This post may contain affiliate links.
Indian Shahi Tukda, or Pakistani Shahi Tukray or Indian bread pudding, whatever you call it, is simply delicious in one bowl. Follow recipe step by step and you'll literally end up licking. It is super easy to make with just 5 main ingredients.
Shahi tukda not only makes a quick dessert, but it is also a great way to utilize leftover slices of bread. Do check the tips section as the recipe is really forgiving and gives to a hundred ways to make changes.
As the name itself shows Shahi Tukda, is a Mughal dessert. The Mughals loved to eat it at iftar (opening of fast). Some say the dish originated from Umm e Ali, an Egyptian sweet; it is also made similarly by soaking bread pieces in milk and nuts.
A similar dessert called 'Double ka meetha' also exists in Hyderabadi Cuisine. While double ka meetha is made with the same ingredients, it crispier and different from Shahi tukray. Shahi Tukda or Tukray is more famous in Pakistani cuisine. It is melt in the mouth and has rich milky and saffron flavors. The recipe is straight forward, the use of saffron and nuts makes it very tempting and aromatic; something fit for a royal grandeur.
How do make it?
Basically, it is made of crispy fried bread soaked in rich milk and sugar syrup. The syrup is flavored with saffron and cardamom. In this recipe, I use milk powder as it is easily available everywhere and speeds up the cooking process.
In a pan take milk, sugar, milk powder, cardamom, and saffron. Cook on medium-low flame, keep stirring. Cook for 30 minutes.
While the milk simmers on low heat, shallow fry the bread slices on medium heat. the oil should be hot so the bread doesn't absorb too much oil at the same time it shouldn't be smoking hot otherwise the bread will burn.
Make sure your bread is crunchy crisp.
After 30 minutes milk is reduced and thickened.
Instruction for Oven and Microwave.
For Shahi Tukray in Oven: Place bread in an ovenproof dish. Add the milk syrup on bread and bake at 350F for 7-10. Until you see bread puffed up like in the photo below.
Similarly, you can heat it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until bubbling hot.
For shahi tukda in the pan: When the milk starts to thicken, add fried bread and simmer for 10 minutes on very low flame. And your Shahi tukray will be ready to serve.
Garnish with roasted pistachios and almonds and serve warm.
- You can use cream or khoya (mava) or milk powder to add richness and thicken syrup or you can just cook the milk for a long time to thicken on its own.
- You can use sweetened condensed milk instead of sugar to make it rich.
- This is a very rich and heavy dessert, so remember to pair it with lighter food when you do Menu Planning.
- It tastes best when served warm and fresh.
- You can make it a day ahead too.
- If the dish doesn't develop naturally creamy top. You can heat two tables of cream with 2 tbs of sugar and saffron. And spread on top.
- Custard: Some people make vanilla custard instead of the milk syrup to soak the bread.
- Another popular method is to soak bread in sugar syrup then spread a very thickened rabri like milk syrup over the bread.
- You can mix ½ cup cream in the milk and spread on the top for a creamier top of the dessert.
My other similar recipes.
- 4 cup milk
- ¾ cup sugar, or to taste
- 1 cup milk powder
- ½ teaspoon cardamom, seed removed and crushed.
- 1 pinch saffron, (substitute saffron with more ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder and a pinch of yellow food color)
- 4 large slices of bread, , preferably slightly stale.
- oil or ghee, to shallow fry
- pistachio and almonds, for garnish
- Heat 3 and ½ cup milk in a wide pan. Add sugar, cardamom, saffron and milk powder.
- Fry the bread in oil or ghee on low flame until crispy golden.
- Dry excess oil on kitchen towel. Place fried bread on a dish.
- Cook milk syrup for 30 minutes until thick and deep yellow.
- Pour thick yellow milk syrup(running consistency) on bread and bake on 350 F for 7-10 minutes, until bread puffs up and syrup boils. (You can also heat in microwave until bubbling hot, about two minutes.)
- Garnish with roasted pistachios and almonds.