Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Shahi Tukda or Pauruti'r Ras Malai

Shahi Tukda or Bread Ras Malai

I have not seen anyone use "regular white bread" in as many avatars as my Mother. It could be due to the fact that we mostly lived in small towns where buying sweets or shingaras for snack, or when an impromptu guest arrived, was not the easiest thing to do. It could also be due to the fact that we did not have a refrigerator(until I was in 8th grade) and so stocking sandesh and roshogollas for a guest who lands out of nowhere was not possible.It could also be due to the fact that my Mother had this amazing talent of making delicious edibles out of practically nothing.

One thing we did buy regularly was "a loaf of sliced bread". Buttered toasts appeared frequently with tea in the morning.But how much buttered toast can a Bengali household consume after all ? And so rest of the bread showed up at snack time in different avatars.

Neighborhood aunties dropping by for evening tea in winter, meant my Mother would make bread pakora by simply dipping slices of bread in a spiced besan batter and frying them in hot oil.

If it was hot summer, she would simply rustle up a paurutir dahi vada (bread dahi vada) with the yogurt spiced up with some imli chutney from neighborhood Jain Aunty.

For dessert, she would make paurutir malpoa(bread malpua) where squares of bread were fried crisp and then soaked in a sugar syrup until they became soft and melt in the mouth. My father was an avid sweet lover and he needed a dessert every day of the week. This helped!

The Shahi Tukda or Paurutir Rosh Malai was made only when guests came invited for dinner though. It involved a little more work in thickening the milk and making the rabri and so was not really impromptu. However once my Ma discovered "Gits Rabri Mix", even this became a super fast dish in her kitchen.

I did not know that this very simple dish that happened in my Mother's kitchen had a fancy name of "Shahi Tukda" and a fancier lineage, until our dessert connoisseur friend T served it one day. Her version looked fancier than my Ma's, who never bothered with garnishing and such.

As I searched for history of this dish, I learned interesting facts from here

"It is popularly believed that Shahi Tukray was a favorite of the Mughal emperors to break fast with in the month of Ramazan, thus the practice continues even today making it a very desirable dish at iftar, and a meetha famously served at the festive occasions of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha.

There are many who claim that Shahi Tukray evolved from Um Ali an ancient Egyptian bread pudding. Legend has it that a Sultan with a group of hunters was hunting along the River Nile when they stopped in nearby village for some food. The villagers called upon their local cook Um Ali to cook up a meal for the hungry guests. The chef mixed some stale wheat bread, nuts, milk and sugar, and baked it in the oven. And thus the delicious Um Ali came to be. Another legend claims Um Ali to be a victory dessert made to order by a succeeding king."

While Shahi Tukda owes its origin to the Mughal emperors, the royals of Hyderabad had adapted this dish to make "Double ka Meetha", probably named so as bread was called "double roti" in Hindi.

Whatever you wish to call it and however fancy it may sound, it really is the easiest thing to make. And isn't it a beautiful coincidence that I made it during the holy Ramadan ?

Shahi Tukda /Paurutir Ras Malai

Buy a loaf of sliced white bread. This itself is a challenge in the current times. I don't buy white bread and so had to spend 20 minutes at the bread aisle deciding on which brand of white bread to buy!!!

Once you have a perfect loaf of soft, white bread in your kitty, the rest is very very easy

Make the thickened milk or Rabri

If you are making the Rabri, I would suggest to get a box of Gits Rabri Mix and simply follow the steps at the back of the box.
3 boxes of Rabri mix
+ when mixed with 2 litres of whole milk
+ few drops of Rose Water
+ 4 tbsp of Condensed Milk
and simmered for about 20 minutes

Or if you don't have the Gits Rabri mix, do the following

In a deep thick bottomed pan add
1 can of evaporated milk
2-2&1/2 can of Whole Milk(use same can as Evaporated milk to measure)

Bring the above to a boil. Be careful so that it doesn't spill over.

Now add 1/2 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk to above and mix well. You can use sugar instead of C. Milk. Also depending on your sweet tooth, increase/decrease amount of C. Milk.

Add some ground cardamom.

Keep stirring at medium heat for 30-35 minutes till the milk thickens. You need to stir frequently or the milk tends to scald the bottom of the pan.

When the milk is at a consistency where it is pourable but thicker than what you started with, add a few drops of rose water and a generous pinch of saffron. Give a stir and switch off heat.

Cool the Rabdi or Thickened sweet milk

Now to the Bread

Trim off the crust for each bread slice and cut each piece in 4 squares or 2 triangles

Now heat ghee in a frying pan

Pan fry the bread pieces until they are crisp and brown. The bread pieces need to be a nice brown. Will not taste good if they are dry and toasted, so don't be stingy with the ghee.


Now in a shallow serving dish, place the fried bread pieces in a single layer.
Sprinkle a little sugar on them or add a dollop of condensed milk on each, while they are still warm. Pour little of the chilled rabdi on this layer.

Add another layer of fried bread pieces and repeat the same. You can do only a single layer too if you wish.

Now add some more of the chilled rabdi or thickened milk so that the bread pieces are soaked in the milk

Chill in the refrigerator for couple of hours.

Garnish with pistachios, rose petals, varaq(edible silver foil) and serve. It will make the disk look very very Moghlai.


1. There is another version of this dish where after pouring the thickened milk on the bread pieces, you put the dish in the oven for 20 minutes at 400F. You then chill in refrigerator and serve

2. In still another version, the bread pieces are fried and then soaked in sugar syrup. Only after that they are soaked in rabdi.

3. This dessert can be easily made ahead and stays very good for at least 24 hours. If you fry the bread pieces in ghee, there is no stale oil smell when had after a day. While serving make sure to pour some more of the rabdi if the bread pieces have soaked up all liquid.

If you like what you are reading, get Bong Mom's Cookbook in your mailbox
Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


  1. Hello , I follow your blog regularly and find inspiration is trying the different recipes you have in your blog. I must truly admit that I try them out and if lucky I portray them in my blog here :https://thebigbongbelly.wordpress.com/.
    The Shahi Tukra post was a saviour for me on Jamai Shoshti yesterday. I checked it out at the right moment and was really easy to make it.
    Thank you :)

  2. Thanks for the piece of history as well as the recipe. I still remember taking paurutir chop to school and that was considered as delicacy amongst my friends and that too for all other days almost it was bread and Jam

  3. lewis@mail.postmanllc.net

  4. Nice recipe. For doorstep deliver of all ingredients use http://goo.gl/Iyv3B6

  5. Delicious, loved the idea of using the small sized bread slices

  6. khub bhalo recipe eta...quick and easy..great to please my son's sweet tooth

  7. The recipe looks absolutely delicious !! I cant wait to prepare it myself and try :) all thanks to you


Thanks for your Comments. I hope you will be nice and not Spam.