Sheer khurma is a popular Eid dessert in Pakistan as well as other Muslim countries. It is made with vermicelli cooked in milk with dates, dry fruits and cardamom adding flavour and aroma to the dish.
As far as I can remember, sheer khurma has been one of my favourite Eid traditions. My mother would make it in the morning, and when the men would come back from Eid prayers, we would have breakfast and then garma garam sheer khurma.
We would then start off with visiting houses for Eid, and at every place we went to there was a different type of sheer khurma. Some would have a thicker version with lots of vermicelli, some would make it with condensed milk, some would have raisins in it, some would have a milky version. They all tasted good in their own way, but my absolute favourite had to be the one with lots of milk and less seviyaan, just like my mother made. In fact, you might as well drink it in a bowl instead of eating it with a spoon.
How to make sheer khurma:
- Start with putting milk to boil. Let it cook on low heat, and as it boils slowly and steadily it will start to caramelise and take on a yellow-ish hue.
- On the side fry off cardamom seeds, nuts and the vermicelli. Add them to the milk, and let it all cook together till done.
Tips on making sheer khurma:
- The base of the sheer khurma is milk, especially in the recipe that I use. Get good quality fresh milk. No fat-free or skim milk.
- Use a good quality pot. Sheer khurma requires milk to be heated on a low heat for at least an hour. If you don’t have a good pan, the bottom of the pan can burn imparting a not so nice flavour to the sheer khurma.
- Frying the cardamom seeds, nuts and vermicelli in an appropriate amount of ghee / oil is essential to release their flavour and aroma. Oil can work, but ghee is best.
- Don’t skip the chuwaray (dry dates). As they cook, they impart a subtle flavour and aroma to the sheer khurma which is delicious.
Is sheer khurma an Eid tradition in your household? How is it made at your place?
Other desserts that you can try for Eid can be:
Would love it if you could try out and rate the recipe, and let me know how it was in the comments below!
Sheer Khurma | Eid Dessert
- 3 tablespoons almonds, sliced
- 3 tablespoons pistachios, sliced
- ¼ packet vermicelli
- 4 - 6 cardamom pods elaichi
- 2 litres milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons ghee or oil
- 8 - 10 dry dates, de-seeded chuwaray
Place the almonds in boiling water for 10 - 15 minutes. The hot water will help in releasing the skins. Peel the skins and slice the almonds lengthwise. Slice the pistachios lengthwise and set both aside.
Crush the vermicelli into small pieces and set aside.
Peel the cardamom pods, and remove the seeds (elaichi ke daane). Pound the cardamom seeds with a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin, and keep aside.
Place milk in a large saucepan. Make sure the base is thick enough that the milk doesn’t burn at the bottom.
Bring the milk to a boil, and then turn heat to low. Add the dates (chuwaray).
Cook on slow heat for an hour stirring after 10 minutes or so to ensure the milk doesn’t burn. The milk colour will change from white to a pale yellow as it keeps cooking.
In the meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons ghee / oil in a frying pan and add the sliced almonds and pistachios. Fry them off for 1 - 2 minutes till the flavours release and you can smell the aroma. Take the fried nuts off the heat and set aside.
In the same saucepan in which you added the nuts, add a tablespoon of ghee and add the crushed cardamom. Cook for a minute till the flavour is released, and then add the crushed vermicelli. Fry it off for 1 - 2 minutes till the colour changes to a golden brown, and then add to the milk.
Cook the vermicelli in the milk for about 10 minutes, and then add sugar. Cook for another 10 minutes, stirring every minute to make sure the vermicelli is soft and the sugar is dissolved.
Taste the sheer khurma and adjust sugar if needed.
Add the fried almonds and pistachios. Cook for 2 minutes and serve right away in bowls.
Instead of cardamom pods, you can also use cardamom seeds which are available in Pakistani and Indian stores abroad. Just pound with a rolling pin or mortar and pestle to release the flavour, and then add in the milk.
It’s important to add the nuts right before serving so that they still remain crispy.
A lot of people don’t like eating the dry dates (chuwaray) but they are essential for flavouring the sheer khurma. They will become soft as they cook in the hot milk, and can be taken out in the end.