I've never met a Shahi Tukda I didn't like, and Priya's recipe is truly genius. But when I dug deep into the origins of it, and figured out that the British actually got their precious bread pudding from this Mughal dish, I liked it even more. Shahi Tukda is better than bread pudding, and historically superior too, and it's time the world knew it.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 4 tbsp granulated sugar
- seeds from about 4 cardamom pods, ground with a mortar and pestle
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 5 slices white bread, crusts removed, each slice cut into 4 square
- 1/tsp salt
- 2 tbsp roughly chopped pistachios, for garnish
- Coat the bottom of a medium pot or small Dutch oven with 2 tablespoons water (this will prevent the cream from sticking when you heat it), then add the cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, until the cream is warmed through, 4-6 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the sugar and cardamom, making sure the sugar has dissolved completely. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, add the bread, and cook until the undersides are golden brown, 4-6 minutes. Flip and cook until the other sides have also turned golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes more.
- In a 9-inch square baking dish, arrange the pieces of bread in a single layer. Give the cardamom cream a stir to fully incorporate the sugar and cardamom, then pour the cream over the bread, making sure each piece of bread is fully soaked with cream.
- Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for up to 12 hours. Just before serving, garnish with the pistachios.