Sheer Khurma

Sheer Khurma

I know, I know, sheer khurma is associated more with Eid ul Fitr, but there’s usually so much going on at that time in my house, that I never get a chance to document the process. Today, I was able to do it, so I think it’s a good time to share it since I do get requests for this recipe.

Different people have different traditions for Eid ul Adha, but for us it was still sheer khurma! My mother made sheer khurma just twice a year, and we eagerly looked forward to Eid for that reason alone. Well, Eid ul Fitr was quite sad because we didn’t have any relatives around so sheer khurma was literally the only saving grace. 


I loved Eid ul Adha because there was so much more excitement! The goats, of course. They would arrive a day or two before Eid, and were the closest things to pets that we had. We looked after them, fed them and loved them as much as we could before the sacrifice. 

After that, the meat was distributed around the neighborhood and to friends’ houses. And best of all, the grand Eid lunch with all the delicacies! Mom’s special chana mewa pulao, korma, chops, phipra, gurday and so on. I am very much into all of these dishes, and thoroughly enjoyed them. Sheer khurma for dessert, of course.


Sheer khurma is not hard to make… but it requires some patience and some judgement.

Simply, you reduce the milk and let it thicken, then add the sugar and finally the roasted vermicelli. 

So, take a gallon of milk.

Add green cardamom, saffron, nuts, raisins and dried dates. I like to do this right at the beginning so that all the wonderful flavors can infuse into the milk.


Let the milk simmer on medium low heat for a few hours.  Stir constantly or the milk will burn. Did I tell you about my pot? I love it. Even if I leave the milk on medium heat on it without stirring, it doesn’t burn. It doesn’t even form a film at the bottom of the pot. it’s heavenly. I have to tell you more about it later. Add the sugar. 


The milk has reduced, thickened and taken a yellowish tinge. There’s a skin on top but that can easily be mixed in by stirring.

Break the vermicelli into small pieces and put in a pan with the fat.


Pan fry the vermicelli for a few minutes but don’t let it brown. 


Add to the milk and let it simmer for a few minutes until the vermicelli is tender.


Pour into serving dish and serve hot, warm, at room temperature or cold! 

Sheer Khurma

Sheer Khurma


  • 1 gallon milk
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • Sugar to taste (about a cup)
  • 1 tsp green cardamom powder
  • A few strands of saffron
  • ⅛ cup chopped pistachios
  • ⅛ cup slivered almonds
  • ⅛ cup raisins
  • ⅛ cup chopped dried dates
  • 4-5 tbsp butter/ghee/oil
  • About 1 pack of vermicelli


  • Put the milk, cardamom, saffron, nuts, raisins and dried dates in a thick bottomed pot and let it reduce on medium low heat, stirring often to keep the milk from burning.
  • After reducing it to your taste, anywhere from ¾ to ½ of its original quantity. The more you reduce it, the thicker your sheer khurma will be. (Here I've done about ¾.)
  • Add the condensed milk. Mix it in well.
  • Melt half of the butter in a large pan on medium low heat.
  • Break half a packet of the vermicelli into small pieces and add to the butter.
  • Sauté on medium low-low heat until roasted, a little limp and completely coated with the butter.
  • Add to the milk.
  • Now melt the rest of the butter. Sauté the rest of the vermicelli, and add to the milk.
  • Let it lightly simmer for 5-7 minutes until the vermicelli is tender.
  • Taste to check the sweetness, adding sugar as desired. Add the sugar in small increments until it suits your taste.
  • Turn off the heat and pour the sheer khurma into a serving dish or bowl.


In the pot that I have, I don't need to stir it at all and the milk doesn't burn. But generally, non stick pot or not, you do need to stir the milk often otherwise you will see an orange-brown film or burnt milk at the bottom of the pot, and when you stir it, all these bits will mix into the milk.

I reduced it to about ¾ its original quantity- that took about 2½-3 hours. I added about a cup of sugar.

If you reduce the milk to half its original quantity, then you will not need more than half a packet of vermicelli.

Make sure not to buy very dark brown vermicelli, as it will darken a little while roasting as well.

Don't add all the vermicelli all at once. Too much will make the sheer khurma very thick. Just add enough so that its balanced with the milk but the milk is still flowing and not turning solid. If its thick when its hot then it will be extremely thick when it gets cold.

Sheer khurma can be made the night before. Let it cool to room temperature and then refrigerate overnight.

Keep in mind that the sheer khurma will thicken when it cools. So, make sure to keep some fluidity in the liquid so that it doesn't turn solid the next day.

If it does thicken a lot the next day, add some sugar to some milk, warm it a little so that the sugar dissolves completely, and then mix it into the sheer khurma to adjust the thickness.


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