Shahi Tukray are a dessert that is served at weddings and special events in India and Pakistan. It combines layers of different components together, to make a harmonious dish which tastes divine.
Shahi Tukrey translate as Shahi=royal, Tukrey=pieces. This dessert has some variations but all of them use bread which is either soaked in milk or in sugar syrup. Other additions like khoya (solidified milk chunks), nuts and dried fruits are subjective.
This recipe has been requested by many of my followers on Instagram. I promised to share it on Eid, so here it is.
The Different Components of Shahi Tukrey
There are different variations of shahi tukrey. Some are with sugar syrup, some are with milk. Some contain more liquid, others are drier. My version is with milk and contains khoya (homemade in 4 minutes). I like to serve extra milk on the side so people can add according to their preference.
My recipe of shahi tukrey is made up of 4 components:
- Bread: which is fried in ghee to have a golden crust.
- Milk: which is a combination of 2 kinds of milk. Usually it takes hours to thicken and cook the milk for this recipe, but I have a hack to save your time and effort. Using evaporated milk provides that rich and deep taste as if the milk has been cooked for hours, even though it hasn’t.
- Homemade Khoya: which takes only 4 minutes to make but brings this recipe to the next level.
- Toasted Nuts: which add a lovely texture to the shahi tukrey and also make them more visually appealing.
Ingredients At a Glance
Notes on ingredients:
- Nuts: I like to use almonds and pistachios. You can use any nuts of your choice.
- Cardamom: I take pods of green cardamom, remove the outer shell and take the seeds out. I grind them into a powder using my mortar and pestle. Freshly ground cardamom powder tastes much more intense than the one that has been grounded earlier, as it tends to loose its aroma overtime. In case you are using ground cardamom (store bought) you might have to add some extra.
- Sugar: I used unrefined granulated sugar for this recipe. You can use refined one as well. I would not recommend using raw sugar for this recipe because it has a stronger taste and will temper with the otherwise delicate taste of shahi tukrey.
- Milk: Use full fat milk for this recipe.
- Ghee: Homemade or store bought, either will do.
- Evaporated milk: I used the one pictured above. It is available at Edeka. Evaporated milk in Germany doesn’t contain any added sugar. If yours contains sugar, you may need to skip adding sugar to the recipe.
- Bread: Use white sandwich bread for this recipe. I would not recommend brown bread.
- Powdered milk: I like using the one from nestle (nido). This is available at Indian stores and also sometimes at Turkish stores in Germany. Do not use the powdered milk that is available at the grocery store in Germany. That is different in taste and texture and wouldn’t give desired results. We need powdered milk to make khoya.
Before diving into the recipe, I would like to address a few words on how to enjoy desserts in a mindful way.
How To Enjoy Desserts Midfully?
I like to feed myself and my family mindfully. While it is important to have a healthy and balanced diet, it is also okay to treat yourself from time to time. Desserts are a special occasion occurrence in my household and Eid is one of them. Below are some tips to enjoy your sweet treats in a balanced way.
- Break the habit: If you are eating dessert after every meal, you must break the habit. The most effective way is by distracting yourself and not giving in. Do not replace it with other things like fruits etc. because you do not want to substitute one craving with another. The initial days will be hard, but the human body adapts itself more easily than you might think. It will all be worth it.
- Savour on special occasions: Have desserts on special occasions. It can be a weekend treat for you, or on occasions like birthdays, get togethers and festivals. Take your time to enjoy each bite and savour them. Once you start enjoying them occasionally, you will value them even more.
- Make it at home: Make it a rule that if you are craving desserts, you will make it at home yourself. This will make the availability more effort based, resulting in less consumption. Also, you will know exactly what you have put into it.
- Know your sugar: Whether it is brown sugar or white sugar, honey or maple syrup, date syrup or jaggery. All of these are still sugar, and have almost the same kind of insulin response when eaten. There are slight differences in the processing and nutritional contents which does make some forms of sugar slightly better than others. But they must still be consumed in moderation.
- Enjoy in moderation: Desserts are meant to be enjoyed in small amounts and not eaten like a full meal. Keep some space for dessert post meals and enjoy it in moderation. Most of the desserts freeze well. So if you have lots of leftovers after a get-together, its better to freeze it in portions and gradually savour it for a long time.
- Make smaller portions: Try serving your desserts in smaller portions rather than big bowls. For example: instead of making a big cake, opt for muffins or instead of making a trifle bowl, make small glass trifles or instead of serving halwa in bowls, make small laddoos. This is a good way to control portions.
- Time it smartly: Avoid having desserts early in the morning or late in the evening. Best time to have desserts is in the afternoon (post meal), when your body needs a slight energy boost and it has time to process it until bedtime. But do not make it an everyday habit. It should still be an occasional thing and enjoyed in moderation.
Shahi Tukrey (Eid Special Dessert)
For the khoya:
- 1 Tbsp ghee
- ¼ cup (60 ml) full fat milk
- ½ cup (50 gram) powdered milk
- ½ cup (20 grams) mixed nuts of choice (chopped)
- 400 ml milk full fat
- 1 pack (340 grams) evaporated milk (unsweetened)
- ½ cup (100 grams) sugar
- 5 pods green cardamom (seeds removed and grounded) or ¼ tsp cardamom powder
- 4 Tbsp ghee
- 10 pieces (250 grams) white sandwich bread (small slices)
- Put a non-stick pan on medium heat. Add the ghee and milk. Stir to combine and let it come to a simmer. Gradually add the milk powder while stirring. Once you have added all the milk powder, keep stirring until the mixture becomes smooth. Once the mixture starts to leave the surface, take out the khoya from the pan and let it cool down.
- Wipe the pan and put it on medium low heat. You can either dry roast the nuts or add some ghee for toasting. Toast until golden and then remove from the pan.
Preparing flavored milk:
- In a wide pan combine milk, evaporated milk and sugar. Mix and let it come to a simmer. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the ground cardamom and mix. Let it simmer for 2 more minutes and then turn off heat.
- In a non-stick pan, add 2 Tbsp of ghee and let it heat up. Then place slices of bread and fry until golden brown on both sides. You may have to add some more drops of ghee to fry on the other side. Repeat until all the slices of bread have been fried to golden brown on both sides.
- Add the slices of bread into the flavoured milk. Let it soak up the liquid for a minute of two.
- Place the soaked slices of bread on a wide dish, slightly overlapping each other. Crumble and add khoya and toasted nuts on top. The remaining flavored milk could be either added on top or served on the side.