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Nabadwip Cuisine boasts of Lal Doi, one of the best curds of India

7 September, 2021 14:55:27
Nabadwip Cuisine boasts of Lal Doi, one of the best curds of India

Have you heard of Nabadwip-er Lal Doi? The creamy red curd that is heavenly. Also known as Kheer doi or Chakku doi, it is one Nadia’s best kept secret and famous confectionery of India that is exported to different countries of the world. Though curd is usually white, Red Curd of Nabadwip was invented by Kalipada Modak in 1930s while experimenting with condensed milk.

One of the most famous shops in the area ‘Laxmi Narayan Confectionery Store,’ that is 150-year-old, still sells the original recipe of Lal Doi. After preparing, this curd can be stored upto ten days. The famous curd comes in clay pipkins or what locally is known as Maatir Hanri and hence is environmentally sustainable. 

There is a legend behind this red curd of Nabadwip. As per records in Nabadwip's archaeological council, the birthplace of Lal Doi is Nabadwips Phasitala. Kali Modak had a brother Hari Ghosh and both used to make mostly curd and whey. They used to boil buffalo milk in a gentle fire pouring a small amount of water to make it as condensed milk for a long time. One day the milk turned reddish due to long burning. The two brothers used to make wheys from the milk. Their whey making area was known as Red Ghol or Red Whey. When milk becomes thick, it reaches to kheer stage, so sometimes it is called Kheer yogurt. That’s how the Ghosh brothers invented the Lal Doi.


Another name for this curd is Chakku yogurt. There is also a reason behind the name. The quality of the curd is judged on its stickiness. To test it, it is also seen by turning down the pot. Even a Chakku or a knife is inserted inside the pot. Thus, the name of Chakku yogurt came from use of a knife to test its quality. Lal Doi is prepared in two steps. In the first step the milk is boiled and in the second step, it is fermented to make curd. To prepare the yogurt, pure milk of cow or buffalo is required. There is also a huge contribution of fuel to prepare the red curd. Two types of fuel is needed for preparing the curd. It takes two to six hours to take the first 'foot' of the boiling and it is made by burning wood. The 'foot' will continue until the red colour is taken. 

Nearly three litres of milk is turned into one litre. The next stage is burning on coal. In the case of white yogurt, milk is thickened, at that time, it is needed more time to prepare red curd, i.e. the milk density is thickest for red curd. When the milk is prepared, it is poured in the pots according to the size of the condensed milk, then it is placed around the coal fuel. Then the curd is covered with socks. This step is called yogurt making. And it forms the yogurt. Various types of pot size is supplied according to market demand. The curd comes in 100 grams to five kilograms of yogurt pots. It is the best skill of the makers of Nabadwip that they make this red curd without any outer colour. 

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