We all have numerous memories of the basic yet vital things taught by our mothers. One of these is cooking. My mother worked full-time and did not make regular meals at home; however when she did cook, we thoroughly enjoyed her offerings.
Now with cooking, I had this thing about doing it really quick, and not having to spend too long slaving away on the stove. On the eve of my birthday many years ago, I wanted to prepare a dessert for my friends and family visiting us that night. Not having much time on my hands, I went up to mum and asked, “Mum, you know how we have fast food, is there anything called fast dessert?” Mum smiled and as we walked into the kitchen, she asked me if we had enough bread, desi ghee and nuts. She explained to me the two parts of a recipe called Shahi Toast – frying and garnishing. She said, “If everything is ready right in front of you, you can prepare this dish in less than 20 minutes!”
As per mum’s precision timing, we managed to prepare the dish in slightly less than 30 minutes, and were all set for my birthday dinner. At its conclusion, our dessert was cold and ready to be served from the refrigerator. When it arrived on the table, I was about to announce how mum taught me to prepare it, but she had got in before me. She had already let everyone know that “the birthday girl has made it herself!” I looked at her and smiled, thinking, “Thanks, mum, that was a perfect birthday lesson!” And of course, it was exactly what my sweet tooth needed. This Mother’s Day, I would like to share my mum’s secret recipe of Shahi Toast
6 slices white bread
1 cup raw sugar
1 tbsp cardamom powder
½ tbsp saffron, dissolved in 20 ml lukewarm water
Desi ghee for deep frying
2 tbsp sliced/chopped almond and pistachio nuts
Half cup condensed milk
Dissolve the sugar in 2 cups water and boil until a syrup is formed. Add saffron and cardamom powder to the mix.
Cut the bread slices into triangles and deep fry in pre-heated ghee until golden brown. Dip the fried slices in warm sugar syrup and place in a plate immediately or they might become soggy. Add condensed milk on each slice, garnish with almond and pistachios and serve as is, or store in the fridge and serve as a chilled dessert.