Make authentic Eid Sheer Khurma with basic ingredients in just 25 minutes with the same traditional indulgent taste. I've been making sheer khurma for 15 years and I bet this recipe is the best; rich, creamy, and perfected. And yes, in this post you find Pro-tips to make your best Pakistani sheer khurma with ingredients in the pantry and variations.
The post was updated on 22 April 2022 with a new photo, ingredient shot, step collages, and FAQ section.
Making Sheer Khurma is always a joyous experience. The dish truly represents the essence of Eid-ul-Fitr and is made in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and many parts of Central Asia on Eid.
On Eid everyone's excited, there is lots of work that still has to be finished before the house is fully set to celebrate Eid ul Fitr (the Muslim Celebration after a month of Fasting).
Simultaneously, I also make other desserts to greet the guest, and sometimes, I also cook paya or bhuna keema for Eid ul Fitr Breakfast. Everyone at home is cheered and excited after Eid khutba (prayer).
Why this recipe is best?
- I must say, I love Pakistani Sheer Khurma and every version of it, whether milky thin and hot ( with slow-cooked milk) or creamy rich, and cold. I could never say "No" to it! So it was difficult for me to develop this recipe.
- As when I make sheer khurma, I often ask my guest how they like it, especially cold or hot. With loads of nuts and dates or just plain similar to seviyan.
- Because best is subjective, I've shared a few variations and tips in the post so can create your best version which is often what you grow up eating on eid.
- Hot Sheer khurma is better served in thin consistency while thick consistency is more apt for serving cold.
Sheer Khurma originates in Persia and travels to Asia through the ancient Silk route of trade. The same route that brought Islam to Asia.
Sheer literally means 'milk' and khurma means dates in the Persian language. In simple words, it is a vermicelli pudding with nuts and dry fruit cooked along with dried dates and raisins. It's very easy to make.
The main ingredients are milk, thin vermicelli, and sugar. All other ingredients can be substituted or skipped. With time, many regional variations helped evolve a delicate and rich taste.
- Milk: Full fat works best, you can also add milk powder to the milk if you like "karha howa doodh taste." I love it!
- Vermicelli: These are thin wheat flour vermicelli that is very fine and needle-like. They are often marked as roasted vermicelli. Look at the vermicelli image clearly. I prefer Pakistani brands like Shan, National, Laziza, or Malka. Ahmed is easily available on Amazon. Try to find these in any Indian store.
- Sugar: Start with less sugar, you can always add more later.
- Dried Dates: These are not soft dates. These are shriveled dates that are hard and sun-dried dates also called "chuara" or "Kharik". You need to soak these overnight. When they become soft after absorbing water. Then you can de-seed and slice them.
- This ingredient differentiates Sheer Khurma from seviyan, so even if you do not like it, add at least 2 dates for flavor. Try to look for it in Indian stores they are easily available around Ramadan and Eid. If you can't find it add 1 Medjool date for flavor. And you always skip it too.
- Spices: To enhance the aroma and flavors; saffron, cardamom, or rosewater is added. I love the background subtle flavor of saffron. So add it if you have it.
- Nuts: Nuts like pistachio, and almonds are commonly added. Soaked raisins are optional.
- Ghee or butter: To fry vermicelli, you need to add little ghee or butter. I like the taste of butter but ghee is traditionally added. Actually, you can dry roast vermicelli without ghee too but then it doesn't taste as nutty.
How to make it?
If you want the straightaway recipe, have look at the visuals and jump to the recipe card for precise cooking instructions. Below I have provided tips and how and where you can add other ingredients to the recipe like condensed milk, and milk powder.
I prefer milk powder best in Pakistani sheer khurma because it reduces cooking time and mimics traditional slow-cooking without adding too much sugar like in condensed milk.
- Take milk, sugar, saffron, cardamom powder, and sugar in a stainless steel pot. Bring it to a boil and then simmer on low flame. (Total cooking time of milk will be 20-25 minutes.) If you are skipping cream in the end, you may add some milk powder or condensed milk at this stage.
- Soaked dried dates overnight in water. In the morning de-seed it and slice it. Also, soak raisins.
- Fry sliced dates for 5 minutes until soft.
- Dried dates aka kharak are soft.
- Fry mixed nuts in 1 tablespoon butter until crisp for about 40 seconds.
- While milk simmer, crush vermicelli or seviyan. Take butter and vermicelli in a pan and fry for 1 minute on medium flame until fragrant. This will burn quickly so keep stirring.
- Vermicelli is golden.
- Add fried vermicelli to a simmering milk pot and continue to cook. Seviyaan kheer or Indian sweet vermicelli is ready.
- From here when you add other ingredients, it turns into sheer khurma or sheer qorma. Add most of it to milk and save some for garnish. Add nuts and sliced dates to the milk pot.
- Continue to simmer until thickened to desired consistency. (Remember, it will thicken further upon cooling.) Add raisins in the last.
- Do a taste test and adjust sweetness as needed by adding sugar. Add cream, this step is optional as the dessert is already rich. After adding cream the sheer khurma gets a thick fluffy texture. (My Mil would always add cream but I was averted to add it in the recipe as it is less traditional way. But it tastes great.)
- If it is too thick, you can add extra milk to make it thinner. Garnish and enjoy hot or cold.
- Warm or cold: You can enjoy it warm or cold. Traditionally, it is served warm.
- The Rich factor!: Traditionally long-simmering gives the sheer khurma rich and creamy and somewhat nutty flavor. To reduce the cooking time, some people add milk powder or evaporated milk; or condensed milk instead of sugar. To make it creamier, you can add fresh cream.
- I've tried all the above variations over the years and I feel the below method gives the most authentic and rich flavor. However, every household has its own style so don't hesitate to try variations.
- A few other regional ingredients that go in the end with cream and that are not so Pakistani and more Indian family favorites are shredded coconut, chironji, and rose water.
You can switch some sugar with condensed milk in the sheer khurma.
Add milk powder to the milk in the beginning along with sugar, this makes milk rich and thick very quickly and reduces cooking time. Consider skipping the cream in the end.
You can easily double this recipe by using 2 X or 3 X. Just remember the cooking time will increase a bit, so look for visual signs.
Do not add dates in the beginning while we boil milk initially. This can curdle the milk. Always, fry dates separately and it later along with roasted vermicelli.
If you are making Kharak like this, then just slice and add to sheer khurma with cream.
If you try this Pakistani Sheer Khurma recipe, I'd LOVE to hear your feedback in the comments. Your 5-ratings motivate me to do my best. Stay connected for more recipes and videos on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.
- 5 cup milk, more to thin further if needed
- ⅓-½ cup sugar, less or more to taste
- ½ teaspoon green cardamom powder
- a tiny pinch saffron, optional
For Sheer Khurma
- 2 teaspoon butter, or ghee, divided
- 2-4 dried dates, soaked overnight, deseeded, sliced, optional
- 4 tablespoon mixed nuts, crushed, (almond, pistachio, cashew)
- ½ (50 grams) cup crushed Indian vermicelli
- 1-2 tablespoon raisins, soaked for 10 minutes, optional
- ¼ cup cream, optional but recommeded
- In a wide pot take milk, sugar, saffron, and cardamom. Bring milk to boil then reduce heat to a level well milk continues to simmer without overflowing. Boil for 10 minutes until milk color changes. Pro tip: Cooking time will increase as you 2 X or 3 X this recipe.
For Khurma (dates and nut)
- While milk is simmering take 1 teaspoon ghee or butter in a pan and fry the sliced dried dates for about 3-4 minutes until it looks cooked and sizzled. Remove to plate and set aside.
- In the same pan roast dry fruits for 30 seconds on medium flame. Keep stirring for even roasting. Remove nuts to a plate and set aside.
- Next, add another teaspoon of ghee or butter to the pan and fry vermicelli on low heat until the color darken. Stir constantly for even cooking. Add roasted vermicelli to the simmering milk pot.
- Also, add fried dates and half of the roasted nuts. The vermicelli will puff and absorb milk so cook on low heat for about 7-10 minutes and stay around to stir at intervals.
- When the vermicelli is fully puffed and sheer khurma has thicked to desired consistency remove from heat. (Remember sheer khurma will thicken further as it cools like custard.) So adjust the consistency by adding more milk if needed.
- Add cream and mix well. Remove to a serving bowl and garnish. Serve hot or cold as desired.
- Milk: Full fat is best for Sheer Khurma, you can also milk powder in the milk if you like "karha howa doodh taste." I love it!
- Vermicelli: These are thin wheat flour vermicelli. I recommend Pakistani brands like Shan, National, Laziza, or Malka. Ahmed is easily available on amazon. Try to find these in any Indian store.
- Sugar: Start will less sugar, you always add more later.
- Dried Dates: These are not soft dates. These are shriveled dates and hard and sun-dried dates also called "chuara" or "Kharik". They have very little moisture. You need to soak these overnight. When they become puffed after absorbing water. Then you can de-seed and slice them. If you can't find it add 1 Medjool date for flavor. And you can always skip it.
- Add fewer or more dried dates to personal liking.
- If you are making Kharak like this, then just slice kharak and add to sheer khurma with cream. Skip dried dates steps.
- If you want to reduce the cooking time of milk. Use 4 cups of milk in the recipe and add ¼ cup of milk powder.
- Cream and substitute: I find that the cream adds a lightened touch to the dessert. You can skip cream with ¼ cup mava or khoya. It can be added towards the end instead of cream.
- Similarly, ¼ cup of milk powder or evaporated milk can be added to milk in the beginning.
- Sugar can be switched with condensed milk.