vessel.
Sprinkle some pistachios and almonds on the top.
Cover the vessel with a lid or aluminium foil.
Take a 2 or 3-litre pressure cooker and put 1.5 cups water in it. I used 3 ltr PC.
Put the covered vessel in the pressure cooker. You can keep either on a stand or without the stand. I did not use any stand as my PC would not close properly then. So, just placed it amidst water.
Close the lid of pressure cooker, fix the weight also (whistle).
Switch on the gas stove to medium flame. The flame should be such that it covers half of the base of the pressure cooker.
Set the timer for 15 minutes. Let it get baked for 15 minutes by the clock. Do not count the whistles. (However, mine gave 7 or 8 whistles, just to give you a rough idea)
After 15 minutes switch off the gas stove and wait till the pressure settles down.(around 3 minutes)
Now open the pressure cooker, take out the vessel. By now the yogurt pudding must have set. You can do the toothpick test to check for the doneness of the pudding.
Invert it onto a plate.
Tilt the plate a little to remove the water.
Invert it once again so that the garnished side comes on top.
Serve but it tastes good when cool. So, keep it in the refrigerator for few hours.
Serve with love.
So this was the 6th door of the Advent…17 more to open…Keep checking….
Gratitude to the following links…
If you have liked this recipe or any of my other recipes then please leave a comment below. Your feedback fuels my enthusiasm to post more good content.Also, join me on my Facebook page for more interesting tips and facts.