Eid al-Fitr is a holiday I very much look forward to. It’s a day filled with celebration, gratitude, and togetherness accompanied by a delicious feast.
Muslims worldwide celebrate this religious holiday. It marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan in which Muslims fast from dawn to sunset and spend their time focusing on spiritual reflection, self-discipline, charitable giving, and increased devotion to God.
Food plays a central role in the Eid celebrations. The meals are often elaborate and lavish, and they serve as a reward after a month of fasting.
The dish I most look forward to on Eid is sheer khurma, but more importantly, sheer khurma made by my mom.
Growing up, I can remember that after we’d come home from our morning Eid prayer — as we’d still be yawning and rubbing our sleepy eyes — my mom would step into the kitchen to prepare and serve us bowls of freshly made sheer khurma.
And now that I celebrate Eid across the world from her in my own home, I try to recreate that memory on Eid morning for my family, using her recipe.
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What is sheer khurma?
Sheer khurma, which translates to “dates in milk” in Persian, is a sweet treat we like to enjoy specifically on Eid morning.
You can serve it hot straight from the pot or cooled from the fridge. It also has thin vermicelli, usually made from wheat (the thinnest you can find), and it’s packed with gut-boosting nuts.
The recipe is versatile and, depending on different family traditions, you can add as much or as little of the ingredients as you like. But this recipe is dear to my family and, in terms of ZOE, I can enjoy it regularly with a score of 62.
Sheer khurma recipe
1 Tbsp ghee
1–2 dried cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1–2 green cardamom pod
0.5 cup (35 g) thin wheat vermicelli
3 Tbsp grounded pistachio
3 Tbsp grounded slivered almonds
2–4 dried dates chopped (soaked in rose water overnight)
1.5 cups (685 ml) whole milk (or any milk substitute)
4 Tbsp sweet condensed milk (or any sweetener of your choice)
1 pinch of saffron
1 Tbsp grounded pistachio and almonds for garnishing (optional)
Heat ghee in a pot on medium-low heat. Add in whole spices. Stir to make sure they don't burn.
Crush the thin vermicelli and add into the pot and stir until fragrant. You’ll start to see a deeper color.
Add in pistachios, almonds, and dried dates, and mix for a few minutes.
Slowly start to add in the milk, stirring constantly.
Add in sweet condensed milk and saffron.
Cook for 10–15 minutes, stirring regularly to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. The mixture will start to thicken as it cooks. (You can always add more milk if it’s too thick.)
Serve hot — or chilled the next day — with extra nuts garnished on top.
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How to make the recipe more ZOE-friendly
While adding this family-favorite recipe onto the ZOE app, I wasn’t initially too impressed with the score and knew I could make this score higher.
I then swapped ghee for extra virgin olive oil and increased the amount of nuts in the dish. I also decided to go with whole milk rather than skimmed and tried to limit the amount of sweetened condensed milk I added.
You can also add different varieties of nuts, such as cashews, walnuts, or even some raisins for the added sweetness.
Enjoy this dish whether you’re celebrating Eid or not, as it’s packed with gut-boosting nuts, works well with most blood sugar and blood fat scores, and it’s a sweet treat to enjoy as you please.
More about Eid
On Eid day, we start the morning by performing Eid prayer at our mosque, dressed in our best clothes, usually something brand new. We then spend the rest of the morning wishing friends and family “Eid Mubarak” — which translates to "Have a blessed Eid" — and receiving gifts or money from our elders.
This is a day where we amplify generosity, love, and connection within the community. We then gather together with our loved ones to prepare and share our first midday meal together after a month.
Different cultures are accustomed to making different dishes on Eid. If you’re from the Middle East, you might be enjoying homemade maamoul on this special day, or if you’re from Pakistan, you might be cooking up a passed-down recipe for biryani.
Whichever way you celebrate or prepare the dish, enjoy!