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Sheer Korma (Vermicelli Eid Dessert)

This delicate, warming and sweet milky dessert is traditionally served on the morning of Eid as the first breakfast after Ramadan.

From the book

Asma Khan


This is a traditional dessert of milk, nuts and vermicelli, which is served on the morning of Eid in many households in the Indian subcontinent. It is best served warm, but you can also serve it chilled. The dates give this dessert a beautiful caramel-like flavour. For many, this sweet, warming, milky dessert – which in our house was usually served in delicate bone china cups – was the first breakfast after 30 days of fasting over Ramadan. I have often wondered if the boiling of dried dates was a way to use up dates that the family had left over from the stock they would have kept for the ritual breaking of the fast with a date during Ramadan. You will need to boil the dates the night before you make this. If you cannot find chuwara, look for dried dates that are not plump or glistening. Ideally, you want a date that looks dehydrated. Seviyan is a wheat vermicelli that is usually roasted, ready to use in desserts: look for it in Asian stores.

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4 dried dates (chuwara)
1.6 litres full-fat milk
100g roasted seviyan or fine wheat vermicelli
4 whole blanched almonds
4 shelled unsalted pistachios (or ½ tsp slivered pistachios)
5g fresh coconut (optional)
40g ghee or unsalted butter
2 cloves
2 green cardamom pods
200g caster sugar
1 tbsp cashew nuts, split in half
1 tbsp raisins


The day before making the dessert, put the dried dates in a pan with 240ml of the milk, bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes. Leave to cool, then chill.

If you haven’t got roasted seviyan you will need to dry roast the vermicelli over a low heat until it starts to darken.

Cut the almonds (and pistachios, if using whole ones) into slivers. If including coconut, chop the flesh into 1.5cm cubes. Break the vermicelli into small pieces. Put the remaining milk in a pan, add the soaked dates and their milk and bring to the boil.

Meanwhile, heat half the ghee or butter in a frying pan over a medium–high heat and flash-fry the vermicelli with the cloves and cardamoms, then add to the boiling milk. Add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved. Take the pan off the heat and discard the cloves and cardamoms.

In a separate frying pan, heat the remaining ghee and quickly fry the almonds, pistachios, coconut, cashews and raisins until the nuts darken – you do not want to burn them. Add the mixture to the vermicelli, reserving a little to sprinkle on top if you like. Serve the milky vermicelli warm or chilled in individual glass dishes.


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From the book: Ammu: Indian Home-Cooking To Nourish Your Soul

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