“Aap sab ko meethi meethi savaiyyon wali Eid Mubarak”
Translation: “Wishing you all an Eid that’s as sweet as sweet vermicelli”
One of my earliest memories of Eid are of my mother writing the above greeting in Urdu on Eid cards to mail to family back in Pakistan. At that time I didn’t understand at all the meaning of this greeting quote but as I’ve grown up, I finally get it. This quote signifies the crucial place of Sheer Khurma, which is simply translated to sweet milk & dates, in our Eid celebrations! So important is Sheer Khurma on our tables on Eid day that we even wish each other an Eid as sweet as this dish! That’s the power of food!
Sheer Khurma is a traditional Eid dessert that contains vermicelli, milk, sugar, dates & nuts. As it’s cooked in ghee (clarified butter) or butter, it’s a very nutritious and strength inducing dish, which is important as it’s usually had for breakfast after Eid prayers. Muslims resume normal routine after 30 days of fasting and this dish helps in restoring vitality. I don’t remember an Eid day where I didn’t eat Sheer Khurma. When we went to visit people on Eid, they also served Sheer Khurma! I’m sure you realize how much Sheer Khurma is a big part of Eid! We love our Sheer Khurma!!
Although the ingredients are so simple, believe it or not, every family makes Sheer Khurma in their own special way and everybody’s Sheer Khurma tastes different! Some people like it thin with lots of fried nuts. Some families make it thick and creamy. Some add kewra essence, while others add saffron. But the constant is whole milk, nuts and dates. You have to use whole milk! There’s no exception at all! Don’t make Sheer Khurma if you don’t use whole or full fat milk. It’s the backbone of this dessert. My family makes a slightly thick and creamy Sheer Khurma. I use condensed milk. Condensed milk, in my opinion, gives a very subtle caramel taste as well as helps in thickening up the milk. You can omit it if you want. Just add more sugar.
I soaked my pistachios and almonds overnight and peel them in the morning. If you have hard and dry dates, soak them too. Cut them lengthwise in the morning. I first heat up my butter and toast my nuts and dates lightly in it. Once they are light brown, take them all out on a plate.
Add a little bit more butter or ghee and add small green cardamom and clove. Toast it lightly and then add crushed vermicelli. Toast that too!
The aroma at this point is so good! Add in your whole milk. Keep stirring. Add in condensed milk and/or sugar if using. Taste for the perfect level of sweetness.
Boil the milk mixture on high flame. Once it starts boiling, lower the flame and simmer for atleast 15-20 minutes. Add in the fried nuts and dates. Mix well. Put in any essence like kewra or rose water if you desire. Turn off flame. The Sheer Khurma thickens even further over time. And that’s it! You have a delicious, nutritious and traditional Sheer Khurma to enjoy on Eid!
I’m right now in Zurich, Switzerland & this will be the first time I will be celebrating Eid here. Although we don’t have any family or friends here to celebrate with, I’m hoping to meet some new friends to make memories with tomorrow at the mosque. I’ve made Sheer Khurma, the constant on Eid, and am so grateful for an amazing Ramadan and an opportunity to enjoy with my husband and kids! ❤️
Traditional Sheer Khurma
Recipe by Leena Ali
Milk- 1 liter
Vermicelli- 1 cup, crushed
Condensed milk- 1/4 cup
Sugar- 2 tbsp or to taste
Green cardamom- 2
Butter- 3 tbsp
Pistachios- 1/4 cup
Almonds- 1/4 cup
Date fruit- 3-4
Kewra essence- 1 tsp (optional)
- Soak pistachios, almonds and dry dates overnight in water. Peel and chop them lengthwise in the morning.
- Heat 2tbsp butter. Lightly toast the nuts and dates till light brown and you smell the aroma. Take everything out in a small plate.
- Heat 1 tbsp butter in the same pan and add green cardamom and clove. Let it splutter for a minute. Add crushed vermicelli. Toast it by stirring around in the hot butter for 3 mins.
- Add in whole milk. Keep stirring. Mix in condensed milk or/and sugar to taste. Bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil, lower the flame and let it simmer on very low heat for 15-20 minutes.
- Add kewra essence if desired. Mix in the toasted nuts and dates. Turn off flame and let the mixture sit. It will get thicker.
- Sheer khurma is ready to serve!
- You can eat it slightly warm or chilled. Your choice and preference. If you like a thinner consistency then add a little more milk before serving.
Wishing you all an amazing & blessed Eid that’s as sweet as the Sheer Khurma!
Eid Mubarak from the Ali family! ❤️