Shahi Tukda | Fried Bread Soaked in Syrup and topped with Rabri

What is Shahi Tukda? The word ‘shahi’ means royal and tukda/tukra means ‘a piece’ so this is a Royal Piece that is rich in taste, aroma, flavour and even in calories! 🤣 Imagine ghee-fried white bread soaked in sugar syrup and topped with Rabdi which is reduced milk sweetened and flavoured with saffron and other great aromatic ingredients. One of the many dishes that was made and served during the Mughals. I used to be intimidated to try anything tagged "Royal" as I believed it would involve long strenuous process and unaffordable ingredients! But this is so much simpler and easier than many other Indian sweets.  You will agree by the end of this post... 
Shahi Tukda | Fried Bread soaked in Syrup and topped with reduced Milk sweetened and flavoured with Saffron

My earliest memory of making shahi tukda was during the home science class in 6th or 7th grade ( I don't remember which one 😐. Yes, we had cooking and stitching classes for the girls while the boys were sent for NCC practice! 🙄 

This was my first attempt of making Shahi Tukda and I don't think I will make this again anytime soon unless I have a crowd to feed. I had made this as part of the Hyderabadi themed lunch I hosted for my two friends. Before you think I am so talented and all... let me tell you, I am a nervous wreck when I have to host so to build my confidence I invited them a week before the date and worked through each course over the days. Alhamdulillah, it was great! 

I knew that Shahi Tukda had fried bread, sugar syrup and some kind of reduced milk. I then googled and learnt that it is called Rabri or Rabdi. But the texture of the reduced milk was different in every other image which got me to research more just for knowledge. I came across the word Basundi which is a thinner version of Rabdi. Now, I am not sure what stage my full-fat milk reached as it reduced a lot more than half but never got creamy like some pictures showed. But the aroma and the taste was indeed royal! So how to make Shahi Tukda?

Shahi Tukda | Fried Bread soaked in Syrup and topped with reduced Milk sweetened and flavoured with Saffron

How to make Shahi Tukda?

I first prepared the Rabdi /Rabri as it takes the longest time. You may use condensed milk to make it quicker but I chose not to even though I had a can. facepalm. But next time I would just spare me some stress and use it. :-P You got to boil and simmer the full-fat milk until it reduces to half and has a creamy texture. I flavoured the rabdi with saffron, cardamom, rose water and some slivered pistachios. You may make this a day ahead and refrigerate it. 

Next, I prepared the sugar syrup. There is no requirement of any particular consistency here! What a relief! So just boil until sugar dissolves and boil some more. You may flavour this one too with cardamom. 

Thirdly, prepare the fried bread pieces. I cut one slice into four triangles so I get bite-sized pieces that will be easy to fry and easy to eat too. Fry the pieces in ghee which is one of the "Royal" element of the dish. I chose to dip the fried bread into the syrup as and when I fried. It is recommended to have one or both of the items at warm temperature - the syrup and the fried bread - this will help the bread to absorb the syrup quickly and evenly. 

Finally, plate them just before the serving time. Arrange the fried bread pieces, pour the chilled Rabdi all over and garnish with rose petals and pistachios. 

Easy right? Exactly! 

Shahi Tukda | Shahi Tukra | Fried Bread Soaked in Syrup and topped with Rabdi 


For making Rabdi (flavoured sweetened condensed milk):
  • 1-litre full-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 pinches of saffron, crushed and soaked in warm milk
  • 3 cardamom pods  
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 1 tablespoon slivered pistachios
For the making sugar syrup:
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cardamom pod
For Tukda/Tukra:
  • 6 slice - plain white milk bread, sides removed and cut into 4 triangles = 24 pieces
  • Ghee to shallow fry
To garnish and serve:
  • Pistachios
  • rose petals


Prepare the Rabdi:
  1. Add milk to a heavy-bottomed pot and bring it to a boil on medium to high flame.
  2. Reduce the flame and simmer until the milk is reduced to little more than half its quantity.
  3. Add saffron, cardamom, sugar and keep simmering the rabdi until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  4. Stir in the rose water and switch off.
  5. Let it cool completely before you add the pistachios.
  6. Refrigerate until needed.
Prepare the sugar syrup:
  1. Add the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring it to boil.
  2. Add the cardamom pod and simmer for another 5 to 8 minutes.
  3. Keep it warm to dip the pieces of fried bread.
Prepare the Tukras:
  1. Heat ghee in a shallow pan on medium flame.
  2. Fry the cut bread slices turning sides until golden and crisp on both sides (be careful as it can burn quick).
  3. Dip the fried bread pieces into the warm syrup for less than 30 seconds. 
  4. Remove and arrange them on the serving plate. 
Serve Shahi Tukda:
  1. Pour the chilled rabdi all over the fried bread pieces.
  2. Garnish with more nuts and rose petals.
  3. Serve immediately. 

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Shahi Tukda | Fried Bread soaked in Syrup and topped with reduced Milk sweetened and flavoured with Saffron

My guests weren't sweet-toothed like us, so I shared some to my neighbour and then the rest of the portion went into our tummies. 😂 But remember I used only 6 slices! 

I am not very happy with the photos because I was not comfortable to do all the jingbang of the photo set up with the guest at home. So InshaAllah, I hope to make again with step pics and better Shahi Tukda pics :-P

I would love to hear from you. If you have made this recipe then please do leave a comment below. If you like this recipe then please do share the recipe with your friends and family on Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Please do follow me on Instagram and mention @butfirstchaai or tag #butfirstchaiblog so that I can see your creations!