Shahi Tukriaan – Royal Bread Bites

This dessert is one of my favourite versions of Shahi Tukray – a famous festive specialty from the Mughalai cuisine. Just as the name says (shahi : royal and tukriaan : pieces ), the luscious milk and bread dessert is an ultimate decadence and worthy of serving at special occasions. 

The bread is first fried in ghee or oil and then dipped in a saffron and cardamom infused sugar syrup, then topped with a rich milk-based pudding and eventually garnished with pistachios and decorated with edible silver leaves and rose petals – all things royal, right?

What bread to use?
You can use any kind of bread but white bread is the best choice for this recipe! You can remove the crust for a prettier appearance or leave it on. Make sure to fry it crispy without having to compromise on the golden colour.

Fried or toasted?
There are recipes that call for the bread to be baked instead of fried for a lighter version.  However, to get the true flavour, it really should be fried. It is a royal dessert, so indulge yourself and enjoy fully!

What consistency of syrup?
The sugar syrup needs to have a one string consistency and completely cooled before soaking the bread. If its too runny or warm, the bread will turn soggy and chewy. 

Can it be made ahead?
For this variant of Shahi Tukra, you can prepare everything well in advance. A last minute assembling is recommended to ensure a crispy bread base. But if you prefer a slightly soft bread base, assemble a few hours ahead of serving.

Choice of toppings?
Pistachios add a very royal taste to the creamy cheese pudding. Feel free to substitute with your favourite nuts.
The edible silver leaves are absolutely safe to consume. So are the rose petals (if using any)!

A step by step tutorial can be viewed in my Insta highlights. Do have a look before you start cooking.
If you have tried this recipe, I would love to see your feedback. Please click on the stars in the recipe card below to rate.
And if you take a photo of your Shahi bites, please tag me @chef_on_rhine and use the hashtag #chefonrhine because I love seeing your remakes! 

Shahi Tukriaan - Royal Bread Bites

A rich, royal dessert featuring fried sugar-syrup-coated bread topped with fragrant sweet cream and pistachios.
Servings: 6
Author: Fatima Sadal - Chef on Rhine

Ingredients

  • 6 slices white bread small
  • oil for deep frying

For the sugar syrup

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • few strands of saffron

For the cream

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 2 Tbsp milk powder

For garnishing

  • 1/2 cup pistachios crushed
  • edible silver leaves optional
  • rose petals optional

Instructions

  • Prepare sugar syrup by combining all the ingredients in a sauce pan. Allow to cook on high heat until thick and sticky. Take a drop in between your finger and see if it sticks and leaves a straight string of sugar. Allow to cool.
  • In a heavy bottom pan, take milk and yoghurt and allow to boil on medium heat. Let it curdle and allow the water to turn greenish. Rinse under running cold water through a fine sieve. Press gently to remove excess liquid. The cheese is ready.
  • In a sauce pan, take cheese, cream and dry milk powder. Cook until the mixture thickens. Avoid stirring too much.
  • Remove sides from the bread slices and cut diagonally to get two triangles or four small squares (if using big slices) from each.
  • Heat 1 cup oil in a frying pan. Fry the bread pieces on medium heat until fully crisp and golden brown.
  • Allow to cool on paper towel.
  • Dip each bread piece in the cold sugar syrup. Then place 2 Tbsp cold cream mixture on it.
  • Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp chopped pistachios and decorate with edible silver leaves and rose petals.

Notes

  • The sugar syrup needs to be thick or the bread will turn soggy after dipping. However, if it gets too sticky, you can always add a few tablespoons of water and bring to a boil again.
  • For an oil free version, you can toast bread slices in the toaster as well but frying definitely gives it more flavour. 
  • All components can be prepared ahead of time and assembled shortly before serving. That ensures a crispy bread base.
  • Home made cheese can be replaced with half cup store bought ricotta in this recipe.
  • Pistachios can be replaced with almonds or cashews.

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