Shahi Tukda means, literally, a “Royal Piece”. It is a dessert fit for a king or a queen. A royal dessert. It is believed to have originated during the Mughal period and formed an integral part of Mughalai cuisine.
My first taste of Shahi Tukda was during my days in University - at a friend's' marriage reception. I fell for it immediately. Forget calories before preparing the recipe.
After eating it, head in the direction of the treadmill.
It is the ultimate enemy of the health-conscious brigade - bread first deep-fried in ghee (clarified butter) and then soaked in thickened milk.
4 slices of bread - can be white or brown
1 Litre of whole/full-fat milk
3 tablespoons of almonds or pistachios - finely chopped
4 strands of Saffron
2 tablespoons of sugar
Ghee - for frying
For the sugar syrup:
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of water
First cut the edges of the bread slices. Halve them into two small triangles and set aside.
Boil the milk and bring to the boil. Take a few drops of the hot milk in a small cup, add the saffron strands and set aside.
After about twenty minutes, the milk would have reduced to half the quantity. Now add the saffron soaked milk, nuts and sugar. This is called Rabri. Do not allow the milk to thicken. Switch off, cool and refrigerate.
Add sugar and water in a thick-bottomed vessel and allow it to boil in a low to medium flame.
Stir until you ensure a syrupy consistency.
Place the ghee in a frying pan and put it on a low flame. Once hot, add a slice of bread and fry till golden brown. Flip over slowly and fry the other side similarly.
Take the deep fried bread slice and dip it in the sugar syrup and arrange them in a plate.
Repeat for the remaining bread slices.
Now pour the Rabri over the bread slices. Garnish with nuts. Serve chilled.
Picture copyright: Sharmilee Sriram
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