Sheermal is the word comprises of two words- Sheer (ksheer) +Mal (sometimes also pronounced as Maal). Both words are terms to Milk and Ghee respectively. This clearly elucidates that it is something having milk and ghee. Actually Sheermal or Sheermaal is a mildly sweetened, saffron flavored all-purpose flour bread like Naan having good portions of milk and ghee (clarified butter). It derives its mild sweet flavor from sugar and milk where milk is the only ingredient used for kneading instead of water. Sometimes yeast is also used for fermentation but for this time I have used baking powder instead. Sheermals were invented here in our Lucknow city only as part of Awadhi cuisine having similarities with Mughlai cuisine. This bread has got roots from Persia also. These are round like roti/chapatis but at some eateries here, sheermals are prepared round sans one short cut-bite like moon which is believed that this bite has been dedicated to the inventor of this bread. Sheermal was invented by Muhammadan.
This is another bread after Tandoori Roti and Naan, for which I underwent this time as trial without Tandoor. Like Tandoori roti and Naan, it also required tandoor but thanks to my post about Tandoori Roti, I could also make this one a possibility without Tandoor. Thus obviously I followed the same method of cooking as it was for Tandoori Roti. This method is one of the good possible methods I know of so far, to cook bread without tandoor. I always insist that cooking tandoor-breads without tandoor can’t provide equally same breads as the ones cooked in Tandoor but this is an acceptably good method to cook Sheermals at home without Tandoor and Microwave. Without Tandoor, it has a slight lacking in color and texture but you won’t complain about flavor, aroma, its bite and crunch. Other way, you can also go for another simple method to just cook (except ingredients) I used for Mint-Garlic Butter Naan (without Tandoor). If your kitchen possess tandoor; following this recipe (ingredients and making), you can get best Sheermals if you go for cooking in tandoor.
So let’s check out its recipe to make some quickly to relish immediately-
Time Taken- For Preparation- 1 hr
For Cooking- 5-10 for 1
Category- Main-Course (Breads)
All Purpose flour/Refined flour (Maida) – 2 cups
Sugar-1 generous tsp
Baking Powder- ½ tsp
Salt- ½ tsp
Saffron (Kesar) -1/8 tsp
Milk- ¾ cup+4 tbsp (warm)
Melted Desi Ghee/Clarified Butter- ¼ cup +to smear on serving
Rose Water/Kewra jal- ½ tsp
Roaster/Steel wired gauge
Steps to follow-
- First of all add saffron strands in 4 tbsp of warm milk; leave it for 15 min to release its flavor and color. Then dissolve uniformly.
- Take all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and melted clarified butter in a bowl or onto a deep plate to knead.
- Mix all the ingredients with hands into a crumbling flour mixture.
- Now add half of the saffron dissolved milk along with rose-water into the crumbling flour mix and knead it into smooth dough adding milk slowly as required from ¾ cup of milk. Leave it to rest for 1 hr covered with damp cloth.
- Now knead the dough again. Take one ball out of the dough, round it, smoothen its edges, flatten and roll it out in a circle of 14-15 cm diameter & 2-3 mm thick. (At this time if you wish, you can cut a small piece from it as half-moon. It’s not necessary, traditionally it is done at some eateries)
- Make deep pricks with fork horizontally in line and brush its whole one side with some of the remaining saffron dissolved milk.
- Meanwhile properly heat up a pan on high flame; transfer the elongated sheermal to the pan placing the saffron-milk brushed side onto the pan as base side.
- Now just after placing, lower the flame to medium. And when you see it is bubbling up from the base, sprinkle some saffron-milk and let sheermal gets cooked.
- After few seconds, scrape the sheermal from sides to check whether it is browning. When it starts getting light brown, and starts leaving from its sides easily on scraping; scrape all around with a flat ladle and flip over.
- Let it gets cooked this way only for 3-4 seconds.
- Meanwhile get your roaster ready on other flame and then transfer the sheermal to the roaster with tongs. Cook it well both sides, turning on roaster until it acquires dark blackish-brown spotted texture.
- Take out in a plate and likewise prepare all sheermals. Serve hot smeared with ghee and relish with a non-veg or veg curry of your choice or Nahari (a non veg curry).
1. If you wish you can make sheermals more deep saffron-colored. Just remove from flame after 10th step onto a plate. Quickly brush more saffron-milk on both sides and then cook on roaster like explained 11th step. Finally proceed for 12th step