Using Milk (Doodh) in Indian Cuisine: Things to Know

Milk is considered one of the main food products starting from babies to adults. This is one of the purest forms of food that is known from the Vedas.

It is obtained from cows, buffalo, and even plant-based alternatives. This is being used for various purposes in cooking.

The word milk stands for various types like sour milk, almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk, raw milk, homogenized milk, organic milk, etc.

Today milk is treated differently than in the previous generation. You can find milk in almost every grocery store.

What is Milk (Doodh)?

Using Milk in Indian Cuisine

Milk or doodh is a nutrient-rich liquid produced by mammals, primarily cows, and used as a source of food and nourishment for their young.

It is considered a complete food and is a rich source of nutrients like calcium, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Milk can be consumed in various forms and is a versatile ingredient used in cooking a wide range of dishes and recipes.

It is available in different varieties like whole milk, skimmed milk, and low-fat milk, and can also be obtained from plant-based sources like almonds, soy, and rice.

Uses of Milk in Indian Cuisines

There are so many dishes that can be made with milk. Here we are offering only a few dishes that can be done easily.


Ice cream is one of the favorite summer desserts that is loved by all. This recipe is completely made with milk and you can go with the various other products too.


This can be understood as Bengali rice pudding which is made with milk, rice, sugar, and dry fruits and the hand kheer also means milk when steamed so many times so that moisture withers away and only the fat content remains in it.


You can easily paneer by extracting the extra moisture from the milk till it is compressed to a compound form known to be paneer. This is obtained after bonding and more.


You can make different types of cakes like normal milk cake, cheesecake, chocolate, fruit, and many more. Flavoring the cake’s milk is considered an important element.

Fruit cream or fruit custard

You can check that with milk you can simply make good creams and custard too. You can add flavoring items like cherries, apples, grapes, bananas, etc. You can add different kinds of fruits to it and have it as a delish.


This is a sweet dish or a famous Bengali dessert where milk is boiled and simmered to make malai and then cottage cheese balls are added to it. It is garnished with saffron and dry fruits.

Mango/banana/hot chocolate Shake

Milk is perfect for shake recipes which can be tried with bananas, mango, hot chocolate, and many more. The goodness of fruits and milk goes hand in hand.


This is made with the help of loads of milk when simmered to form a layer and that layer is again boiled in milk is considered the best way to make it work.

You May Also Like:  Water Spinach in Bengali & Indian Cooking Explained


This is a milk dessert where milk is simmered to take all the moisture out of the milk and then it simply cuts into a triangle shape to form a sweet dish popularly known as barfi.

Ice Cream

This is made up of milk with other mixing agents which are good to taste to make it perfect and flavors are added to it to make it taste like butterscotch, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, etc.

Gajar ka halwa

This is made with loads of gajar, ghee/butter, and sugar. This is simply a wonderful dessert that tastes very nice and delectable.


A nice smoothie makes your day. You will be getting the best feeling from having a smoothie mixed with milk, sugar, ice, and other flavoring agents. You can flavor it with fruits and syrups or another flavoring agent.


This is a nice milk product that is made with loads of milk and powdered rice. this is almost like a rice pudding and it simply tastes otherworldly.

Chenna Murki

This is made with cottage cheese obtained from milk and then mixed with sugar to form small balls.

Different Types of Milk Used in Indian Recipes

In Indian and Bengali cooking dairy products are being used in cooking. Starting from milk, light cream, sour cream, and buttermilk give you a warm start since morning breakfast.

Then it is followed by cheese, paneer, and even condensed milk. Let us check out the types and varieties of milk that are available.

Whole milk

Whole milk is a type of dairy milk that contains about 3.5% milk fat. It is produced by pasteurizing and homogenizing fresh milk, which removes any harmful bacteria and standardizes the fat content throughout the milk.

There are a variety of recipes there like sweets, desserts, puddings, cakes, chocolates, etc. Bengali sweets are famous all over the world and the full credit goes to the pure milk that is produced by both cows and buffalos.

Some famous Bengali sweets like Rabri, Rosogolla, Chamcham, Rasmalai, Kalakand, Sandesh, etc.


During the butter churning process, this milk is obtained as a by-product. Rather than wasting it, it is used in various items like dressings, sauces, soups, baked goods, and more.

This is having a little tangy flavor of its own that you can say thus this is used as a refreshing drink sometimes.

Plain yogurt is also not in comparison to it. it is used for preparing different kinds of soups.

Unsweetened condensed milk

This is evaporated milk which is made from the process of reducing the water content from the milk till it is dried enough and making it like a cream. This is unsweetened condensed milk. This is used in coffee, tea, and other items where sugar is not always needed.

Sweetened condensed milk

This is a sweetened form of the thick cream-based form of milk which is known as sweetened condensed milk. Here both milk and sugar are heated up.

You can check out so many aspects that are simply offering you a wonderful and flavourful taste of their own. Now, this is used in making so many types of items like rice pudding, pie, cakes, halwa, sweets, and many other things.

Soy milk

The pressed soybeans and water are needed to make soy milk. It is sold in various stores in North America and now you can see it in India too.

This is plant-based milk, it is vegan and organic at the same time. Sweetened soy milk is also obtained in a way that is both typically used and perfectly utilized. It is mainly used for bodybuilding and a low-fat variety of milk.

You May Also Like:  Dal Bori in Bengali & Indian Cooking: Things to Know

Coconut milk

Coconut milk is sold in cans, tetra packs, and even in powdered forms. It is made from the flesh or the “malai” part of the coconut. Thai and Asian cuisine prepared soups and desserts from it.

It lowers content and various recipes are made from malai milk. Recipes like Prawn Malai curry, Chicken Malai curry, and some Konkani fish dishes are being prepared by it.

Other than these you can get cheese, yogurt, and paneer are all the by-products of milk that are obtained easily in the market. you can check out various recipes for it.

What Sweets Are Made of Milk?

To be honest there are so many types of sweets that won’t fit in this space still we will be presenting a few common sweets that are available.

Rasmalai: This is purely made with milk. The small cottage cheese milk balls are dipped in the milk with saffron and dry fruits.

Milk Barfi: This is made with milk powder which is mixed with sugar and milk again to form these cubes.

Kheer: Loads of milk are hardened to make kheer where a small amount of rice is used and finally garnished with dry fruits. You can make different flavors out of it like mango, dry fruits, pasta, etc.

Doodh halwa/Milk Halwa: You can use suji, atta, or even moong dal to make this rice dessert. You can spread dry fruits at the end.

Creamy shrikhand: This is a sweet dish in Gujarat and Maharashtra which is prepared with strained yogurt and dry fruits etc.

Laccha Rabri: This is done with laccha and then boiled with milk to form the rabri.

Sahi Tukra: This is a royal dish made with milk, dry fruits, and different types of flavors.

Gulab jamun: Gulab jamun is made from milk and cottage cheese is fried in ghee and then dipped into a sugar syrup.

Kulfi: This is a cold product that is made with milk and different flavors. Then it is kept in the fridge at a certain temperature to solidify it and make nice kulfis.

Doi: You can make Tok Doi (sour curd), Misti Doi (sweet curd), Bhapa Doi (baked curd), etc with milk.

Other than these you can make gajar ka halwa, different types of Sandesh, peda, ladoo, kheer, etc.

Can You Make Butter from Milk?

Yes, butter can be made from milk. Butter is a dairy product made by churning cream or whole milk until it separates into butterfat (the solid part) and buttermilk (the liquid part).

To make butter from milk, the milk needs to be separated into cream first.

This can be done by allowing the milk to sit undisturbed in a cool place for several hours until the cream rises to the top, or by using a mechanical separator.

Once you have the cream, you can then churn it by either using a butter churn, a mixer, or simply shaking it vigorously in a sealed jar.

As the cream is agitated, the butterfat solids will clump together, and the remaining liquid will become buttermilk.

After the butter has formed, it can be removed from the churn or mixer, shaped, and washed to remove any remaining buttermilk.

The resulting butter can then be used in cooking and baking or spread on bread and toast.

You May Also Like:  Taro in Bengali & Indian Cooking: Things to Know

How Do You Turn Milk into Whipped Cream?

There are three processes by which you can make whipped cream. You can mix milk with cornstarch with heavy cream.

Now with the help of a food processor and an emulsifying disk, you can simply get good whipped cream.

You can simply get cream in the same process from coconut milk. You can also get the same result from milk and gelatine.

How Do You Thicken Milk into Cream?

Thick cream is necessary for a variety of recipes. You can check out various steps that will ultimately help you in thickening the milk.

If you boil the milk with sugar then it automatically makes it thicken as the water or moisture content gets lessened thus it becomes thick.

This is one process that is coming to give you a good product. Apart from this, you can also try out mixing the milk with cornstarch or gelatine.

It thickens the milk to a great extent.

What is the Best Combination with Milk?

Milk is a first-class protein and it can be a very good combination when you are pairing it up with carbohydrates. Check out the list that we are presenting here.

  • Cold Cereal: Cold cereals are best considered paired with milk. It is giving you the best taste and fibers.
  • Eggs: Eggs are mixed to make pudding, and caramels and even cream is a great pair for milk.
  • Fruit: You can mix different types of fruits to make custard and cakes etc.
  • Toast: A nice toast with hot or milk is delish. You can simply get the best taste when the milk is perfect.
  • Pancakes: The pancakes are mixed with milk or served wonderfully.
  • Hot Cereal: Hot cereals like oats, cornflakes, etc are best considered paired with milk. It is giving you the best taste and fibers.
  • Bagel/Waffle: It is paired with milk to give you a wonderful taste of bread and waffle which ultimately give you the whole goodness of it.

Questions & Answers:

Can We Mix Banana and Milk?

Yes, we can mix bananas with milk to form a nice smoothie. It is nice and fruity to taste. You can add honey and cream along with it.

Can You Make Cheese from Milk?

Yes, you can make cheese from milk. This is a long process where the milk is thickened and then it is kept for fermentation to make cheese. There are different types of cheese and each of these cheeses has a new process of its own. Some of these cheeses need so many years to make them perfect.

Can You Make Cream from Milk?

Yes, you can make nice milk cream from whole milk. You can also have whipped cream, sour cream, and more from it.

What Cannot Be Mixed with Milk?

Citrus fruits which contain vitamin c or any sort of acid should not be mixed with milk otherwise it simply turns the milk into cottage cheese.

What is Milk Called in Different Languages?

Milk is an English word and “Doodh” in Bengali and Hindi languages.


Milk is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various Indian dishes, such as ice cream, kheer, paneer, cakes, fruit creams, and many others.

The variety of milk products used in Indian cuisine includes whole milk, buttermilk, unsweetened condensed milk, and sweetened condensed milk.

Bengali sweets are especially famous for their use of pure milk, obtained from cows and buffalos.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Scroll to Top