Shahi Tukray – The Royal Dessert

Shahi Tukray is a very popular and deliciously rich dessert that has its origin in the Mughal rein (Shahi means Royal and Tukra means piece). This is the traditional Indian cousin to the American bread pudding. Bread is deep fried in pure ghee and then soaked in a reduced milk mixture flavored with fragrant cardamom and exotic saffron. Definitely gives out Royal vibes!

Although my parents were born in Karachi, Pakistan; my grandparents migrated from Delhi, India at the time of the partition in 1947. I grew up eating the proper Delhi waley Shahi Tukray that are more saucy and milky and made mostly without saffron. Fast forwarding to my marriage, my inlaws come from Hyderabad, India. They make their own style of Shahi Tukray called Dabal ka meetha. The two in my opinion are as different as the sun and the moon. Dabal ka meetha is prepared by deep frying bread, dunking it in a sugar syrup infused with saffron, adding an extremely thick milk mixture on top called Rabrdi and then baking it so that the result is a fried sweet bread that has absorbed the delicious flavors of saffron. There is no milky sauce at all. I’m partial to my original Shahi Tukray and sharing my family recipe with you all. I have added a slight twist by preparing a coconut and milk khoya and sprinkling it at the top of the Shahi Tukray at the end. This is completely optional and can be omitted.

Shahi Tukray is usually prepared during a festival or celebration due to its royal heritage. As Eid is around the corner, this beautiful and delicious dessert is perfect to grace your Eid table.

Shahi Tukray


For the milk mixture:

  • Whole milk – 3 cups
  • Evaporated milk – 1 cup
  • Condensed milk – 3/4 cup
  • Cardamom pods, slightly crushed – 2

Optional coconut Khoya mixture:

  • Evaporated milk – 1/2 cup
  • Sweetened shredded coconut – 2tbsp (you can also use unsweetened desiccated coconut but add 1 tsp sugar)

For the deep fried bread:

  • Thick white bread, crusts removed & cut into triangles – 6
  • Ghee for frying – 3 tbsp


  • Combine all the ingredients of your milk mixture in a deep pot and whisk well.
  • Set the pot on medium heat and allow the milk mixture to come to a full boil.
  • Once it boils, lower the heat and let the mixture simmer on medium low heat for atleast 30-45 mins. Keep whisking at intervals. The milk will reduce to 2 cups. Turn off heat and let the mixture cool slightly.
  • Combine evaporated milk, coconut and sugar (if using) in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil on high heat. Turn down heat on medium and keep whisking till the mixture reduces to thick lumps (around 15 minutes). Turn off heat and let the mixture cool down. Refrigerate till ready to use.
  • Deep fry the bread pieces in ghee till golden. Arrange them on your serving dish.
  • Pour over the milk mixture. Cover the dish loosely with cling film and let it sit at room temperature for atleast an hour. Refrigerate if you want to enjoy it cold.
  • Before serving, pour the coconut khoya mixture, sprinkle chopped pistachios and rose petals. Serve.

I hope you will make this delicious traditional dessert for Eid this year. A step by step tutorial can be found in my highlights on Instagram @leenaali. Share with me your feedback and pictures.

Wishing you and your family a very blessed Eid Mubarak!

With love,

Leena 💕

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