Sweet & Satisfying Sheer Khurma
A celebratory favourite, the sweet and delectable Sheer Khurma is must have for the festive occasion of Eid. Infused with the warm, toasty flavours of almonds, pistachios and chironji as well as the luscious fragrances of cardamom and saffron, this delicious Sheer Khurma recipe will make even an ordinary day feel like a special occasion.
Serves: 6-8 bowls | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 60 minutes
- Milk (with cream) / दूध - 1 litre
- Pistachios/ पिस्ता - 75 grams
- Almonds/ बादाम - 75 grams
- Charoli/ Chironji / चारोली - 50 grams
- Saffron /केसर - 10-12 strands
- Cardamom/ इलायची - 1 whole, ground
- Clove/ लौंग - 2 whole
- Ghee/ घी - 4 tbsp
- Sugar/ शक्कर - 3/4 cup
- Condensed milk/ कंडेंस्ड मिल्क - 4 tbsp
- Vermicelli / sev / सेवइयां- ¾ cup, roasted and very fine
Prepping the Nuts:
- The almonds and pistachios need to be soaked overnight for them to become soft and for the skins to be removed. These will then be cut into fine slivers.
- Also soak the charoli overnight and remove the skins before adding them to the dish.
- If you are unable to soak them overnight then a quick way to get it done is to add the nuts into boiling water. The almonds and pistachios need about 60 seconds, whereas the chironji can be boiled for 45 seconds.
- Once all the nuts have been peeled and the almonds and pistachios have been cut into thin slices we can start to roast them in ghee.
Roasting the Vermicelli & Nuts:
- Take a thick bottomed vessel and put it on medium flame. Add ghee and let it melt.
- When the ghee has melted completely you can add in the cloves. The cloves give the dish a deeper flavour.
- Then add in the almonds, pistachios and charoli to it.
- Fry them on a medium flame for a couple of minutes. They should only just turn slightly pink and don’t need to be browned too much.
- Then add in the vermicelli*. The vermicelli being used must be very fine and pre-fried as they have a better and stronger flavour. If you cannot find pre-fried vermicelli, don't worry, just roast them in ghee for longer to get the right flavour.
- Turn the heat down to low and take care not to burn the vermicelli. Mix it through to coat the strands in ghee and allow them to roast for only a couple of minutes, as these are already pre-fried.
Preparing the Milk:
- While these are roasting, you can put your milk to come to a boil. The milk used must be full fat milk. Allow it to heat until it comes to a boil. Then collect the cream from the top and sides and mix it back into the milk.
- It can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes for the milk to boil.
Saffron & Cardamom:
- While the milk is boiling you can prepare your cardamom. Take 2 pods and remove the black seeds from them. Add these to your mortar & pestle and crush them into a fine fresh powder. Ensure that you crush them fresh, as exposed seeds lose their flavour quickly.
- For this recipe we roast the saffron, this enhances the flavour as well is makes the saffron brittle so we can crush it. Simply take saffron strands and add them to a warm dry pan for about a minute or so. Then remove them and crush them into smaller bits.
- Once your milk is hot, add the roasted nuts mixture into the heated milk.
- Give it a quick stir and allow it to start simmering on a medium-low flame.
- Now add in the crushed cardamom and the roasted saffron.
- When it comes to a boil add in the sugar but hold back about a tablespoon to make caramel. Mix that through allowing the sugar to melt into the milk.
- Be careful while adding sugar and ensure you add a little at a time while tasting. You don’t want to add too much. Moreover, we are also adding condensed milk, which is also sweet, so be cautious.
- Then add in the condensed milk. This adds sweetness and helps thicken the mixture as well.
- The remaining sugar has to be caramelized in a pan. Just pour it into a dry pan and on very low heat until it becomes golden-brown. Make sure all the sugar crystals have dissolved. Then add this mixture to the simmering milk.
- Adding caramel to this is a great hack for achieving that lovely beige colour that comes naturally after the Sheer or milk mixture has been simmered and thickened for a long time.
- Now allow the ingredients to cook for about 30 minutes. You can choose to simmer your sheer khurma for less time. The longer you have to simmer it the thicker your dish will become.
- When the vermicelli has softened and all the ingredients come together, you’re ready to serve.
- Eid Mubarak!