The word Shahi tukda can be broken down into two words i.e. Shahi & Tukda. Shahi means Royal and Tukda is piece. Shahi tukda is a rich Mughlai Dish made with fried bread dipped in sugar syrup and enriched with thickened milk i.e. rabri and topped with dry fruits. It was supposed to have originated in Pakistan. Some believe it originated in Egypt and was made with leftover bread. There are many stories regarding the origin of this delicious dessert. It is also said that Mughal Emperors enjoyed their iftar meals in the month of Ramadan. So this dessert surely held a special place in Royal families. The name itself says Royal piece of dessert.
The milk is thickened with cardamom powder and saffron and is called Rabri. The bread is usually deep fried in ghee and dipped in Sugar syrup afterwards. Prefer frying bread in pure ghee as that lends a rich flavour to the Shahi Tukda. But we are going to shallow fry them. These dipped pieces are then soaked in Rabri and topped with dry fruits. You can also add kewra to make it more fragrant. This delicious dessert is high in calories so eat sparingly.
My mom-in - law cooked it on special occasions. The whole family loved it. Usually it takes a pretty long time to thicken the milk. But inside the recipe you will get to know a secret which will not only reduce the time but will add to the flavour as well.
The recipe consists of three parts. Firstly to thicken the milk. Secondly, making Sugar Syrup. Lastly, to fry bread and dip in sugar syrup. If you like crispy bread then assemble the Shahi tukda just before serving. Otherwise you can assemble it and keep it in the refrigerator
1 Litre Full fat Milk
3 Tbsp Sugar
3 Green Cardamoms
Few strands of Kesar
2 Tbsp Vanilla Custard Powder
5 Slices of White Bread
1 Cup Pure Ghee
For Sugar Syrup:
½ Cup of Sugar
½ Cup of Water
Some thinly sliced Pistachio and Almonds to garnish.
Here We Go:
Soak Almonds in water overnight or at least for 5 to 6 hours. Peel them in the morning and keep aside
Take a thick bottomed vessel. Add 1 litre of milk to it. Put it on medium flame. When the milk starts boiling reduce the flame to low and let it boil. Meanwhile keep on stirring it with a ladle. Scrap the milk sticking to the sides. You can do your other cooking side by side to utilize the time as this process will take around 30 minutes.
Add Cardamoms, peeled Almonds , a few strands of Saffron and ½ tsp of sugar to a grinder jar. Make a fine paste. Add a little milk if necessary for the process.
Add this paste to the boiling milk along with sugar. Keep on stirring otherwise the thickened milk will stick to the bottom.
Dissolve 2 tbsp of vanilla custard powder in 2 tbsp of cold milk. Add this to the thickened milk. This will enhance the taste as well as expedite the process of Rabri.
Boil the milk for another 2 minutes till the custard is cooked. Switch off the flame and let it cool on its own.
Heat 1 Cup pure ghee in a pan on medium flame. Meanwhile remove the sides of the bread with a knife. You can grind them and reuse them as bread crumbs. Now cut each slice diagonally. Shallow Fry these slices in the ghee till they are golden brown on both sides. Keep aside.
Add ½ Cup sugar to ½ Cup water. Put it on low flame. Keep on stirring till the sugar dissolves. Keep it on low flame for some more time stirring it constantly till sugar syrup thickens a bit.
Dip the fried slices in sugar syrup and coat them with sugar syrup on both sides. Don't leave the slices in syrup. Just coat the slices and take them out on a plate otherwise it will become soggy.
Arrange these slices in a dish and pour rabri over them. Decorate them with slices of almonds and pistachio. You can serve it both hot & cold.
Preparation Time : 10 minutes
Cooking Time : 40 minutes
Serves : 6
Use 2 days old bread for this recipe as fresh bread will get soggy early.
Keep on stirring the milk otherwise it will stick to the bottom.
Fry the bread in pure desi ghee as it will provide the richness to the dish.
You can use any type of bread but white bread tastes the best.