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Shahi Tukra

Ghee is clarified butter; it has had the water and non-fat solids removed. If the commercial product is not available, simply melt salted or unsalted butter without browning, to drive off the water, then allow to stand. The clear yellow liquid that forms on top is the clarified butter. Pour this off carefully. The milky residue may be used to enrich soups or sauces.

ingredients

serves 4 to 5
3 medium slices white bread
2 cardamoms
2 whole unblanched almonds
4 whole unblanched pistachio nuts
3 Tbsp (40 g) ghee or butter
250 ml (8 fl oz) milk
few strands of saffron
3 tbsp (45 ml) sugar
75 ml (5 tbsp) double cream (heavy cream)
2 tbsp (30 ml) single cream
pinch of grated nutmeg

method

1. Cut the crusts off the bread. Cut each slice into 4 triangular pieces.

2. Split the cardamom pods, pick out and crush the seeds, discarding the outer husk.

3. Crush the almonds and pistachio nuts with their skins.

4. Heat the ghee or butter in a frying pan, and fry the bread until golden brown on both sides.

5. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper.

6. Heat the milk slowly in a shallow saucepan over moderate heat. When it begins to steam, add the saffron strands and sugar.

7. Reduce to very low heat, and cook gently for 20 minutes.

8. Add the double cream to the saffron mixture and cook for a further 10 minutes.

9. The sauce should be thickened but runny.

10. Drop the fried bread triangles into the sauce. Turn them over after 5 minutes. Cook very slowly until the sauce is absorbed by the fried bread.

11. Serve hot or cold, covered with the single cream.

12. Top each portion with a generous sprinkling of the crushed nuts and cardamom, adding a pinch of grated nutmeg.

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