In a wok (kadai), frying pan or skillet, dry roast the vermicelli stirring often on a low heat until golden and set aside. If you want then you can roast the vermicelli in ghee also.
In the same pan, heat ghee and add chopped dry fruits, dates, nuts and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes stirring often on a low heat.
Making sheer khurma
Heat milk in a heavy saucepan or pot or kadai (wok) on medium-low to medium heat. Let the milk come to a boil. Stir a few times while the milk heats and comes to a boil.
Lower the heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until the milk slightly thickens. Stir often while the milk reduces and thickens.
Add the roasted vermicelli and sugar to the milk. Mix well to combine.
Simmer on low to medium-low heat until vermicelli are cooked and have softened. This will take about 8 to 10 minutes on a low heat.
The milk will also thicken and reduce in volume.
Add the cardamom powder and saffron strands.
Also add the entire sauteed dry fruits, nuts and ghee mixture to the milk.
Switch off the heat and mix well.
Check the taste and add more sugar if required.
Finally add rose water and give a stir.
Serve the sheer khurma hot, warm or chilled.
You can also garnish sheer khurma with saffron strands or rose petals or slivered nuts.
Scaling & Storage
Store any leftovers in a covered bowl or container in the fridge for a couple of days.
Sheer Khurma will thicken as it cools. So keep this is mind and cook it to your preferred consistency.
Make a large batch of this recipe easily to feed a crowd.
Vermicelli: Use the thin, long and fine whole wheat vermicelli. These have long strands, so you need to break them before roasting.
Nuts & Dry Fruits: If you are allergic to some nuts, you can easily skip them. You can even add your favorite nuts and dried fruits.
Dates: Use any good quality dates. If there are seeds in the dates, then chop them and discard the seeds. Dry dates (known as kharik) can also be added. If using dry dates, then soak them in water for a few hours until they soften. Chop and remove the seeds. Then add them when the vermicelli has softened.
Chironji: These are small brown colored seeds with a nutty flavor and taste. They are also called as ‘charoli’. Skip, if you do not have these seeds. Use fresh chironji seeds as they go rancid very fast.
Coconut: Add about 2 tablespoons of unsweetened desiccated coconut.
Condensed milk or Khoya: For a richer taste and flavor, add ¼ cup grated khoya (mawa) to the milk. If using sweetened condensed milk, add 1 to 1.5 tablespoons (or as needed) skipping the sugar entirely in the recipe.
Sugar and its replacements: You really need to add less sugar as the dates add a lot of sweetness to the dish. But you can always add more according to your taste preference. For health reasons, you can skip sugar entirely – just increase the amount of dates. You can even add jaggery, palm sugar, or coconut sugar. Make the sheer khurma first. Then remove the pan from stovetop and set it aside for 4 to 5 minutes. Add chopped jaggery, palm sugar, coconut sugar according to the sweetness you prefer.
Flavorings: My recipe has cardamom powder, saffron and rose water. But you can omit saffron. For a lovely light yellow colored sheer khurma, soak 12 to 15 saffron strands in warm milk for some minutes and add this mixture to the sheer khurma when you add the sautéed dates and nuts mixture. You can also use pandanus water (kewra water) instead of rose water.