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Sheer korma is a traditional Muslim food served in many regions of the world. Translating to sweetened milk with dried dates, sheer korma consists of milk, dates, vermicelli, and a variety of nuts. Served hot or cold, this dish is a traditional family breakfast and day-long meal for the two annual Muslim Eid days, or days of celebration.
Whole milk, sugar, and vermicelli are always included in sheer korma. Often cream is also added. Dried dates are normally included, but some versions may actually exclude this fruit. If dates are not used, raisins are often used instead.
Usually two or three different types of nuts are also added to this dish. Cashews, pistachios, almonds, or charoli nuts are all common options. Nuts are always chopped before they are included in sheer korma. Powder cardamom may be the only spice added to the dish, but cardamom pods and rose water are usually also used for flavoring.
To make sheer korma, the vermicelli is first fried in butter. Then the sugar is added. Sometimes a sugar syrup is created by reducing sugar water to a thick liquid, and the syrup is included instead. Once the butter is dried, the milk is gradually added and boiled. At this point, the sheer korma must be stirred constantly.
Afterward, the raisins or dates, cardamom pods, and nuts can be added. The nuts may instead be saved to use for garnish. If used as garnish, the nuts are first fried and then set aside. Rose water and cream are included near the end of the cooking process when the vermicelli begins to become very soft. In addition to nuts, powdered cardamom or saffron is often used to garnish this dish.
Alternately, the dates may be soaked in milk before use. Then, milk is simmered with cardamom seeds and sugar until the liquid thickens. Afterward, the vermicelli is added and allowed to cook until soft. The dates are added shortly before cooking is complete, and rose water is included directly before the dish is removed from the heat.
Sheer korma is a traditional dish for both Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha, Muslim religious holidays. The dish is served only to family members for breakfast. During the day, however, the dish is available to any guests who visit the family home. Generally considered a breakfast food, it may also be a dessert and is sometimes called vermicelli pudding.