Sheer khurma is one of those delightful paradoxes as a dessert. It is simple, yet complex in taste and rich in ingredients. This creamy sweet dates and milk pudding is garnished with the finest dried fruits like golden raisins, pistachios, and chopped almonds. In the Persian language, ‘sheer’ stands for milk and ‘khurma’ means dates. The dates help the pudding thicken to a delicious consistency and just give the right amount of natural sweetness, which makes it sublime.
What is Sheer Khurma?
Sheer khurma is a rich traditional Mughlai dessert made with milk, dates, sugar, and broken vermicelli during the festive occasion of Eid ul-Fitr. This religious holiday is celebrated by Muslims worldwide to mark and celebrate the end of the month-long fasting period of Ramadan. The origin of the dish is said to be in Afghanistan but it is also made in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and parts of Central Asia. This special dish is served as part of the breakfast on Eid and is usually offered to visiting family and friends. 
Each family has their own way of making sheer khurma and pride themselves on their family recipe. It is one of those dishes that family members, especially children, look forward to having on the day of Eid.
Sheer Khurma Recipe
Here is a simple recipe for sheer khurma that can be made by amateur cooks too. It is a sure-shot way of surprising everybody with a divine dessert. So, let’s get straight to it.
Delicious Sheer Khurma Recipe
- 6 cups milk  full fat
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
- 1.5 cup broken vermicelli
- 16-20 dates seedless, chopped
- 16-20 cashew nuts chopped
- 16-20 pistachios unsalted, chopped
- 16-20 almonds chopped
- 2 tbsp chironji or charoli
- 2 tbsp golden raisins
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 1 tsp rosewater optional
- You can begin with roasting the vermicelli in ghee till it is golden brown. Remove and keep aside.
- Add all the dried fruits in the same ghee and roast for 3-4 minutes. You can keep these aside too.
- To make the sheer khurma, heat the milk in a heavy saucepan till it comes to a boil. Then, turn the heat down to a simmer for 8-10 minutes till the milk thickens.
- Now add the roasted vermicelli, chopped dates, sugar, and mix well. Let the vermicelli and dates cook and soften in the milk. This should take another 8-10 minutes.
- You will notice that it will become a thick mixture. Add the cardamom powder and dried fruits and mix well. You can keep a few dried fruits aside for garnishing.
- Turn off the heat and check for sweetness. You can add more sugar If you feel necessary. Usually, the dates impart a natural sweetness to the sheer khurma.
- Add the rosewater and mix well. You can serve the sheer khurma warm, cold, or chilled. Garnish it with more dried fruits and even rose petals, if you have them on hand.
- You can use your favorite dried fruits if you don't have the ones mentioned in the recipe. Go ahead and experiment with pine nuts and dried cranberries. They may not be traditional but the recipe is quite forgiving.
- If you are using dried dates, soak them in water overnight.
- You can use sweetened condensed milk in the recipe to add creaminess. In that case, half the milk quantity and add sugar only if needed. If the sheer khurma is too thick, add a little hot water to adjust the consistency to your liking.
While sheer khurma is traditionally prepared on Eid, it can be prepared on several other occasions too. Here are our suggestions:
- Have a Middle Eastern night with our Lip-Smacking Homemade Shawarma wraps and Baba Ghanoush, a smoky dip that goes well with crackers or pita crisps. End it with the delicious vermicelli pudding.
- A weekend dinner of spicy Biryani, a meat and rice dish, calls for a sweet ending of sheer khurma.
- It’s a wonderful dessert to have during the cold months as the dried fruits help give warmth to the body, along with several nutrients.
Sometimes, this sweet delight does not require an occasion. So, go ahead and enjoy it even if you are just craving it!