Shahi Tukda or Shahi Toast is a royal dessert straight from the culinary utopia of Hyderabad. Made by deep frying the bread, soaking it in sugar syrup, and then drizzling it with thick luscious rabdi, this Hyderabadi delight is one of the best yet easy to make Indian desserts. Here’s how to make it at home.
Indian cuisine has many options for desserts. You can keep on making a new variety and still, there will be some options left to explore.
About This Recipe
Shahi means royal and tukda means piece. So this recipe literally translates to a royal piece of dessert which was perfect to serve the kings and queens.
It is made by deep-frying the bread slices in ghee and then soaking them in flavoured sugar syrup. These pieces are then topped with a thick rabdi and slivered dry fruits.
It is a favorite dessert to make during festivals like Ramadan, Eid, Holi, and Diwali. This is very popular in the Hyderabadi / Awadhi cuisine and it is usually served after authentic regal meals.
These days, many people try this recipe with condensed milk or with milkmaid which is really fine. However, in the earlier days, it was made by frying the bread slices in pure ghee and topping with reduced milk or rabdi.
Especially relevant, is the fact that you can keep the bread pieces ready and assemble it just when your guests arrive. That way, they wouldn’t go all soggy.
Some people bake the shahi toast after assembling it just as I do in Double ka Meetha and probably that is how it was done in earlier days, but this version tastes delicious too and if you are looking for a baked version, do check out my Double ka Meetha Recipe.
I also like my Shahi Toast a little crisp but many people like it soft. So try it for yourself and see which texture you like the most and then soak the bread in sugar syrup accordingly.
If you like crispier bread like I do, soaking it in sugar syrup for 5-10 before assembling is perfect. But you like a softer version, soak the bread for 15-20 seconds. Also make sure the syrup is warm when you soak your bread in it.
I read a lovely article on the history of this dessert and I would like you all fans of this sweet to read it too. It gives an in depth facts about the history of this dessert. Here is it.
To make this recipe, you will need milk bread. I have removed the sides of the bread but you can keep them intact for a different texture. Do not use whole wheat or any other grain bread to make this recipe as it will not give the authentic taste to the dish.
Fry the bread pieces in ghee only. Frying them in oil takes away from the real taste.
You will need sugar and cardamom to make the sugar syrup.
To make the topping, you will need full-fat milk, saffron, sugar, and rose water. Rosewater gives a very authentic taste to shahi tukda.
Try not to skip it however, you can skip the saffron if you do not have access to it.
How to make it with Condensed Milk?
To make it with condensed milk, fry the bread and make the sugar syrup in the same way as mentioned below.
To make the topping, reduce the quantity of milk to half and reduce it until it is reduced to half of the original quantity.
Now add ½ cup condensed milk to it. It will fasten the process of making the rabdi.
Make sure to reduce the amount of sugar as mentioned in the original recipe if using condensed milk.
Pro Tips by Neha
While frying the bread be very careful. It burns in a second.
So make sure the ghee is not too hot and fry the bread slices on medium-low heat until they are golden brown.
The sugar syrup should not be too thick. Just let the sugar melt and cook the syrup for 5-6 minutes on low heat.
The rabdi to top shahi tukda should be of flowing consistency but not too thin.
If you like crunchy shahi toast, then dip the bread in syrup for just 5-10 seconds and if you like it soft, then for 15-20 seconds.
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Step by Step Recipe
Cut the corners of bread slices and cut the slices diagonally.
Heat the ghee and when it is hot, deep fry the bread slices till golden brown. Remove on a tissue lined plate.
Heat water in a pan and add ½ cup of sugar to it. Add cardamom to the water. Let it boil for 6-8 minutes.
Heat milk in a heavy bottom pan.
When it comes to a boil, add saffron and rose water and reduce the heat and let it simmer till it reduce to half.
Add sugar and thicken it a little more. Keep stirring the rabdi continuously.
Dip bread slices in sugar syrup for 10-20 seconds. (or more if you like softer version)
Keep them on the serving plate. Top with the reduced milk. Garnish with almonds and pistachios slivers.
Shahi Tukda Recipe
- 6 slices White bread slices
- Ghee for frying
- ¾ + ¼ cup Sugar
- 1 cup Water
- 2-3 pods Cardamom (crushed)
- 1 litre Full cream milk
- 15-20 strands Saffron
- ½ teaspoon Rose Water
- Slivers of almonds and pistachios to garnish
- Cut the corners of bread slices and cut the slices diagonally.
- Heat the ghee and when it is hot, deep fry the bread slices till golden brown.
- Remove on a tissue lined plate.
- Heat water in a pan and add ½ cup of sugar to it.
- Add cardamom to the water.
- Let it boil for 6-8 minutes.
- Remove the pan from heat and keep aside.
- Heat milk in a heavy bottom pan.
- When it comes to a boil, add saffron and rose water and reduce the heat and let it simmer till it reduce to half.
- Keep stirring in between.
- Add sugar and thicken it a little more.
- Dip bread slices in sugar syrup for 5-10 seconds. ( or more if you like softer version )
- Keep them on the serving plate.
- Top with the reduced milk.
- Garnish with almonds and pistachios slivers.
- Serve immediately.