Eid is around the corner and it always brings back memories of my childhood days. Naseem Banu, our neighbour would invite my family every year for Eid lunch. Among the wide variety of dishes served to us, there is one dish that would always stand out is”Sheer Khurma”.
Sheer means “milk” and Khurma means “dates. It is a popular and must dessert prepared specially during “Eid-Ul-Fitr” and “Eid-Ul-Adha by the Muslim community. It is served on the morning of Eid day for breakfast after Eid prayers and to others visiting their homes.
Significance of Dates:
History holds that Prophet Mohammed broke his fast with 3 dates and water. Hence it is regarded as a part of a blessed prophetic diet. Muslims throughout the world break their fast with dates during Ramadan. Nutritionally, dates are an excellent source of carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, potassium and magnesium.
A 100 gram serving of dates provides the following nutrients :
- Calories: 277
- Carbs: 75 grams
- Fiber: 7 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Potassium: 20% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 14% of the RDI
Sheer Khurma is a rich and delicious milk based dessert made using vermicelli, dates, nuts, raisins, sugar and saffron. Every household has their own version of making this delicious dessert. This is my humble attempt at recreating this magnificent delicacy.
Points to note before preparing:
- Always use full fat milk for making Sheer Khurma (I used 3.8%)
- Use fine vermicelli (see picture)
- Dried fruits must be soaked overnight
- Add saffron and kewra essence
- Dried dates are generally used in this recipe. If using, soak them along with the nuts. I have used regular dates hence did not soak them.
4 cups milk
1 cup vermicelli, broken
1/2 cup condensed milk
3 tbsp ghee
1/4 cup pistachios
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup dates*
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 tsp cardamom, powdered
Pinch of Saffron
1 tsp Kewra essence*
Rose petals (garnishing)
Soak the pistachios, almonds and cashews overnight in water. Next day, drain and rinse the nuts. Peel the skin of the pistachios, almonds and cashews and slice the nuts lengthwise. Deseed the dates and chop them lengthwise as well.
Heat 2 tbsp of ghee in a pan. When the ghee is hot, add the nuts and toast them till they turn light brown. Remove and set aside. Reserve some nuts for garnishing.
Next toast the raisins till they plump up. Remove and set aside.
In the same pan, toast the dates and fry for a few seconds until it leaves a good aroma. Remove and set this aside.
Finally, toast the vermicelli till it is golden brown.
Pour milk in a medium heavy bottom saucepan. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the milk starts to thicken. Stir often so that the milk does not burn at the bottom.
Once the milk starts to thicken, add the vermicelli. Reduce the flame and continue cooking for about 15-20 minutes.
Add the condensed milk and stir it thoroughly.
Next add the fried nuts, dates,raisins and saffron. Stir to combine and simmer it for another 5 minutes.
Add the cardamom powder and kewra essence and give it a quick stir.
Turn off the flame and let the mixture sit. The mixture tends to thicken as it cools. If that happens, add little more milk.
Serve warm or chilled. Garnish with rose petals and the reserved nuts.