Shahi Tukda or Shahi Tukra is a rich, royal festive Indian dessert originating from Mughlai cuisine. This Shahi Toast or Tukda is a type of bread pudding where ghee-fried bread crisp slices are dunked in sugar syrup and after which they are generously covered with creamy & succulent rabri (sweetened & thickened milk), and decorated with nuts.
Take a bite of this traditional royal shahi tukda and it will transcend you to the land of emperors and kings.
Enriched with cardamom, rose water, and saffron, this royal dessert is super easy to make. Plus, this Shahi Tukda recipe gets done in just 1 hour when made from scratch.
For the festive season, make this classic royal treat to your guests to make them feel super special and your guests will surely praise your cooking skills!
On this page, you will get the step-by-step photo and video instructions to make the best Shahi Tukda at home!
About Shahi Tukda
Shahi Tukda is a bread and milk-based sweet dish where bread pieces are fried in ghee/oil until they are lightly golden and crisp. Then they are dipped in sugar syrup and finally poured with the creamy rabri and served as an after-meal dessert.
In this recipe, Shahi is a Persian word for meal ‘Royal’ and Tukda/Tukra comes from Hindi & Urdu languages meaning ‘piece’. So in the precise translation, Shahi Tukda means ‘Royal Piece of Dessert’. This tasty dessert also has other names such as Shahi Toast, Double Ka Meetha (, and Shahi Tukday/Tukray (royal pieces).
Shahi Tukda is a Hyderabadi delicacy that is often served after a grand or rich meal. Since it is a royal dish, it can also be served during any festive season such as during Iftar, Diwali, Holi, parties & other celebrations.
Prepared with some simple and easily available ingredients, this recipe of Shahi Tukda or Shahi Tukra comes out very rich and creamy, and delicious. Make this once, and this royal dessert will surely melt your heart.
This classic Shahi Tukda recipe uses some basic ingredients such as bread, sugar, , sugar, milk, nuts, and flavorings. Another wonderful thing about this royal dessert is that it is loved by people of all age groups.
There are many opinions about the origin of this dessert. It is said that the Shahi Tukda or Shai Tukda was a very popular dessert among the Mughal emperors, and they used to relish it during Iftar in the holy month of Ramadan.
If you love sweets and exploring new desserts then you should definitely give this easy shahi tukda recipe a try.
For other festive and traditional Indian desserts, you may also try our Rasgulla, fruit rabri, Jalebi, and Badam Burfi, Motichoor Ladoo, Malai Ladoo, Best gulab jamun Recipe, Kaju Katli and Indian Milk Cake.
This Shahi Tukda
✓ is great for festivals & parties
✓ can be made in advance
✓ is made from scratch
✓ quick and easy
✓ tastes so rich and delicious
✓ is vegetarian
✓ requires only a few handfuls of ingredients
Shahi Tukda ingredients
For making this Hyderabadi shahi tukda you will require only some simple and easily available ingredients which are:
Bread – Generally white bread slices are used for this recipe. You can use wholegrain, brown, or other healthy alternatives here. But the white bread makes the best-tasting shahi tukra.
Ghee – It is used for frying bread. I have shallow-fried the bread slices in ghee, but you can also deep fry or just toast them with ghee.
Milk – Whole or full-fat milk is needed for making rabri. Don’t use skim or low-fat milk, it would not make creamy rabri.
Sweetener – I have used sweetened condensed milk as a sweetener, but you can also replace sweetened condensed milk with sugar.
Nuts – I have used chopped almonds, pistachios, and cashews here.
Flavoring – I have used cardamom, saffron, and rose water for flavoring rabri and syrup.
Bread crumbs (optional) - Traditional rabri-making process takes a lot of time and patience. To make it cook faster, I’ve bread crumbs, but adding breadcrumbs is optional. I added bread crumbs because it not only quickly thickens the milk but also gives it a nice texture.
Others – I have garnished shahi tukra with chopped nuts, dried rose leaves, and edible golden/silver leaves. Decorating this dessert is completely optional though.
You can get the full list of ingredients in the recipe box on this page.
How to Make Shahi Tukda
Thinking about how to make this amazing dessert shahi tukda at home? Here’s how to make it at home without any fuss. Making Shahi Tukra or Shahi Toast is a 4-step process. You make 3 recipes and then assemble this dessert. This is how this recipe is done in 4 steps:
Step 1 - Make Rabri: To make rabri, bring milk to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 2 minutes and then add saffron and nuts. When it is boiled for 5-6 minutes, add the sweetener and boil until 1/4 milk is reduced and only ¾ remains. Add cardamom and rose water and cook for a minute. Set it aside to cool.
Step 2 - Make sugar syrup: Add sugar, water, saffron strand, and cardamom to a saucepan. Bring it to a boil. Once it is boiling, cook for 2-3 minutes or until the sugar syrup becomes slightly thick but not too thick. You don’t need to check any thread consistency here.
Step 3 - Fry Bread: Trim the crust off the bread slices and then slice them into triangles or rectangles. Fry them over medium heat from both sides until the bread is crisp and lightly golden.
Step 4 - Assemble Shahi Tukda: Dip the fried bread pieces in the warm sugar syrup for a few seconds. Make sure to flip the bread sliced to coat the bread well in the syrup. Shake off the excess syrup, and then place syrup-coated bread pieces on a serving plate. Pour rabri over the bread slices. Garnish with nuts, rose petals, and silver work. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.
Shahi Tukda, similar to any other Indian mithai or sweet, can be served as an after-meal dessert or as a sweet snack with some namkeen and chai. Add shahi toast to your festive dinner thali, and this classic mithai would give you a feel of actually being royal.
Following is a festive royal meal idea that goes really well with this shahi toast: Lachha Paratha, Shahi Paneer Korma, Dal Makhani, Hyderabadi Egg Biryani, Pineapple Raita, masala papad, and round out your meal ending with sweet shahi toast and kalakand.
Shahi Tukda without rabri - If you find Shahi tukda too sweet, then you can serve it as a sugar syrup-coated toast. It would also taste good without rabri.
Shahi tukda without sugar syrup - You can also skip dipping the bread in sugar syrup. Just dip the fried bread pieces in rabri and serve.
Toasted bread - If you don’t like fried bread then you can toast the bread in a toaster or a pan. Toasted bread doesn’t taste the best, but it would work if you are really health conscious.
Shahi Tukda with condensed milk - If you don’t have time, then you can flavor condensed milk with chopped nuts, cardamom, and rose water. And drizzle it over sugar syrup-flavored bread slices.
Expert tips & tricks to make the best Shahi Tukda recipe
Bread – Any type of white bread other than the brown, whole-grain, or multigrain bread can be used here. Adding these won’t taste that good in this dessert. Also, don’t use super soft and very fresh bread. It is because they tend to soak up too much ghee while frying. If your bread is super soft, then arrange them on a rack and air-dry them for 1-2 hours.
Frying - I would recommend using ghee for shallow frying bread slices to make it the most aromatic and rich. Homemade desi ghee is the best here. However, if you are not comfortable using ghee, use any neutral frying oil here.
Stirring - While making rabri (thickened milk) you need to stir the milk frequently to avoid it from sticking to the bottom.
Double ka Meetha - This is how you can convert this shahi tukda into a similar dish ‘double ka meetha’. Assemble shahi tukda in a baking pan. After assembling shahi tukda, top the rabri with crumbled khoya and bake for 25-30 minutes at 180°C.
Serving - You can either assemble this dessert in a big serving dish or assemble it into individual plates for individual serving. If you like crisp shahi tukda, then assemble the shahi toast right before serving, this step would prevent the fried bread from turning soggy.
Flavoring - If you like kewra water or essence then feel free to swap rose water with kewra water.
Milk - Make sure to use full cream milk for making rabri. You can also add milk powder to make it thick faster.
Sugar syrup - For this recipe, you don’t need to check the syrup string consistency. Just use a 1:1 sugar water ratio and boil the syrup until it is slightly thick. Thick syrup would coat the bread well without making it soggy.
Sugar - For making sugar syrup, I have used white sugar. You can also use a raw cane or muscovado sugar. Jaggery can also be used here.
What can I use instead of the homemade sugar syrup?
Saffron cardamom-infused sugar syrup tastes the BEST. But you can surely replace homemade sugar syrup with maple syrup. Just add saffron and cardamom to the maple syrup before dipping bread into it. You can also use jaggery for making syrup.
Can I make a shahi tukda recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can surely make the base recipes (sugar syrup, and rabri) a couple of days before serving. Just fry, dip and assemble bread slices when you are planning to serve.
Is it compulsory to decorate Shahi Tukda?
No, adding decoration is not compulsory. You can simply enjoy this shahi tukda without prettifying it.
Should I serve shahi tukda hot or cold?
You can serve this dessert, warm, at room temperature, or chilled. It tastes good no matter how you serve it. I personally like shahi tukda when it is served warm. If serving it warm, then reheat the rabri and syrup before assembling if it gets cold.
How to make Vegan Shahi Tukda
To make Vegan Shahi Tukda, substitute milk with coconut or almond milk. Swap ghee with vegan ghee or coconut oil, and condensed milk with coconut condensed milk.
How to make gluten-free Shahi Tukda
To make gluten-free shahi tukda, replace the white bread with gluten-free bread slices and follow the same recipe.
Shahi Tukda (Step-by-step photo instructions)
Make Quick Rabri
- Add milk to a wide non-stick pan. Stir well and let it come to a boil over medium heat. Once the milk starts to boil, add saffron strands and chopped nuts. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes. After that, add the bread crumbs and let it boil for 5-6 more minutes. TIP: Adding bread crumbs speeds up the thickening process and gives the milk a rabri-like texture quickly. After that, add condensed milk or sugar and mix well to combine. Boil for 8-10 minutes or until the milk is reduced to 3/4 of the original amount.
- Add cardamom powder, rose water and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes and keep it aside to cool slightly.
Make Sugar Syrup
- Add sugar and water to a pan. Stir for a few seconds, and then add saffron strands and cardamom powder. Mix well and let it come to a boil over medium heat. After it starts boiling, boil it further for 2-3 minutes or until the sugar syrup is slightly thick. Then turn off the heat and set it aside to cool slightly. We need warm sugar syrup.
Fry Bread Pieces
- Cut the crust off the bread slices, and then slice them diagonally into a triangle. You can also slice them into rectangles. Keep them aside.
- Heat 4-5 tablespoons of ghee or oil in a pan over medium heat. Shallow or deep fry the 2-3 bread slices from both sides until they are crisp and nicely golden brown in color. Drain the bread slices on a kitchen tissue-lined plate, and fry the remaining bread pieces.
Assembling Shahi Tukda
- Dunk the bread slices in the warm syrup for 30-40 seconds. Flip the bread slices and coat them evenly in sugar syrup. Arrange the sugar syrup-soaked bread pieces on a serving plate. Pour the prepared rabri over the sugar syrup-coated bread slices evenly. Garnish shahi tukda with chopped nuts, dried rose petals, and silver work. Serve it warm, at room temperature or chilled.