How do I start?
One can indeed say it was a forbidden fruit for me. Not that I am restricted to eat it but, I didn’t taste it until recently for some reason. I decided to make it at home after many failed attempts to find an outlet that offers authentic ‘Sheer Khurma‘ in Hyderabad.
‘How hard can it be?‘ I thought. I was excited, nervous and curious!
Excited; as that was the first time I tasted Sheer Khurma.
Felt Nervous by the thoughts that bombarded in my head.
Curious about how it would taste.
‘Would it taste similar to Vermicelli Payasam? How different would it be?‘ I thought.
I kept all these thoughts at bay and started cooking. The first step was to prepare dry fruits, the most tedious part indeed! I usually chop (roughly) dry fruits, whenever there is a need for using them in any dish. But this time, I wanted my dish to look exactly like the images of Sheer Khurma shown online.
It took me a whole day to complete the task of fine slicing. The most exhausting part is removing the peal of Chironji. For a fact, I know that my mom can complete this task in no time. It is possible that I was being extra cautious, as I have not done it before. In any case, the time taken to complete this task increased my respect for this delicacy!
‘I have to earn it!‘ I thought dramatically.
Let me tell you about the HERO of the story now.
Traditionally, during the festival of Eid, ‘Sheer Khurma’ is made in every Muslim household. This delicacy made with fine vermicelli cooked in saffron milk with dry fruits and dates is equally popular in Hyderabad along with Dum Biryani and Haleem. In Urdu, ‘Sheer’ translates to MILK and ‘Khurma’ means DATES.
I believe life is a celebration of each day! So, let’s make Sheer Khurma and celebrate life with your loved ones and create beautiful memories that last for a lifetime!
Talks over a bowl of Kheer sounds good! 😛
Uff! Enough is said about my post preparation thoughts, now, let me get to the details of the recipe and the process of cooking. I know that it is a well-known recipe, but, I cannot miss to have this recipe on my blog! So, here it goes.
- Pistachios – 1/4th cup
- Almonds – 1/4th cup
- Cashews – 1/4th cup
- Chironji – 1/4th cup
- Dates(soft or dry) – 1/2 cup
- Saffron – Few strands
- Elaichi (powdered) – 1 Teaspoon
- Ghee (Clarified Butter) – 1/4th cup
- Milk (Full Fat) – 1.5 liters
- Khoya/Mawa – 100 grams
- Sugar – 160 grams
- Fine vermicelli (non-salted) – 100 gms (Not the regular vermicelli. As it is thin as nylon strand, it is also called as ‘Nylon vermicelli’).
Servings: 6 to 8 | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes
- Soak (overnight) Pistachios, Almonds, Cashews, and Chironji.
- Once soaked, remove the peal of Pistachios, Almonds, and Chironji. Remove the seed from the dates and keep them aside.
*Tip: If you are using soft dates (Ex: Lion dates), then you need not soak them. Just remove the seed before use. If you are using dried dates, then soak overnight along with other dry fruits and remove the seed before use.
- Now finely slice all the dry fruits (except chironji) and keep them aside.
*Tip: To save time, roughly chop them instead of fine slicing. The preparation time is determined based on rough chopping.
- Boil the milk. Separate a cup of milk, once it reaches the boiling point.
- Boil the remaining milk until the quantity reduces to 3/4th ratio.
- Add one cup of milk that was kept aside to the khoya and mix well to avoid lumps.
*Tip: Do not leave it unattended. In this scenario, I always follow trick shared by my mom; using a heavy bottom pan and placing a small plate at the bottom of the pan and then start heating the milk. Milk doesn’t overflow or burn at the bottom when you leave it unattended for a couple of minutes if you adopt this method.
- Take half the quantity of ghee mentioned in the ingredients in a heavy bottom pan and heat it.
- Add almonds, cashews, pistachios, and Chironji and fry till they turn into light brown color and keep them aside once done.
- Toss the dates (remove the seed) by using the leftover ghee in the pan and keep them aside once done.
- Add remaining ghee into the pan and once the ghee is medium hot, add vermicelli to the pan and fry until they turn slightly brown.
*Tip: First, break the vermicelli using your hand. You need not fry it much if you are using fried vermicelli (which is light brown in color). Fry till the ghee is uniformly coated to the vermicelli or until vermicelli becomes light and easy to toss in the pan.
- Turn off the flame.
- Once the pan is cooled down, add khoya (Khoy and milk mix), boiled milk, saffron, and dates to it. Now, turn on the flame and cook for 10 minutes or until the vermicelli is softened.
*Tip: It is important that the pan cool before adding milk as there is a chance that milk breaks or curdles when added directly to a hot pan.
- Add sugar, cardamom powder and a 1/4th quantity of the roasted dry fruits to the pan and cook for another minute 10 minutes (one full boil) or till the raw smell of sugar is gone.
- Transfer the Sheer Khurma into a big bowl and serve it hot/warm.
- Use remaining roasted dry fruit slices as a garnish on top.
I hope you loved the recipe! If so, then do share this recipe. Also, give it a try and let me know your thoughts by dropping a comment below.