Shahi Tukray is an utterly decadent and drool worthy dessert fit for feasts. It is made with bread slices fried in ghee and soaked twice: first in a sugar syrup called chashni and then in saffron milk thickened with cream. A topping of almonds, pistachios and rose petals makes it truly royal!
Keyword double ka meetha, Indian bread pudding, shahi tukda
Pour the milk and cream in a saucepan and add the saffron and cardamom. Cook this mixture on medium heat for 25-30 minutes, taking care that it doesn't boil over. Remove the saucepan from the heat when the milk has thickened. Add a few drops of kewra water or rose water.
Take another saucepan and add the water and sugar. Cook for 10 minutes or until the syrup has thickened slightly but not caramelized.
Take a slice of bread and trim the edges with a sharp knife. Now, cut it diagonally to get two triangles. Repeat with all the slices. Heat half the ghee in a frypan and slide in the bread. Fry for a few seconds or until golden brown on one side. Flip and add the remaining ghee and fry until the other sides turn golden brown too. Remove the bread onto a platter.
Arrange the syrup-soaked bread in the platter or dish that you want to serve the shahi tukray in. Pour the milk and cream sauce that you had prepared in the first step all over the bread slices.
Top up the Shahi Tukray with the slivered nuts (almonds and pistachios) and sprinkle the dried rose petals if using.
Avoid using freshly baked bread for this recipe. It's best to use slightly stale white bread that's been sitting in the fridge for one or two days. Makes cutting the bread easier. Also, dry bread absorbs the sugar syrup and milk better.
You can make the sugar syrup at the same time as the milk and cream are cooking to save time.
You can control the amount of ghee you use by spreading it with a butter knife on the slices of bread before frying them.
Peel the cardamom and grind the seeds in a mortar and pestle or a dry spice grinder for maximum flavor.
Don't go overboard with the saffron as too much of it can easily overpower the dish.
Kewra water is the clear, fragrant extract of pandanus flowers. Rose water can be a substitute.
Shahi tukray tastes great cold too. If you prefer a chilled dessert, keep the platter in the refrigerator for an hour or two and serve.