Shahi tukra literally means “royal morsels”. The tale goes like this – one of the Nawabs of Awadh – who was certainly not very famous for his generosity – used to distribute stale breads among his subjects on his rounds in and around the kingdom. Apparently, he had almost thousand chefs or khansamas in his kitchen. One of them came up with an idea. He dipped those stale breads; the nawab would distribute among his people, with sugar syrup and then pour thickened milk over it. And, the recipe for shahi tukra came up. This was one of the many stories anecdotes by Chitrita Banerjee in her book Eating India” target=”_blank”>Eating India, a treasure by itself. You can also buy the book from Amazon.
There are many talks and discussions about the real origin of this rich and creamy bread pudding. Most believe it was the Moghuls who brought this recipe along with them. This dessert has become very popular in Southern parts of the Indian sub-continent; especially in Hyderabadi cuisine. You can find very few Hyderabadi restaurant or cook book which doesn’t have a recipe for shahi tukra.
Unlike most bread puddings which uses eggs this typical Mughlai dessert is eggless and is made with condensed milk, breads, saffron and dry fruits. The shahi tukda is also called double ka meetha as the bread swells to almost double its size after baking. The double ka meetha has become an indispensable dessert to serve after the rich meal on Bakrid or during Ramadan.Serves 4 Preparation time: 10min Cooking time: 30min
- 8 slices of milk bread
- 1 liter full fat cream milk
- 200ml fresh cream
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup condensed milk
- ¼ cup raisins
- 2 tablespoon almond slices
- 4 tablespoon of clarified butter/ghee
- Few strands of saffron
- Edible silver foil for garnishing (optional)
- Boil the milk and cream in a thick bottom pan till it reduces to almost half its original volume
- Take out of flame and pour about 4 tablespoon of milk on 6-7 strands of saffron
- Mix the sugar and condensed milk with the milk in the pan and place it over flame again
- Pour in the now colored saffron milk, bring to boil with constant stirring
- Leave to get cooled
- Cut the crust out of the bread and cut into halves along its diagonal
- Heat about half tablespoon ghee in a pan for each bread slice and fry till golden brown
- Place the fried bread pieces in a baking tray and pour in about one-third of the milk on the bread pieces
- Bake it for about 5-7 minutes at 180°C. Take out from the oven and pour in some more milk over it and then bake for about 5-7 minutes more. Take out and pour the left out milk
- Bring to normal temperature and serve garnished with raisins, almond slices, saffron strands and edible silver foil.
Hot Tips – If you are keeping it in the fridge then always keep it covered. The shahi tukra tend to lose the moisture making the bread slices chewy. According to your love for sweets you can adjust the amount of sugar and condensed milk.