Mama’s Punjabi Recipes- Mitthi Bread or Shahi Tukdre (Sweetened Fried Bread Pudding)

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Most people think that Punjabis enjoy their paranthas the most of all types of breads, but the truth is that they enjoy breads cooked in many ways. And when they can’t get any kind of cooked roti, they will just as easily turn to regular bread with sabzi, toast with butter and jam or the crispy ready-made husks eaten dipped in a cup of milky tea.

Sometimes when there isn’t enough time to make a delicious sweet dish, an imaginative Punjabi will turn to this easy recipe, which uses bread and is not only simple but also greatly appreciated by guests. If you happen to have some left over chasni (sugar syrup), then this dish is even faster to make.

Mitthi bread, better known as shahi tukde, is also popular in Rajasthan and Hyderabad, but some say it is best connected to a region called Awadh in Uttar Pradesh. This region was sometimes referred to as Oudh (derived from the Hindi name Ayodhya) whose capital was Lucknow.

The other ingredient in this dish is rabdi or thickened, evaporated milk that is poured all over the bread which soaks it up. When served chilled sprinkled with chopped almonds, pistachios and saffron, the taste is just fantastic.

6 slices of bread  – (bleached white and sliced)
1 ½ cups chinni (sugar)
1 cup pani (water)
½ gallon doodh (milk) – whole milk is best
Vegetable or sunflower oil for frying
Condiments to your taste: kishmish (raisins); saunf (fennel seed)
Dry fruits to your taste: badam (almonds – peeled and slivered); piste (pistachios – halved or pieces)

1.To make the chasni, pour sugar into a bowl and slowly add warm water while mixing thoroughly with a spoon.
2.Meanwhile, pour the milk into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and keep stirring to make sure it is not sticking to the bottom otherwise it will give a burnt smell. Keep stirring till the milk is thickened and only ¼ remains, take off the heat and set aside.
3.Cut the slices of bread into four squares, then fry in the oil till each side is golden brown.
4.Dip the hot pieces into the chasni and take them out with a strainer to drip.
5.Spread the pieces in a large flat pyrex baking dish and arrange in two layers.
6.Pour the rabdi, covering the layer of fried bread.
7.Sprinkle the top with slivered almonds, pistachios, raisins and fennel seeds. Place in the fridge to chill before serving.



Several Indian sweet dishes are made with chasni (sugar syrup), which is water based. Though it is not hard to make, having some handy makes it easy to make another sweet dish should you be in a hurry or get caught by surprise guests.

Usually when cooking gulab jamun or jalebis some chasni or sugar syrup is left over. Take this chasni and store it in a plastic container in the fridge. If you are short on time, you can quickly turn to another recipe, like shahi tukde, and make a delicious sweet dish in no time at all.


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Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the old-fashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur, India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her mid-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable Punjabi recipes.