Tell us about yourself and what you would say is your food philosophy?
To start with, my name is Kulsum and I’m the blogger behind the blog Journey Kitchen. I’m an Indian expat born and brought up in a small Middle Eastern country of Kuwait. Then, life took a turn and my family shifted back to India for good. But as luck had it, I got married and moved back to Kuwait to live with my husband! Growing up, I was clearly the most enthusiastic foodie in the house. I criticized, demanded and talked about food with my mom all the time, but it was not until I got married, I truly understood the value of those conversations. My mom has always been a modern cook whereas my mother in law is a traditional one, my understanding of traditional food and its modern interpretation stems from these two fabulous ladies in my life.
My food philosophy is quite simple- wholesome and flavorful food and spice plays an important role in creating that food.
What led you to starting a food blog?
When I started I didn’t know what ‘blogging’ was. For me, it was an online journal so that I could share recipe links with my friends. I love talking about food, where it comes from, how it should be cooked, how it affects our lives, how it is related to our past and my friends as I soon realized where not very keen on all that talking. The blog helped me talk to myself and save the pain for my friends I guess. Eventually, I found people online who were passionate about food as much as I’m. Today, Journey Kitchen is my creative outlet, from recipes to photography, it is my happy place.
What would you say “Journey Kitchen” is all about and please share a recipe that best describes your blog?
Journey Kitchen is a modern Indian cooking blog. But unlike what many think, modern cooking is not about moving away from the traditional roots instead it’s about going back to the traditional ingredients and cooking method and recreating them using latest techniques. Journey Kitchen is about food that has reassurance and comfort of the past but is also exciting enough to enjoy it today. It’s my humble attempt to change the way Indian food is perceived. My husband’s love for traditional food and my love for modern make sure we always have great food and humorous arguments on the table which I often share on the blog.
Today’s recipe is inspired from a traditional sweet yogurt recipe from the city of Kolkatta called Mishti Doi (Mishti meaning sweet and doi meaning yogurt) , which my husband has childhood memories of. Mishti Doi is also called Lal doi meaning red yogurt due to it characteristic reddish color. It is made by caramelizing milk and then setting fresh yogurt in earthen pots. Considering I always have dulce de leche on hand, sweetening my hot chocolate and drizzle it over everything I bake, I figured it will work great for adding that caramelized flavor for Mishti doi.
Dulce de leche is a Latin American spread, made by slowly converting the sugar in sweetened condensed milk until it caramelizes. After hours of cooking what you get is creamy, caramel flavored sweet milk, almost like a jam. I always make my own but you could easily use store bought.
Baked Dulce de leche Yogurt – Mishti Doi
2 cups yogurt
1 can (395g) dulce de leche
100 ml heavy cream
1/2 tsp rose water (optional)
Preheat the oven at 170 C. Whisk all the ingredients together for 2-3 minutes.
You can use individual ramekins or a large oven safe bowl to bake it. The baking time with differ according to what you use, but it generally ready when it’s thick and set in the middle. For the small ramekins I used, I baked them for only 15 minutes. Baking in larger bowl can take up to 30 -40 minutes. When I recently made it again, I thought of covering the ramekins with aluminum foil which helped in reducing the little drying you see at the edges when you bake in small ramekins.
Once baked, let it come to room temperature and chill for at least 5 hours before serving. Garnish with pecans.