Shahi Tukda served with Thandai Rabdi. Ghee-fried bread slices that are soaked in a cardamom and rose flavored sugar syrup and served with Thandai flavored Rabdi. A perfect dessert for Holi.
Holi. One of my favorite Indian festival(s). Holi is synonymous with the onset of Spring. The end of long, cold winter. Holi is the festival of love, happiness and color. Lots and lots of good food is mandatory on Holi. I have memories of playing Holi year after year in Delhi with family and friends. As kids, we would shop for colors and water balloons a day before from our neighborhood market and get everything ready for the day after. Mom would start preparing sweets and savory snacks a few days in advance.
The morning of Holi was always exciting. We would wear our oldest clothes. and get our colors ready and fill the balloons with colored water. The children in the neighborhood would start playing early in the day. The parents would slowly come out and start wishing each other by applying dry, powdered color on each other and offering sweets and snacks. The morning hustle was always so much fun!
The days around Holi would start getting warmer and hence our parents let us play with water balloons that we would throw at each other. As kids we loved this so much. While playing, we would try out the finger food and appetizers made by our mothers. There was always so much variety and good food around that day.
Sweets and savory food both play an important role on the day of Holi. Popular sweets made on this day are usually gujjiya, chilled phirni, malpua, jalebi while savory snacks include dahi bade, whole bhature, chat, alu tikki and so much more. The emphasis always was mostly on enjoying, playing with colors, greeting each other and enjoying a variety of appetizers.
Shahi Tukda is a classic dessert that is so rich and decadent. It is essentially ghee-fried bread slices that are soaked in a cardamom and rose flavored sugar syrup. I have served this with Thandai Rabdi, sweetened, reduced milk that is flavored with the goodness of thandai powder, quintessential for Holi.
This dessert is delicious, indulgent and very straight forward. The only time consuming process is to slow cook the milk to make the rabdi. Once the rabdi is ready, I fry the bread slices in ghee and then soak them in a sugar syrup. To serve, I layer the bread slices in individual plates and top them with cold rabdi and nuts.
Shahi Tukda served with Thandai Rabdi is the perfect dessert for Holi. The flavors and the ingredients are synonymous with this special festive day. I hope you make this for your Holi get together and also have a very lovely time with family and friends.
Shahi Tukda with Thandai Rabdi
For the Thadai Rabdi
- 2 litres Whole(full fat) Milk
- 6-8 tbsp Thandai Powder
- ½ cup Grandulated Sugar
- ½ tsp Rose water
- 2 tbsp Raisins and Pistachios to garnish
For the Sugar Syrup
- ½ cup Sugar
- ¼ cup Water
- ¼ tsp Cardamom powder
For Frying the Bread
- 4-6 White or Wheat Bread Slices
- ½ cup Ghee (to fry the bread slices)
To Serve the Shahi Tukda
- 2-3 tbsp Raisins, Slivered pistachios and almonds
For the Thandai Rabdi
- Add the milk in a heavy-bottomed pan. Keep the heat medium and slowly bring it to a boil. Keep stirring frequently to avoid any burning.
- Once the milk comes to a boil, add the Thandai powder to the milk and mix well.
- Reduce the heat to low and let the milk cook until it reduces to almost one-fourth of the original quantity and becomes thick. Keep stirring every few minutes so that the milk does not stick or burn. Also, while the milk boils, keep scraping the sides of the pan to remove the milk solids and add them back to the pan.
- Do also note that the rabdi will thicken once it cools down as well.
- Once the milk has reduced to a desired consistency, add the sugar and rose water and cook for a couple of minutes more.
- Remove the pan from heat and let the rabdi cool for about half an hour.
- Once cool, refrigerate the rabdi for around 4 hours or until chilled well.
- Garnish with slivered nuts of your choice and serve chilled with Shahi Tukda.
For the Sugar Syrup
- Mix sugar with water in a pan.
- Keep the heat low and let the mixture come to a boil.
- Cook the mixture till you get a one thread consistency in the sugar syrup.
- Switch off the heat when done. Add the cardamom powder and mix well.
Frying the Bread
- Slice the crusts of the bread. Cut them into squares, triangles, or even neat circles.
- Heat ghee in a frying pan.
- Fry the bread slices until golden brown on both sides in batches of two.
- You may flip once more more to get an even browning.
- Remove the bread slices on paper towels on a plate.
- Repeat the same for the remaining bread slices
Assembling and serving the Shahi Tukda
- Dip the fried bread slices in the sugar syrup. With the help of a pair of tongs, coat both the sides well with the sugar syrup.
- Arrange the sugar syrup soaked bread slices on a serving platter or individual serving plates.
- Next, pour the rabri on the the arranged bread slices.
- Garnish with raisins and sliced pistachios.
- Serve the shahi tukda with thandai rabdi immediately.
1/4 cup almonds, 1/4 cup cashew nuts, 1/4 cup pistachios, 2 tbsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp black peppercorns, 2 tbsp poppy seeds, 2 tbsp dried rose petals, 1/4 tsp saffron strands, 1 tbsp melon seeds, and seeds of around 8-10 green cardamom pods.