Sheer Khurma or Sheer Korma is a traditional dessert that is a must-make for the festival of Eid. This vermicelli pudding is made by cooking fine vermicelli with ghee, milk, dates, and nuts. Saffron is added to it for a unique flavor.
About This Recipe
Sheer Khurma or Sheer Korma is a Persian dessert that is a must-make for the Muslim festival of Eid. This vermicelli pudding is made in the Indian subcontinent, Afganistan, and some countries in Central Asia for Ramazan and especially Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adha.
Sheer means milk in Persian and khurma means dates. This dessert literally translates to ‘milk cooked with dates’ in English.
This rich and creamy dessert is made by cooking fine vermicelli (sevai) with ghee, milk, dates, and nuts. Each house has its own way of making this dessert and in today’s post, I am sharing the recipe I learned from the mom of one of my childhood friends who is a Muslim.
She made the best sheer khurma and mutton biryani. I have fond memories of visiting their house every Eid and have my fill of her wonderful food. I am so glad I learned the recipe from her and am now able to share it with you all too.
This dessert, just like kheer, is very easy to make if you follow the measurements correctly. If not, it may either turn too thick or too thin. The recipe can be easily halved, doubled, or tripled as per your requirement.
So gather the ingredients and make this fabulous dessert. And, you don’t have to wait until Eid, it can be made anytime and enjoyed.
Vermicelli – To make authentic sheer korma, you will need fine vermicelli (seviyan). Please do not use the regular vermicelli to make this dessert.
Look out for nylon or fine vermicelli which are very fine in thickness. You should be able to get them in a local Indian grocery store or online.
If in the worst case fine vermicelli is not available, then only use the regular vermicelli.
Milk – Always use whole (full fat) milk to make this dish.
Dates – Buy seedless dates of the best quality.
Ghee – Ghee makes this dessert rich and luscious. Do not reduce its quantity if you are looking for a perfect sheer korma.
Saffron – Adding saffron is totally optional but it gives a very unique aroma and taste to the dish.
Cloves – Cloves when added into ghee gives this sheer khorma an amazing flavor. Try it once.
Sugar – Use white granulated sugar. This dessert will not taste good with jaggery or any other sweetener.
Cardamom Powder – Flavor the dessert with cardamom powder.
Nuts and Dried Fruits – Nuts and dried fruits give a very nice crunch to this dessert. I have added almonds, cashew nuts, raisins, pistachios, and chironji.
Note – Some people blanch and peel the nuts and some don’t. I have had both versions and both the methods are equally good. I personally feel that blanching and peeling the nuts is not worth the effort. It makes almost no change in taste and also reduces their nutritional value.
If chironji is not available easily, you can skip adding it.
Others – You can add khoya or milk powder to make the sheer kurma thicker and creamier, however, it is not traditional. You can also add rose water or kewra essence to flavor this dessert. Add some dried rose petals to make it extra royal.
How To Make Sheer Khurma
Soak 15-20 strands of saffron in 2 tablespoon warm milk and set aside.
Fine vermicelli comes in long strands. Break 100 g of vermicelli into 2-3 inch pieces.
Thickly sliver 10-12 almonds and 2 tablespoon unsalted pistachios. Do not sliver thinly otherwise they might burn while frying. Break 10-12 cashew nuts into half.
Chop 5-6 seedless dates into small pieces.
Gather all the remaining ingredients.
Make Sheer Khorma
Heat 3 tablespoon ghee in a large heavy bottom pot over low heat.
Once the ghee is hot, add 3-4 whole cloves, 10-12 thickly slivered almonds, 10-12 halved cashew nuts, 10-12 whole raisins, 2 tablespoon thickly slivered unsalted pistachios, and 2 tablespoon chironji to the pot and fry on medium heat until they are lightly browned (3-4 minutes). Keep stirring while frying. Remove them on a plate using a slotted spoon.
Note – The nuts get burned in just a few seconds. So be very careful while frying them. Also, sliver them thickly and not finely. They will keep browning in the residual heat, so remove them from the pot as soon as they turn light brown.
Add 1 tablespoon ghee and vermicelli to the same pot and fry on low heat until they turn light brown (3-4 minutes). Keep stirring constantly while frying to avoid them from burning at the bottom of the pan. Remove on a plate.
Now add 1 and ½ liter whole milk and 5-6 chopped seedless dates to the pot and cook on medium heat for 10-12 minutes. Keep stirring frequently.
Add the roasted vermicelli and roasted nuts to the pot and cook on low heat for another 10-12 minutes until vermicelli is softened and khurma is slightly thickened
Add ½ cup sugar, saffron soaked in milk, and ½ teaspoon cardamom powder to the pot and cook for another minute.
Serve it warm or chill it for a few hours before serving.
Instant Pot Sheer Khurma
Press SAUTE bottom of the instant pot and pour 3 tablespoon ghee.
Add the prepared nuts and dried fruits and fry them until they turn slightly browned (3-4 minutes). Take them out on a plate.
Add another tablespoon of ghee and 100 g vermicelli and roast until they are browned. Remove on a plate.
Pour 1-liter whole milk into the pot. Add the chopped dates, roasted nuts, and vermicelli, and stir gently. Close the lid of the pot and set the valve to the sealing position.
Press CANCEL and then press PRESSURE COOK. Set the timer to 1 minute at high pressure. Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
Release the remaining pressure manually by moving the valve to the venting position.
Open the lid and add sugar, cardamom powder, and saffron soaked in milk and stir gently.
Press SAUTE and cook for 3-4 minutes until the sugar is dissolved and sheer khurma has thickened. Serve hot or chilled.
Frequently Asked Questions
This dish is generally served warm but I like to eat mine chilled. There are no rules to enjoy this dish. Just see what suits your fancy.
Some people add condensed milk to the sheer khorma to make it rich. You can reduce the quantity of milk in half and add condensed milk instead. In this case, do not add sugar, as condensed milk is sweet enough.
But I do not recommend adding condensed milk, as it alters the taste of traditional sheer kurma.
Both these desserts are made using similar ingredients but they are still very different from each other.
1. Sheer khurma is always made using fine vermicelli while seviyan kheer can be made using thick or fine vermicelli.
2. Sheer khurma is thinner (almost drinkable) while sevai ki kheer is thick like a custard.
3. Ghee is added while making sheer korma and not while making sevai kheer.
4. Dates are a must-add in sheer khurma recipe while they are not added in sevai ki kheer.
Check out my detailed recipe to make seviyan kheer here.
Pro Tips By Neha
Use fine vermicelli specially made for making sheer korma. These are also called nylon vermicelli. You should be able to get it in an Indian store around you.
Use full-fat (whole) milk to make this dessert. It will thicken to creamy goodness increasing the taste of the dessert.
The use of dates is a must while making sheer khorma. Use seedless dates and chop them into small pieces before adding them to the milk.
You can also add or skip adding saffron. Adding saffron makes it richer and flavorful, but skipping it would also give a different yet delicious version.
Some people like their sheer khorma thin and some like it thick. You can adjust the consistency by adding less or more milk.
Chironji is not available easily sometimes and it also goes bad soon. So if you wish, you can skip adding it.
Sheer khurma stays good in the refrigerator for almost 2-3 days, when stored in an airtight container. Do not leave it outside for more than 8 hours, as it’s a delicate dessert.
This can be easily frozen in a freezer-safe box for about 2 months. When ready to eat, just thaw it on the counter for 2-3 hours and then micro it until it is warm.
You can heat it over stove top too on medium heat. If it has thickened, then add some more milk while heating.
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Sheer Khurma Recipe
- 15-20 strands saffron (soaked in 2 tablespoon warm milk)
- 4 tablespoons ghee (divided)
- 3-4 cloves
- 10-12 thickly slivered almonds
- 10-12 halved cashew nuts
- 10-12 whole raisins
- 2 tablespoons thickly slivered unsalted pistachios
- 2 tablespoons chironji
- 100 grams fine vermicelli
- 1 and ½ litres whole milk
- 5-6 chopped seedless dates
- ½ cup sugar (add more or less according to your liking.)
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- Heat 3 tablespoon ghee in a large heavy bottom pot over medium heat.
- Once the ghee is hot, add cloves, almonds, cashew nuts, raisins, pistachios, and chironji to the pot and fry until they are lightly browned (3-4 minutes). Keep stirring while frying. Remove them on a plate using a slotted spoon.
- Break vermicelli into 2-3 inch long pieces. Add 1 tablespoon ghee and crushed vermicelli to the same pot and fry till slightly browned on low heat (3-4 minutes). Keep stirring constantly while frying to avoid them from burning at the bottom of the pan. Remove on a plate.
- Add milk and 5-6 chopped seedless dates to the same pot and cook on medium heat for 10-12 minutes. Keep stirring frequently.
- Add the roasted vermicelli and roasted nuts to the pot and cook on low heat for another 10-12 minutes until vermicelli is softened and sheer khorma is slightly thickened.
- Add sugar, saffron soaked in milk, and cardamom powder and cook for another minute.
- Serve it warm or chill it for a few hours before serving.