Sheer Khurma is the perfect, creamy vermicelli pudding dessert that’s commonly eaten during Eid ul-Fitr, a Muslim holiday.
Rich with nuts, milk, nylon vermicelli, and sugar, this dessert is the perfect comfort food for every occasion.
If you’ve had Sheer Khurma once, you’ll definitely want to have it again. And if you’ve never tried it before, trust me you’re in for a treat!
Read along to find out how to make the most delicious and perfect Sheer Khurma at home today with my quick and easy recipe!
What is Sheer Khurma?
Sheer Khurma, also written as Sheer Khorma, is a royal dessert that originated during the reign of the Mughals. Although it’s commonly mistaken as being a Persian dessert, it’s actually Mughlai and has traveled across the Silk Road.
Sheer means ‘milk’ and Khurma means ‘dates’ in Persian (Farsi language). So you’re probably now wondering - wait a second Muna, you just told me it’s not a purely Persian dessert then why is it named in Persian?
Well, the reason for that is that the Persian language was the lingua franca of that era, meaning it was the language that was used as a means of communication between populations that didn’t speak a similar language. This is similar to how English is for us today.
So, while many people automatically assume it’s a Persian dessert, it’s in fact a Mughlai one. It traveled across the Silk Road during that time and Sheer Khurma is loved in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia.
This delicious dessert is made of a mix of milk, nylon vermicelli, sugar, and a bunch of nuts and dried fruit. It’s a rich, decadent dessert fit for the royals. It’s also infused with aromatic spices such as cardamom to give it an extra special flavor.
What is Seviyan?
The word ‘seviyan’ itself refers to the nylon vermicelli used to make a variety of different desserts. In South Asia, seviyan are made dry (Sukhi Seviyan) or with some milk (Doodh Seviyan).
The milk variety of this dish is also commonly known as Sheer Khurma or Seviyan Kheer, which means a vermicelli pudding in Urdu and Hindi.
So, while seviyan could be referred to as the nylon vermicelli itself, if you ever hear someone mentioning wanting to have some seviyan, 9 out of 10 times it’s probably Sheer Khurma they’re talking about!
What is the Difference Between Sheer Khurma and Seviyan?
Now that we know what Sheer Khurma is, and what Seviyan is, you must be wondering what’s the difference between the two?
Since Khurma means dates in Persian, many people might think that the difference is whether or not there are dates in the recipe. If that’s what you’re assuming as well, it’s actually not entirely the case in real life!
In fact, a majority of families and households that make Sheer Khurma for Eid don’t add dates in the dessert but still refer to it as Sheer Khurma! The main difference between the two is how rich and luxurious they are.
Seviyan is usually simply toasted nylon vermicelli cooked with milk and sugar. On the other hand, Sheer Khurma is a royal, rich dessert that includes loads of nuts and sometimes other dried fruit, such as dates and raisins.
This is also why you’ll notice the addition of saffron strands in my Sheer Khurma recipe. Sheer Khurma also uses ghee to toast the nuts and vermicelli, while that’s not always the case with seviyan.
There are many variations to this recipe with some including ingredients such as rose water and kewra water, but my recipe is the authentic one that will give you the perfect flavor with the least amount of ingredients!
What You Need to Make Sheer Khurma
Although this dessert has royal Mughal origins, you can easily make it at home with easy-to-find ingredients. Let’s look at what these are:
Nylon vermicelli: The type of vermicelli we need to make this recipe is the South Asian variety of vermicelli. It’s commonly referred to in stores as either nylon vermicelli or roasted vermicelli, though we will be toasting it anyway.
Ghee: We’ll be using ghee to toast not only the vermicelli but also the nuts! It truly adds an incredible flavor to the overall dish, so try not to substitute this one!
Milk: I highly recommend using full fat milk to get the true flavor and richness that this dessert is known for. Consistency matters a lot when it comes to Sheer Khurma, and milk is the ingredient that determines that. To get the perfect milk yet creamy consistency, make sure to follow my recipe to a T.
Nuts: You can use a bunch of different types of nuts. My recipe includes the traditionally used nuts which are cashews, almonds, and pistachios.
Cardamom: We’ll be using both cardamom powder as well as whole cardamom pods in this recipe, for that beautiful aroma and flavor.
Saffron: Saffron is a special ingredient, but it’s perfect for this recipe! It has a subtly sweet, floral taste. The beautiful earthiness of saffron adds a beautiful layer of flavor to this delicious dessert.
Sugar: We’ll be using sugar to sweeten this tasty dessert. You can easily adjust the sweetness according to your preference by adding a little more or a little less sugar to the recipe.
How to Make Sheer Khurma Step by Step
Making Sheer Khurma at home is incredibly easy! Here’s how to make it step by step:
Start by taking a saucepan and heat 2 tablespoon ghee in it on medium heat.
Now add the nuts to the pan and sauté them in ghee for a few seconds.
Next, break the vermicelli into one to two-inch pieces and add them to the pan. Roast the vermicelli in the ghee until it turns a little darker. Be careful to not burn it.
Time for the milk! Pour the milk over the vermicelli and stir it all well. Now add a few strands of saffron, crushed cardamoms, cardamom powder, and stir for 2 minutes more.
Next, add the sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Let the Sheer Khurma boil for two minutes and then simmer for one minute on low flame.
Once done, turn off the heat and cover the Sheer Khurma for 10 minutes, this will allow the flavors to come together.
Serve in serving bowls and garnish with dry fruits or roasted chopped nuts.
Tip to Make the Best Sheer Khurma
- Make sure you get your hands on the right kind of vermicelli because that’s the most important ingredient in this recipe.
- Over time, you’ll develop a personal preference for the type of consistency you like for Sheer Khurma. If you prefer yours to be thicker, then either add more vermicelli to the recipe or reduce the amount of milk. You can also increase the amount of milk in the recipe which will make the consistency thinner.
- If you’re allergic to any kind of nuts, you can skip those and replace them with any other ones that you like.
- Sugar is traditionally used in Sheer Khurma almost exclusively. But if you want to use some other kind of sweetener, you can try adding jaggery, palm sugar, coconut sugar, or even maple syrup. Just remember that this will alter the flavor and the recipe won’t be as authentic anymore. But it definitely is an option if you have dietary restrictions or don’t prefer sugar.
How to Incorporate Dates into this Recipe
If you’re looking to add dates to your Sheer Khorma, I’ve got you covered! Like I mentioned above, it’s not absolutely necessary to add it to the recipe and most households don’t actually add it.
But if you want to then start by buying some good quality dates. If the dates you’ve found include seeds in them, then chop the date and discard the seeds.
If you’re using dry dates, then soak them in water for a few hours until they soften, and then remove their seeds before proceeding.
You’ll need about 7-8 dates for this recipe. You can add them when you’ve added the nuts to the ghee.
Please note that dates are sweet, so you’ll have to reduce the amount of sugar you use in this recipe depending on just how sweet the dates you use are. So taste as you go, and adjust accordingly.
Other Recipes You’ll Love
Authentic Chicken Korma: Looking for a delicious dinner recipe to go with your Sheer Khorma? Then this authentic Chicken Korma is exactly what you need! Korma is a delicious mildly spiced curry that also has Mughal origins. You’re going to love this one!
Chicken Karahi: If you’re looking for a spicier curry than Korma then this Chicken Karahi is perfect for you! With a delicious tomato base, this curry is something out of your dreams! No wonder it’s the most popular curry in South Asia!
Rice Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding): If you want to make another dessert to go along with your perfect Indian meal, then Kheer is the way to go! It’s a rich and creamy rice pudding that’s popularly consumed during special occasions in South Asia. You’ve got to try this one!
Perfect Sheer Khurma Recipe (Seviyan)
- 2 tablespoon ghee
- 2 tablespoon chopped cashews
- 2 tablespoon chopped pistachios
- 2 tablespoon chopped almonds or sliced almonds
- 62 grams seviyan nylon vermicelli
- 5 cups hot milk
- ½ teaspoon saffron strands
- 3 crushed whole cardamoms
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- 5 to 6 tablespoon sugar depends on your taste
- In a medium pan, heat the ghee.
- Add the nuts to the ghee and sauté for a few seconds.
- Break the seviyan (vermicelli) and add it to the nuts and fry until the seviyan (vermicelli) turn a little darker. Careful not to burn it.
- Pour the milk over the seviyan (vermicelli) and stir, then add a few strands of saffron, crushed cardamoms, cardamom powder, and stir for 2 minutes.
- Add the sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Let the Sheer Khurma boil for two minutes and then simmer for one minute.
- Turn off the heat and cover the Sheer Khurma for 10 minutes, this will allow the flavors to come together.
- Serve in serving bowls and garnish with dry fruits or roasted chopped nuts.
- Make sure to buy the right type of vermicelli.
- You can use almond milk, but the flavor will be a little different and not as rich as when using whole milk.
- Using brown sugar is ok, but the color of the dessert will be darker.