The Big Mistake People Make With Sheer Khurma

This year, those observing the Muslim holy period of Ramadan have been fasting — abstaining from both food and drink — from sunrise to sunset. According to The Conversation, Ramadan began on April 2 this year, and will last for 30 days. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the Muslim religion's five pillars, or core traditions, at the heart of their religion that were instituted as a way for observers to demonstrate their faith (via The Conversation).

In non-Islamic culture, Ramadan is perhaps the most well known of these pillars, and even those who don't participate are likely aware of some of the month's special dishes, which are eaten before sunup (referred to as suhoor dishes) and after sunset (referred to as iftar dishes). These include dried dates, the ground meat fritters known as kibbe, and fattoush, a fresh salad folded with fried pita bread, according to Fine Dining Lovers.

Meals enjoyed during Ramadan can be delicious, but the real fun begins at the close of Ramadan, with the three-day festival known as Eid al-Fitr, a celebration marking the end of this intensive holy period with visits to family and friends, special prayers, and lavish break-fast dishes that include elaborate sweets (via History). One classic Eid sweet is sheer khurma, a dairy-rich pudding laced with noodles, nuts, and dried fruit (via Cook With Manali), and if you're planning on making it this year, you'll want to avoid this common mistake.

Don't add too much sugar to this rich pudding

If you've ever had the pleasure of sampling the Eid dessert known as sheer khurma, then you know that this rich pudding is a delight of flavors and textures. According to Dassana's Veg Recipes, "sheer" means milk and "khurma" means dates, referring to two principal elements of the dish. In it, milk is thickened over a low flame before being sweetened with sugar and bulked up with dry-roasted vermicelli, or thin spaghetti. Finally, dried nuts and fruit are added to the pudding, along with aromatics such as cardamom and rose water, before the dessert is served (via Dassana's Veg Recipes).

As with many festive dessert recipes, sheer khurma is meant to be sweet, a flavor explosion that's a nice reward for having fasted for a month. But as the recipe blog Cook With Manali cautions, this is one dessert that can be ruined by adding too much sugar. As blogger Manali Singh notes, the dried dates and raisins in the recipe add a ton of sweetness — not to mention, milk is naturally sweet in the sugar lactose (via Healthline). Singh therefore recommends adding the sugar just one tablespoon at a time, and tasting the pudding after each addition to make sure it isn't too sweet before adding the full amount. Served either warm or chilled, the pudding will make a rich — but not overly sweet — addition to your Eid table.