Eid al-Adha or Baqr-e-Eid as we call it in India was always celebrated in my Nana’s home (maternal grandfather). This Eid is especially poignant as it will be the last Eid being celebrated by my family in our home in Calcutta. In November my octogenarian grandfather will be moving out of the home he has lived in (for almost all his life) and the builders are moving in to demolish the beautiful family home and build a multi storey building on that land.
Sitting in London, it is hard for me to imagine the house being torn apart piece by piece in a few weeks time…..I am grateful for the wonderful memories I have of celebrating Eid in my Nana’s home in Calcutta. I share some of these memories in this piece and also my mother’s recipe of Sheer Korma which was the highlight of my Baqr-e-Eid celebration.
Eid al-Adha has always been a meat feast in our family! I am too squeamish when I lived in India to enjoy the usual Eid delicacies of fried intestines and bits and pieces that many of my cousins and uncles relished! My overriding memory of Eid lunch was that it was always LATE! We seemed to be waiting forever for the food to be served…..the delay was the inevitable result of my grandmother and the cooks organising the qurbani and all the chaos of distributing a portion of the qurbani meat to the poor and putting aside the rest for relatives. By the time the Mutton Biryani was ready- everyone would be ravenous! The Biryani meat for Eid was always “Khasi” which is a variety of goat meat.
While waiting for the Biryani to be ready, the children were allowed to have the Sheer Korma as a treat…..this was really special- to have the dessert before the meal!
The warm dessert was always served in my grandmothers china teacups. We would sit on the dining table and carefully have our Sheer Korma- very aware this was a huge privilege to be eating from our grandmothers’ precious china which was given to her by her parents when she got married. I hope you will try this recipe- it is very simple and quick to make and perfect for those of us who are in colder places- the perfect Eid dessert- warming and sweet!
INGREDIENTS FOR SHEER KORMA
4 whole Almonds
4 whole Pistachio nuts
1 Tablespoon Charoli seeds
1 Tablespoon Raisins or Fresh Coconut slivers (or both- I use both!)
6 cups full fat milk
100 gms sevian or vermeceli
1 cup sugar
2 cardamoms, 40gms ghee or unsalted butter
Soak the nuts (almonds, pistachio and charoli) in cold water for an hour. Take the skin off the almond and pistachio and cut into slivers. The charoli goes into the sheer whole. If using the coconut, put them into small squares (thin even sized thin pieces of ½ inch squares) – not into slivers.
Boil the milk in a pan. In another pan flash fry the sevian in half the ghee or butter (the sevian have to be broken into very small pieces) with the cloves and cardamoms and add to the boiling milk. The sevian should cook very soon. Add the sugar and once the sugar has dissolved, take it off the flame. In a pan add the remaining ghee and fry the almonds, pistachio, charoli, coconut and raisins. Add the mixture to the sevian and serve the Sheer Korma warm.
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