Dodhi or Doi is a kind of fermented food that originated from milk. Milk is converted into Dodhi due to the fermentation of lactose, the carbohydrate present in milk, by some special types of bacteria. Doi can be made by coagulating milk by adding starter culture at 2-3% to lukewarm milk and keeping it at 37-42°C temperature for 4-12 hours. In general, dodhi made before 2-3 days is considered a starter culture rich in beneficial bacteria. The carbohydrate in milk is broken down into acid by the microorganisms present in the starter culture, which helps to coagulate the milk. In western countries, Dodhi is termed yogurt. However, yogurt is made from a specific starter culture, which is somewhat unique compared to that used for making Dodhi.
The flavor of Dodhi is slightly sour due to the presence of acid. Sweed doi is made from milk to which sugar is added, while sour Dodhi is made from milk without any added sugar. Dodhi is generally more palatable and digestible as compared to milk. The microorganisms present in Dodhi is proved to be highly beneficial for the human body. These microorganisms improve digestive capacity by killing the harmful microbes present in the human digestive system. Dodhi generally contains 4-5% fat, 5-9% protein, 4-15% carbohydrate and 0.8% mineral. Dodhi remains palatable for up to 2 days at room temperature and 12 days when kept refrigerated (4°C).
The color of Doi ranges from white to light brown depending on the degree of heat treatment of milk. Popular beverages like Lassi, Borhani, Ghol, etc., are prepared from Dodhi. Sour Dodhi is sometimes served by adding sugar, fruits, or fruit juice. Dodhi is generally consumed directly as an item of food. However, sour Dodhi is vital in different culinary practices, e.g., Korma, Rezala, Doi bora, etc. Dodhi is used to prepare different appetizers, e.g., Raita, Yoghurt sauce, salad, etc.
It is speculated that the technology of making Dodhi was invented in the then Mesopotamia (current-day Iraq) some 5000 years ago. Not only the milk from a cow but milk from other domestic animals like buffalo, goats, sheep, camels, etc., are widely used to make Dodhi. It is a Bengali ritual to serve Dodhi after a feast and as a refreshment. Dodhi is widely prepared and sold throughout Bangladesh. However, the district of Bogra is famous for its high-quality Dodhi. In the coastal areas of Bangladesh, sour Dodhi made from Buffalo milk is popular. Dodhi is especially adored throughout the world for its delicate taste and odor. [Raihan Habib]