By Athul Domichen
India is famous for its diversity in cultures and cuisines. Each region has its own authentic tastes and traditions. One will be surprised by the sheer amount of varieties that can be experienced. Let me now introduce you to ‘Double ka Meetha’, an Indian dessert that has its origins in Hyderabad, one of India’s favourite destinations for food lovers. Easy to prepare with minimal ingredients, surprise yourself and your guests with this delectable dish.
In simple terms, Double ka Meetha is a kind of bread pudding. Inspired from Mughlai cuisine, it is traditionally prepared during special occasions such as festivals, weddings, etc., among the Muslim community in Hyderabad. One can find the delicacy being sold all across the Old City region during the holy month of Ramadan. The dish is supposed to have got its name from the local term for milk bread, ‘Double Roti’, because bread doubles in size during the process of baking. The sweet or ‘meetha’ made from ‘double roti’ thus becomes Double ka Meetha.
Another dessert which originates from the Awadhi-Mughal traditions, Shahi Tukda, is said to be similar to Double ka Meetha in terms of preparation, but when it comes to flavour, there is a distinct difference between the two.
The most authentic version of the dessert uses boiled and thickened milk along with sugar syrup for the preparation but in this easier recipe I have used sweetened, condensed milk. Also, I have substituted deep frying of the bread in ghee (clarified butter) with toasting on a pan. Milk or white bread is the traditional choice but you can also go for wheat and other grain breads too, if you’re looking to avoid all-purpose flour and its derivatives.
Double ka Meetha
White or Milk Bread (sandwich size) – 4 slices
Ghee – 2-3 tablespoons
Milk – 1 and ½ cup
Sweetened Condensed Milk – ½ cup
Saffron strands – 1 pinch
Cinnamon Powder – ½ teaspoon
Almonds – 10
Cashew Nuts – 10
Slice the bread diagonally twice to form triangles. You can choose to remove the crust if you don’t want it. Heat 2 spoonfuls of ghee on a pan and toast until the bottom half gets a golden brown shade. Flip the slices and toast the other side. After both sides become slightly crispy, remove and keep on a plate.
Add one spoon of ghee and fry the almonds and cashew nuts until they start changing colour. Remove when done and keep aside.
Mix the sweetened condensed milk and milk in a saucepan. Using a thick-bottomed pan is preferred to avoid milk getting burnt at the bottom. Add the saffron strands and cinnamon powder and heat the mix. You don’t have to boil it, let it just become warm. Take it off the stove.
Arrange the bread slices in layers in the milk mixture. Sprinkle the fried almonds and cashew nuts on top. Set the pan on the stove and heat on a low flame, gently simmering it. Once the milk has been absorbed by the bread slices, turn off the stove – your Double ka Meetha is ready.
You can serve the dish hot or chill it and serve later. It will stay without being spoiled for a couple of days. Hot or cold, this Hyderabadi fare is bound to win some hearts.