A Sweet time of year for Muslims; Eid ul Fitar. In Pakistan, this Eid is especially named as “festival of sweets.”
All memories associated with meethi Eid are joyous, filled with love, laughter, eidi, family, friends and the mandatory sweets.
We celebrate Eid with our parents and friends. I can predict how it will go this year. The beginning of the day won’t be a problem. Eid prayer will be at the local mosque. The prayer hall will be filled with the sound of chanting and Arabic verses. In pastel-colored outfits, the aunties will stand together while they pray and greetings filled with love will make Eid more special.
Every year, when I woke up for breakfast on Eid, my mum’s Kitchen table is all set with jalebis — gooey, pretzel-shaped candies made of fried sugar —stick to each other on a long, silver tray. Warm kheer (rice pudding) floating in a tall pot on top of my mother’s stove and tower of mithai (flour and milk cakes) along sheer khurma makes the dining table more tempting.
This year, I have decided, soon after the new moon will be sighted, I will be sampling an endless supply of homemade, sweet things because I am going to throw the grandest party where more than 100 people will party and eat.
I will fry fresh pooris outside. Aunties and uncles everywhere will sip chai (black tea with milk and sugar). The caterer will constantly refill the silver burners with fresh naan (a puffy, white-flour flatbread).
And for dessert, I will be cooking most delicious Sheer Khurma. This simple yet delicious dish is versatile as it can be served hot or cold.
Traditionally Sheer Khurma is made with vermicelli (a very fine kind of spaghetti). It is cooked in milk and dates, adding a variety of dry fruits to make it a rich and aromatic dessert.
Without further delay let’s share my personal Sheer Khurma Recipe.
8 cups or 2kg full crème milk
100 grams vermicelli
4 onz. condensed milk
8 onz. sugar
10 to 12 green cardamoms
10 to 12 dates (chopped lengthwise)
½ cup (pistachios, almonds, cashews, raisins)
Pinch of salt
Bring milk to a boil, add vermicelli and keep stirring, simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, adding sugar, condensed milk, cardamom, salt, and dates.
Let simmer for 20 minutes to half an hour, reducing the quantity.
Add dry fruit, cook for a few more minutes. Pour into serving bowl, garnish and serve hot or cold.
This mouth-watering dish can be prepared within no time and enjoyed with family and friends.