Brioche Toast with Saffron Rabdi

These brioche toasts are pure indulgence. The soft brioche is crisped in ghee and then warm, rich almond saffron rabdi is poured over it. A generous scatter of chopped nuts and you would get all the shahi tukda feels. With this recipe I wasn’t trying to recreate shahi tukda, rather make the traditional dessert more approachable for an anytime toast keeping all the traditional elements intact from ghee browned crisp bread to rabdi to nuts to aroma of saffron, its just quick(little bit) 🙂

Growing up, with the leftover chashni (sugar syrup) from gulab jamuns or jalebis or murrabas (preserved fruits), my badi mummy would quickly make shahi tukda. Sometimes she used to deep fry the bread, other times she would simple pan fry it in ghee to crispy perfection, dunk in chashni and pour over a quick rabdi. If you ask me, a bit too much work for a little leftover syrup, however, I also admit that those golden fried nuggets of bread dripping with rabdi were one of the most delicious treats.As I type this, I remember her standing behind the smoking tawa (griddle) frying bread in a kitchen filled with the aroma of ghee and bubbling rabdi.

My kids LOVE brioche, they love snacking on it. Indian bakery bread is sweetish and way softer than white bread that I find here in stores, brioche tastes much closer to. I make these brioche toasts for my kids inspired by those toasts. I dont deep fry, rather pan fry the toasts in ghee and make instant rabdi. I flavor the rabdi(milk sauce) with cardamom, saffron, rose water or vanilla depending on my mood and fold in the nuts. It is one of the best weekend breakfast indulgences.

Traditional rabdi is a labor of love. Milk simmered and scraped for hours and hours before it thickens, the malai is clotted to lacey and it achieves develops a natural caramelized sweetness. And while I am all about such traditional dishes on occasions and festivals, on usual days I just want something quick. Thats how this instant rabdi came into being. Its nutty from ground almonds and tastes quite close to the real deal. The crumbled paneer gives it that mellow grainy texture and trust me if you don’t say, no one would be able to tell. Condensed milk is great in such milk based recipes compared to plain sugar, its gives that extra sweetish smoothness to the rabdi. Its a small batch recipe which which takes about 30 minutes to make, and if by chance you have leftovers, a small portion keeps well in the fridge for a few days.


Brioche Toasts with Saffron Rabdi

Ghee Crisped Brioche Toasts drizzled with Instant Saffron Rabdi.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American, Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 toasts


For the brioche Toasts

  • 6 slices brioche bread
  • Ghee for pan frying (about 1 tbsp per toast)
  • Rabdi to serve (recipe below), as much or as little you want

For Instant Rabdi (makes a little over 1 cup rabdi)

  • 2 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup full fat or malai paneer, fine grated or crumbled very fine
  • 5 tbsp fine ground almonds, I use store bought blanched almond meal
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk
  • 1/4 tsp ground green cardamom
  • 10-12 saffron strands, dissolved in 1 tbsp warm milk
  • 1/3 cup silvered almonds and pistachios to garnish


Make the Rabdi

  • Add milk to a heavy bottomed pot. Place on a stove, bring to a boil, reduce the stove to low medium and let the milk simmer for 15 minutes, stir periodically to make sure that it dosent stick to the bottom of the pot. The milk will almost reduce to half its volume and start getting thick.Scrape the sides of the pot every now and then and add back the malai scrappings to the milk.
  • Once the milk has reduced a bit, add the crumbled paneer, ground almonds and condensed mil, mix well and cook stirring often. Stirring often makes the rabdi creamy and also breaks down the paneer for the right (slightly grainy) texture of rabdi. Cook for about 8-10 minutes or till it reaches the desired thickness. Taste and if you feel you can add 1-2 tbsp of sugar if you feel that the rabdi isnt sweet enough. I like to keep in lightly sweet else it tastes quite heavy.
  • When the rabdi has thickned, add the cardamom and soaked saffron.Mix well. Cook for 2 more minutes Take off the stove and let it sit covered till it warm.

Make the toasts

  • Melt 1-2 tbsp of ghee on a medium hot tawa or cast iron skillet and brown them on medim heat on both sides.
  • Serve drizzled with warm rabdi and a scatter of chopped nuts. Enjoy!

1 thought on “Brioche Toast with Saffron Rabdi

  1. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen – I'm a writer, cook, gardener, poet, quilter. I'm also a wife, mother, grandmother, sister. cousin, aunt, and friend, no particular order on any given day. Our family ran a small Vermont Inn for 18 years, with our focus on local, organic ingredients. After many years of daily serving up of our local delicacies, cooking classes, and catering, we are now only open for special events, cooking classes, etc. We also host musicians and artists, having helped produce a musical festival and other musical events for nearly 20 years. Many incredible people have found a place at our table. Wonderful experiences, we will treasure always. I've been a writer all my life, newspaper reporter and columnist, radio news writer, and magazine contributor, but now turn my attention to my cookbook, the blog, and a cooking column "Memorable Meals," which runs in our county newspaper. I write poetry as the spirit wills, and the occasional short story. My family and friends are my practice subjects. With a family that includes nut, peanut, tree fruit, and vegetable allergies, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, vegetarians, vegans, heart conscious, and a couple of picky eaters, there has to be a few quick tricks in the book to keep everyone fed and happy! Personally, I do not eat meat or dairy (usually), I do eat fish and seafood, so I try to come up with alternatives and substitutions when available. I serve local organic eggs and cheeses to my family who can tolerate dairy (I need to watch my own cholesterol so I am careful, but have been know to let a little piece of really good cheese accidentally fall on my plate!). I cook by the seasons and draw on inspiration from the strong and talented women in my family who came before me as well as the youngers in the family who look at the world with fresh eyes. Food links us all, whether sharing a meal, cooking it together, or writing about it for others to read. I enjoy taking an old recipe and giving it a modern spin, especially if I can make it a littler healthier and use foods that are kinder to the Earth and to our bodies. I believe strongly in sustainable, delicious eating of whole foods! And finally, I love conversing with all the talented cooks and chefs out there who dot the globe! It's a wonderful, world full of culinary penpals! XXXOOO
    Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen on said:

    This looks delicious

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