Shahi tukre (Shahi tukday) is a rich bread pudding spiced with cardamom. Bread pieces are deep fried in ghee/clarified butter and then served dipped in thick creamy rich milk cream or Rabri. Its is a gourmets delight but a weight watchers nightmare. I have gone for a low fat recipe where in I have shallow fried the bread pieces and made a low fat cashew rabri. I have used Nita Mehta's Shahi tukre recipe from her book, Perfect Vegetarian Cookery where she has gone for the traditional recipe - deep fry bread in ghee,soak in creamy thick rabri. I had barely 4 slices of bread and so I had gone for minimum quantity of ingredients. The dish originally belongs to Mughlai cuisine and is also a regular in the Pakisthani cuisine. Double ka Meetha is a similar pudding found in Hyderabadi cuisine.
Bread Slices: atleast 4 which have been cut into rounds using a cookie cutter.
Milk: few tbsp
Sugar: as per taste
Ghee: 1-2 tsp
Rabri/Thick creamy spiced sweet milk:
Milk: 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp
Cashew powder: 2 tsp
Arrowroot powder: 1/2tsp
Sugar: 2 tbsp+ as per taste
Saffron: few strands
Cardamom: powder: 1/4 tsp +
Nuts chopped,Silver paper (Varaq),seasonal fruits chopped/sliced
Using a cookie cutter cut rounded pieces from the bread. Traditionally you diagonally cut the bread slice into two triangles.I had ragi walnut bread which I have used here.
Heat ghee in a shallowfry pan,allow it to spread,then shallow fry or toast the bread in this ghee,adding little sugar (to get the brown colour) and also little milk (to make it a bit soft) on each side. Turn and toast the other side lightly as well. The bread should not be too crispy or soggy. If too crispy or dry then soak it in little milk for a few seconds and keep aside.
In a thick bottomed pan,bring to boil half cup of milk to which sugar,saffron and cardamom has been added. Reduce and let it simmer for few minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the powdered cashew and arrowroot n the remaining two tbsp of milk and add it to the simmering milk. Stir well with a spoon and let it cook for a few more minutes until it starts thickening into a pale yellow(due to saffron) liquid. The consistency should be like that of condensed milk. Mine took barely 7 minutes,but will be more for higher quantities of milk. Remove from heat and keep aside.
Traditionally,fried bread slices(rounds/triangles) are arranged in a plate and the rabri is poured over it. It is then topped with chopped nuts and silver paper.
Here I have gone for a fruity and layered version. I spread little rabri in a serving plate,kept a bread slice,topped it with chopped nuts and sliced strawberries,topped it with another bread slice followed by nuts, poured the rabri on top of it and then topped with sliced berries. I went for strawberries as they add more colour to the dish. You can go for mango/pineapple or any choice of fruits.
The rich shahi tukre are made more healthy and colourful and overall more appealing.You can make your own choice while plating. You can also serve the bread pieces with little rabri on top and serve additional rabri in a bowl. Simple,delectable and perfect dessert.
I had arrowroot powder with me which I used as a thickener. Normally you add khoya/mawa/ thick solidified milk to the regular milk while making rabri. I have used the nuts for richness and thickening along with arrowroot.You can go for the regular corn flour paste or even use bread crumbs for thickening.
I had cashew nuts in my freezer a few tbsp of which I pulsed to a powder in a blender. Go for short bursts for this else the cashewnuts may release the fat/oil and may become a paste than powder.
The healthy bread pudding is also going to AWED:Indian at Taste of Pearl City, an event by DK.