After a month of strict abstinence during Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr is all about feasting and is not complete without Sheer Khurma. Every year on Eid, we wake up early for prayers and as soon as we are back, I put on the pot to make Sheer Khurma. In just about 10 minutes a wonderful fragrance of vermicelli (seviyan) roasting in clarified butter* and cardamoms fills up the entire house.
Sheer Khurma = Milk + Dates
In Persian, Sheer means milk and khurma means dates. For the sheer, traditionally we use full-fat cow’s milk but since we are now moving towards a lactose-free diet, this year I used almond milk and soy milk. Apart from being lactose-free, the almond and soy milk add to the natural nuttiness and sweetness of the kheer.
The pudding is rich with the goodness of dates. I always use dried dates (called chuwara in hindi) to make Sheer Khurma. I soak them overnight in water and then boil in milk. These in itself are a delight. However, you can also use the softer fresh dates which do not need overnight soaking. I have tried with both and I prefer the taste and texture that dried dates bring. It is just a personal preference.
Most recipes of any milk pudding use a lot of sugar but dates and raisins are the only natural sweeteners in this recipe. I use lots of dates, making it a naturally sugar-free Sheer Khurma recipe! No sugar substitutes.
For our non-muslim friends Sheer Khurma is simply vermicelli pudding with lots of dates or khajoor waali seviyon ki kheer. While it is an Eid-ul-Fitr delight, we cook Sheer Khurma much more often. It is such a simple and versatile recipe and is great both as a hot and a cold dessert.
no-dairy Sheer Khurma recipe
Preparation time: |Cooking Time: |Serves: 2
200 ml almond milk
400 ml soy milk
15 dried dates, soaked overnight in water
½ cup wheat vermicelli/ seviyan
2 tsp cardamom powder (freshly made)
2 tbsp chopped almonds and pistachios
a pinch of saffron
1 tbsp clarified butter / ghee*
- Drain the dates, cut them into small pieces and remove the seeds.
- In a small pot, put the dates and almond milk on medium heat. Let the milk simmer and reduce till it is just enough to coat the dates.
- In another bigger and thick bottom pot, put the soy milk for boiling. Keep stirring in between so the milk doesn’t stick to the pot. I always use a wooden spoon when cooking milk. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer. Take out about 2 tbsp milk in a small bowl.
- Add the saffron strands to the bowl and mix well to dissolve the saffron.
- In a frying pan, heat ghee and roast the vermicelli for just about a minute. Sprinkle ½ tsp cardamom powder while roasting. You will love the aroma. Even if you start with roasted vermicelli, I would suggest you roast them again in ghee for just about 10-20 seconds for the beautiful aroma.
- Add the roasted vermicelli, raisins and dates with the almond milk to the simmering soy milk. Mix well and cook for about 10 mins till the vermicelli is soft and cooked through. At this point you may want to taste the Sheer Khurma for its sweetness. If it is less, you can add a little sugar at this stage.
- Add the saffron milk, half the dry fruits and cardamom powder. Mix well.
- Remove into a serving bowl and garnish with remaining dry fruits and cardamoms.
Note: *While ghee or clarified butter is made from milk, it has little or no lactose in it. However, you can also use a plant based butter to roast the seviyan.
Nutrition information (rough estimate for 1 serving):
485 calories, 17.5 grams fat
Source: Very Well
In India, sweets are the way to welcome in festivities. For more traditional Indian sweets you should also check out Meetha Pedha (an Iftar speciality during Ramadan), Lapsi (which is a dessert to welcome in the Islamic new year), Gajar ka Halwa (to celebrate winters), aate ka halwa (made all year round but specially during Kanya Pooja in Navratri) and Chawal ki kheer (another all rounder!)