One of my favorite recipes when I went to Lucknow I had learned to make this rich royal Mughlai dessert in the traditional way. Here I’ll tell you quick and easy versions of shahi tukra. The word shahi means ‘royal’ and tukra/tukda a ‘pieces’. So, shahi tukra literally gets translated to the royal piece. One piece of a traditionally made Shahi Tukra will give you a feeling of royalty, its a royal piece of a dessert that is fit for a king or queen or for you rich in taste, aroma, flavor and calories.
The authentic shahi tukda recipe is made by deep frying the bread in ghee and it can also be pan fried with ghee smeared over it or can also be baked and used here shahi tukra recipe.
Shahi tukda (Indian bread pudding)
Shahi Tukda is a bread pudding Indian sweet of fried bread slices soaked in hot milk with spices, including saffron and cardamom.
- For Rabri
- 4 cups or 1 ltr. Full fat whole milk (1 cup = 250 ml)
- 2 to 2.5 tbps Sugar
- 1/4 tbps Cardamom Powder (choti elaichi powder)
- 1 tbps Masala milk powder (optional)
- 3 tbps As required Milk powder (optional)
- 1 tbps Kewra Water (pandanus water)/ Rose Water (optional) a drop of Kewra essence Or Rose essence
- Pinch of saffron(kesar) strands or saffron powder
- For Sugar Syrup
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 1/4 cup Water
- 4 Green Cardamoms - powdered in mortar pestle or ¼ teaspoon Cardamom powder (choti elaichi powder)
- 1 tbps Rose Water or a drop of Rose essence (optional)
- For Pan frying bread
- 6 to 7 slices Bread - white/brown/whole wheat/milk bread
- 2 tbps Ghee
- 1 tbps For frying each batch of bread, add more if required.
- For Garnish
- 12 to 15 piece Almonds - blanched and sliced (badam)
- A few strands of saffron (kesar) (optional)
- 10 to 12 piece Pistachios - blanched and sliced (pista)
- Step 1 Preparing the rabri or sweet creamy thickened milk: (A) In a broad thick bottomed pan/ saucepan/ a kadai take 1 liter of full-fat whole milk and bring its first boil. (B) Then add milk powder (I used to amul brand), the addition of milk powder reduces the cooking time of rabri. Milk powder is not essential and if you don’t have then also its fine. Just that you will have to simmer the milk for some more minutes. (C) Add masala milk powder (this was homemade one). Again optional and if you don’t have just add a pinch of crushed saffron and 1/4 tsp cardamom powder. (D)Remove the clotted cream/malai which forms on top of the milk and add it back to the milk. Also, keep on scraping the dried milk from the sides and add it back to the milk. (E) Do stir and scrape often so, that the milk does not get browned or burnt from the bottom as well as the sides.It will take about 1 hour for the milk to thicken on a low flame.(F) Keep on simmering, stirring, removing the clotted cream and scraping. Switch off when milk has reduced and become thickened. (G) Add sugar and stir well so, that the sugar dissolves.(H) Next, add crushed saffron or saffron powder along with kewra water (pandanus water), skip this step, if you have added saffron before. You can also add sliced almonds and pistachios here. I did not add as i have already added homemade masala milk powder, which is finely ground dry fruits with a few fragrant spices. Substitute kewra water with edible rose water or rose essence.
- Step 2 Rosting of dry fruits:(A) First, heat put add ghee 1 spoon. (B)Add all the dry fruits and sauté them and keep aside.
- Step 3 For frying the bread slices:(A) Slice the crusts of the bread. (B)Cut them into squares, rectangles or triangles.(C)Heat 1 tbsp of ghee in a flat pan, tava or frying pan.(D)Place the bread slices and on a low to medium heat toast them. (E)When one side is browned, flip and toast the other side.Flip once or twice more to get an even golden color and browning.(F) Drain the bread slices on paper towels.(G)Add 1 tbsp ghee again and toast the remaining batch.(H) Keep all the toasted bread side.
- Step 4 Preparing Sugar Syrup:(A)Mix 1/2 cup of sugar with 1/4 cup water in a pan. You can begin with the sugar syrup when you start to toast bread slices.(B) Keep the sugar solution on a low heat. The mixture would start to come to a boil.(C) Cook till you get a one thread consistency in the sugar syrup. Switch off the flame, when one thread consistency is reached, add cardamom powder and stir.(D) In case the syrup cools and crystallizes before you soak the bread in it, then just add about 1 to 1.5 tbsp water and reheat the syrup.
- Step 5 Assembling the Shahi Tukra:(A) Now dip the bread slices in the sugar syrup with the help of a spoon or small tongs, coat the bread slices evenly with the sugar syrup. If this is difficult for you, then just pour the sugar syrup evenly on a neatly arranged bed of bread slices.(B) Arrange the sugar syrup soaked bread slices neatly in a serving tray or plate.(C) Pour the rabri on the sugar syrup coated bread slices and garnish with sliced blanched almonds and pistachios.(D)Serve the rich royal Shahi Tukra. If not serving, then keep in the fridge. If you plan to add silver foil (chandi ka varak) then place it at the time of serving, whether serving chilled or warm or at room temperature.