Sheer Khurma is a mouth-watering delicacy made with a very fine variety of vermicelli which is cooked in thick milk adding a variety of dry fruits to make it truly rich and divine to taste. This delicacy is a must dish that is prepared by the Muslim community on the festive day known as Eid-ul-Fitr (after one month long fasting – Ramadan).
Sheer Khurma actually means “milk with dates”. It is also sometimes known as sheer surma, i.e., sheer means sweet and surma (farsi language) means dates. The Sheer Khurma can be made on any day but it is said or believed by the Muslim people that the actual essence, taste and aroma of sheer khurma truly emanate only on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr. It is a traditional and customary Muslim festive breakfast or dessert dish which is served to the whole family and friends who come home to greet them for the festival.
Sheer means sweetened thick milk and khurma mean dates. This dish is a very popular sweet delicacy prepared in every Muslim home all over the world. The sheer khurma is creamy, rich, and flavourful loaded with good amount of dry fruits like chironji, pistachios, and cashew nuts, lightly flavoured with cardamom powder. Sheer Khurma is easy and fast prepare and makes an excellent Indian dessert which is traditional and rich in flavours. This dessert is prepared specially on the last day after the one month long fasting month of Ramadan made with vermicelli, whole milk, sugar, dates and other dry fruits like cashew nuts, almonds, raisins, pistachios, saffron and rose water etc. This sweet delicacy is the highlight of the Ramadan Id feast. It’s a delicacy where people throng in queue to have the taste of this exotic delicacy at the sweet stalls on that day.
This sweet dish is also known by Seviyan Kheer. Eid-ul-Fitr is one of the most auspicious and important Muslim festivals. It is usually celebrated with the sighting of the new moon after the one month long fasting. Eid is celebrated on the next day which is the first day of Shawwal. Eid means festivity and fitr means charity. Eid-ul-Fitr is a day of celebration and also one of devotion. The day starts at the mosque or in large open grounds called Idgahs, where thousands of Muslims stand shoulder to shoulder to offer special Eid prayers. The spirit of the festival is manifest in the harmony among people of different religions, sharing love and respect for each other.
This festival fiesta brings along a package of joy, warmth, friendliness and a sublime flavour of food. Like any other festival, Eid ul Fitr is also celebrated with luscious dishes, meant especially for this day. After a month of strict abstinence, Eid-ul-Fitr is most associated with feasting. Many fine culinary delicacies like Hyderabadi Biryani (mutton or chicken), Haleem, variety of Kebabs, Qorma and exotic sweet dishes Sheer Khurma, badam phirni, malpua, seviya etc. are prepared on the occasion that are distributed among friends and family. Preparations begun well in advance for making elaborate feast delicacies! In true sense, the Eid would not be complete without the Sheer Khurma as this is served in a multitudinous way.
Dates being one of the main ingredients that enhance this delicacy are by itself nutritious and a complete meal like milk. Generally fresh ripened dates are used in making of Sheer Khurma. Iran is one of the top date producers in the world and some of the most succulent dates come from there. Dates can be eaten fresh or made into juices and syrups. Some of the exceptional dishes made with dates are Dates Carrot Cake, Dates Laddu, Tamarind Dates Chutney, Dates Achaar etc. Dates are rich in minerals such as calcium, iron, and potassium and are full of vitamins like vitamin A, B and C. They are cholesterol free and used to cure lots of digestive illness and good for fighting constipation and heart-burns.
Pistachio is also a very high source of protein, nutrition and energy, it also has a high percentage of potassium, calcium and phosphorous while Chironji is the sunflower seeds and is cool and heavy. It improves health, quenches thirst, and cures burning sensation and fever.
For preparing the Sheer Khurma, firstly simmer the dry fruits like pistachio, cashew nuts and chironji for some time in water. This helps to remove the skin of chironji and pistachio. Drain water and place it in a muslin cloth and rub it. Separate the chironji and pistachio and put the chironji in a bowl of water, the skin would release. Filter and keep aside. Peel the skin and cut the pistachio and cashew nuts into very thin slices and keep aside.
In a heavy bottomed pan, add the milk, boil and keep aside. Add little ghee (clarified butter) in a hot pan and add slices of pistachio, chironji and cashew nuts and fry them it slightly golden in color. Remove and keep aside. Add little more ghee in the pan and roast the fresh ripened dates for some time and remove.
Now add little ghee and roast the fine seviyan stirring continuously in a low to medium heat. Do not overcook it or burn them. They need to get slightly roasted and golden in colour. Add little water, sugar and milk and do not mix much. Add half of the roasted dry fruits and remaining use for garnishing. Add a pinch of cardamom powder and simmer the flame until it is cooked and slightly thickened. The Sheer Khurma is ready to be served hot in a bowl and top it off with fried dry fruits and dates and serve.
Tip – To get an excellent taste, use reduced or thickened milk which gives the sheer khurma a nice creamy taste and texture.
You can also add condensed milk for extra richness, flavour and aroma.
I am sure by now you would also like to try the recipe, why not? Go ahead and check the below link on making of Sheer Khurma: