Sheer Khurma

Recipe adapted from http://www.CookWithManali.com/sheer-khurma/

The kids and I made this elegant dessert for our Muslim friends who celebrate Eid. Eid ul-Fitr (pronounced eed-ull-fit) marks the end of Ramadan. Ramadan is a month long and a time for spiritual renewal and closer connections God. It is the most sacred month of the year in the Islamic culture.

Although we don’t observe, I’m always fascinated by people’s faith and culture and enjoy learning more. Knowledge is power and with it comes understanding. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, abstaining from food and drink. This excludes the elderly, the young, the sick, and the pregnant. This disciplined practice requires a great deal of strength and patience. Eid ul-Fitr is the large festival and feast that takes place at the end of Ramadan. It’s also known as the “Festival of Breaking the Fast”, so there is of course lots and lots of food!

Watch these kids do a wonderful job of explaining Ramadan and Eid.

Back to this sweet and creamy dessert that we made, Sheer Khurma. Sheer means “milk” in Persian and khurma means “dates”. This is a significant and traditional dessert that is prepared for many Eid celebrations. The variety of ingredients create a medley of textures and flavors that work well together. You’ll find there are many different variations of this dessert, but they all include milk, dates, nuts, and vermicelli (thin rice noodles).

My daughter and I are pretty particular about our food. And I’m particularly a fan of smooth and/or creamy desserts, such as, ice creams, puddings, creme brûlée, flan, etc. When I was researching sheer khurma, I was not so sure this would be something I would enjoy. A pudding that requires chewing? I thought not. But, I was wrong, it surprised me and I really enjoyed it. The creamy, sweet milk, the soft, thin noodles, the chewy dried fruit, and crunch of the nuts made this such a pleasure to eat! It somewhat reminds me of eating a sweet, milky bowl of oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts. It just works.

My kids are very choosy eaters, but it doesn’t stop me from cooking and baking things for them to try. When I say choosy, I mean, my daughter refuses to eat ketchup if it’s a different shade of red! So, she doesn’t use ketchup until that bottle is out and we get a new one.

I find desserts to be an easy way to introduce the kids to new flavors and foods that they otherwise don’t eat much of. “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!” I wasn’t even sure the kids would try this desert because of the nuts. I was again surprised, both my children loved it! My daughter had several bowls of it! To say my mind was blown is an understatement. She really likes desserts that have rosewater in them. To me, it sometimes tastes too perfumey. She has loved rose water cupcakes, Persian love cake, and now this sheer khurma. All desserts with rose water and often cardamom.

Many sheer khurma recipes call for powdered milk or evaporated milk, to thicken it up. We did not have any, but I liked it thinner anyhow.

Watch the kids and I make this tasty dessert and then try it for yourselves!

RECIPE

adapted from http://www.Cookwithmanali.com/sheer-khurma/

Ingredients to prepare:

  • 2 TBSP ghee
  • 10-15 cashews, chopped
  • 10-15 almonds, sliced or chopped
  • 10-15 pistachios, chopped
  • 10-15 golden raisins (or 20-25 black raisins)
  • 7 large medjool dates (or 10 deglet dates), pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup broken vermicelli
  • 1 liter whole milk
  • 4 TBSP sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp rose water
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Kitchen tools:

  • large saucepan
  • wooden spoon
  • slotted spoon

STEP 1: Heat ghee in large saucepan on medium heat.

STEP 2: Once hot, add the nuts, raisins, and dates. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the nuts are fragrant and golden brown. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside.

STEP 3: Add vermicelli to the pan. Roast for approximately 3 minutes until it starts becoming light, golden brown in color.

STEP 4: Add the milk to the pan and stir. Increase heat to medium high and let the milk come to a boil, stirring frequently to keep noddles from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

STEP 5: Once the milk comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium and let it low boil for approximately 8 minutes.

STEP 6: After 8 minutes, milk should be reduced and slightly thickened. Add sugar and mix well.

STEP 7: Add the nuts, dates, and raisins back to the pan and mix well.

STEP 8 : Add the rose water and cardamom and mix well.

STEP 9: Cook for about 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat.

STEP 10: Remove from heat and transfer pudding to a serving dish or dishes. Serve warm or chilled.

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