Picture this: Slices of bread lightly fried in ghee, dunked in sugar syrup, swimming in a pool of thick rabri, sprinkled with dry fruits. The Shahi Tukda is a dessert with mysterious origins, bread and milk, sugar and dry fruits combine a variety of influences on one plate. Some theories suggest that this royal dessert made its way through the northwest frontier province, courtesy of Babur, during the 16th century. Another school of thought suggests that the Shahi Tukda is simply an Indian take on the western bread pudding that still has a major fan-following across central Asia and Africa. A few other scholars believe that the baked Egyptian bread-dessert, Umm Ali, may possibly have influenced the Mughlai Shahi Tukda.
Also read: How to make Sheer Khurma
Whatever its origins, this eggless, milk and bread wonder has managed to earn a cult following not only in India but also in Pakistan. Today it is a popular sight on most Iftar and Eid spreads during the holy month of Ramzan.
Made by deep-frying small pieces of bread, which are then dipped in condensed milk or rabri infused with cardamom, and finally topped with dry fruits, the shahi tukda exudes richness in its simplicity. Curiously, a close cousin of this royal dish is the Hyderabadi Double ka Meetha. Bread is popularly known as ‘double roti’ in this region, primarily because the dough rises to almost double the volume. While both the shahi tukda and double ka Meetha taste similar, the Hyderabadi variant is said to be a bit fluffier.
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