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Author Notes: This is a typical Pakistani and Afghan pudding known as 'shir khurma', served on the Muslim holiday of Eid ul Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan. My mother makes this for us every year. A bowl of creaminess with bronzed vermicelli threads, infused with cardamom, slivered almonds for textural contrast, and plumped golden sultanas from the Persian grocers. She then puts squares of 'varak' on it, an edible foil of pure silver used to decorate sweets in Pakistan. This pudding is very rich, so just a few (stolen) teaspoons out of the fridge puts a smile on our faces. We eat it days after Eid is long gone. —shayma
- 2 tablespoons corn or sunflower oil
- 75 grams Vermicelli, broken by hand into small pieces (found in Pakistani or Indian specialty stores)
- 5-7 cardamom pods, seeds extracted, pods discarded
- 2 liters full-cream milk
- 3/4 liter full cream
- 3/4 cup sugar, (you may want to add 1 or 1.5 cup, depending on the intensity of sweetness you prefer)
- 200 grams slivered almonds (reserve some for sprinkling on top before serving)
- 100 grams golden sultanas
- Having a large, heavy-bottomed pan is a pre-requisite for preparing this pudding as the sugar and milk burns rather easily if using a light-bottomed pan;
- Place pan on medium-high heat and add cardamom seeds and vermicelli. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly till the cardamom is fragrant and the vermicelli begins to change colour slightly;
- Add milk, full cream, sugar, almonds, raisins and stir;
- Turn heat to low and let it simmer, uncovered, for 1 -1½ hour;
- The pudding will need to be monitored and stirred every 10-15 minutes. Be sure to stir all the way into the bottom of the pan so the base of the pudding doesn’t stick and burn;
- When it reaches the desired consistency, (it should have thickened) remove from the stove, allow to cool at room temperature for 1 hour, then refrigerate overnight;
- Serve with a sprinkling of slivered almonds.