I can already smell it in the air. It’s soon going to be that lovely time of hugging everyone; wishing “Eid Mubarak” and feasting on beautiful delicacies! Not to forget all the earnings from elders.
While growing up for most of us, Eid has been synonymous with meethi sevaiyan (Sheer Khurma). We would go to our muslim friends’ homes and finish up bowls and bowls of it. After marrying into a muslim family, I realised that while Eid is much more than sevaiyan; it is incomplete without it. Sheer Khurma is the quintessential part of all the festivities. Right in the morning we make a huge pot of Sheer Khurma to be served all day to guests visiting.
During my first Eid after marriage, we were living in Scotland and a Pakistani neighbour taught me how to make the true Sheer Khurma (and not sevaiyon ki kheer as my husband insists!). Ever since this is the recipe I come back to every year!
Preparation Time: 10 mins| Cooking Time: 1 hour| Serves ~6
1 ltr whole milk
6-7 dry dates
3-4 green cardamom (lightly beaten)
200 gms (half tin) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup vermicelli (sevaiyan)
2 tbsp ghee or clarified butter
A pinch of saffron
1 cup crushed dry fruits (almonds, pistachio and cashew)
Soak dates in warm water for 3-4 hours or until they become soft to cut. Remove seeds and cut the dates into small pieces.
Boil the dates in 1 cup of milk, till the milk is reduced completely. The dates will absorb all the milk. These as such also taste very nice… I keep popping some while making the dish :). That why I always soak a little extra!
Boil milk in a thick bottomed pan and keep on low flame for about 40 mins until it is thick enough. Keep stirring the milk in between else it will stick to the bottom of the pan. (I always use a non-stick vessel and a wooden spoon)
Add condensed milk. This is my addition to the recipe. I like Sheer Khurma to be thick while traditionally it’s not very thick.
In a separate pan, add 2 tbsps of ghee, cardamoms and vermicelli. Fry for some time until the vermicelli is light brown (it would take just about a minute).
Note: If using roasted vermicelli, you might skip this step, but I still fry for about half a minute because the ghee and cardamom give a flavour to the vermicelli
Add the vermicelli to the boiling milk and cook for 10 minutes.
Add sugar and cook for 2-3 minutes until the sugar dissolves. (Adjust sugar according to taste. The condensed milk is also sweet so you might want to taste the milk before adding sugar)
Add saffron mixed in a tbsp of hot milk to the milk.
Add about ¼ cup of dry fruits and half the dates. Cook for 2-3 minutes
Remove from fire
Garnish with remaining dry fruits and dates.
Serve warm (some like it cold as well, so you might continued…