WHAT IS SHEER KHURMA?
Sheer khurma is a milk-based totally toasted vermicelli pudding generally made with dried dates, nuts, and different flavorings. In Farsi (Persian), ‘sheer ‘means milk and ‘khurma‘approach dates
- 4 cups (1 L) whole milk
- 1 1/4 cup (295-375 ml; increase up to 1 ½ cup for richer sheer khurma ) heavy whipping cream
- 1-2 tsp (you’ll only need 1 tsp if using nonstick ) butter, ghee, or oil
- 10-12 green cardamom pods, some slightly cracked open
- 57 g (2 oz or ~3/4 cup ) Pakistani or Indian vermicelli (seviyan), roughly broken up into small pieces
- Optional add-ins like toasted dried dates (chuware), toasted chopped nuts, etc., (See Note 1)
- 7 tbsp (83 g) cane sugar or sweetener of choice, or to taste (See Note 2)
- 1 tbsp blanched, slivered almonds, or more to taste
- 1 – 1 1/2 tsp rose water or kewra water, depending on strength
1. Boil milk – First, heat milk and heavy whipping cream in a nonstick saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. (Don’t worry – the milk will not stick as long as you’re using a nonstick pan.)
2. Toast Seviyan – Next, toast the vermicelli along with the cardamom pods for about 5 minutes. The color should change significantly, without burning it of course.
3. Combine – Add the toasted vermicelli to the simmering milk along with the sugar and any optional add-ins.
4. Boil together – Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir constantly for 5-6 minutes, until it starts to thicken. You’re simultaneously cooking the seviyan while reducing down the milk. The important thing here is to stop boiling when it’s runnier than you prefer. Once you turn off the heat, some vermicelli will rise to the top and stay there.
5. Garnish – Lastly, garnish with nuts and rose or kewra water.
HOW TO ADD DRIED DATES TO SHEER KHURMA
I experimented with adding dried dates (chuware) and was pleasantly surprised to find I actually enjoyed them. They impart a sweet, nuanced flavor to Sheer Khurma. If you’d like to add them, here’s what you’ll do:
- First soak 6-8 dried dates in water overnight.
- Then, pit and chop them to your desired size.
- In a medium skillet, heat ghee or butter over medium heat, and toast them for 7-8 minutes, until crisp.
- Add them to the milk once it begins to boil or along with the seviyan and other add-ins.
MORE SHEER KHURMA ADD-INS
Here is some add-ins you’ll find across regions. Most of them (except saffron) are typically soaked, then toasted with ghee before being added to the boiling milk.
- Golden Raisins
- More slivered almonds, chopped pistachios, or other chopped nuts (often referred to as dry fruit)
- Coconut flakes (khopra)
- Chironji/Charoli (melon seeds)
- Saffron – add a pinch toward the end
Note 1: See post for how to add dried dates (chuware) and other add-ins.
Note 2: Sugar quantity is for 1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream. If using more heavy whipping cream, increase sugar to taste.