A Royal Indian Bread Pudding to Celebrate Diwali

In celebration of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, we caught up with Junoon’s Executive Chef Akshay Bhardwaj and Executive Pastry Chef Gustavo Tzoc to learn more about their star dessert, shahi tukra, and how the restaurant is celebrating Diwali this year.

I first had Junoon’s shahi tukra (which translates to “royal piece”) at the James Beard House last fall: a single slice of Brioche toast soaked in saffron syrup; a duvet of cardamom-spiced condensed milk blanketed over; and nuts, flowers, and gold leaf scattered over for crunch. It came at the end of a seven-course meal that was already phenomenal. But that toast, for me, was the clincher.