Sheermaal is an Awadhi bread. It is pretty rich and generally made for weddings or special occasions. Sheermaal is generally not made at home. I was introduced to this bread after marriage, I guess the first time I had it was at my own wedding. It is a staple at all Muslim weddings in Eastern UP.
I don’t quite like to have it with meals as it is sweet and rich, I don’t like sweet breads with gravies. I prefer to have them just like this, that is how I had it when I made it myself.
The other day I just asked my husband what he would want to have for dinner and he said ‘Sheermaal and Bhuna Gosht’ knowing fully well that I couldn’t organize it for that day’s dinner at least. But then it got me yearning to fulfil his wish.
A couple of days later I started surfing the net for an authentic sheermaal recipe. We didn’t really find any recipe which we found satisfying (I asked hubby to do this research actually as he is more knowledgeable about sheermaal than me). Then finally I followed the recipe my husband regaled from his memories of seeing khansamas preparing sheermaals during weddings. It turned out quite good as far as the taste was concerned but appearance wise I still have a long way to go.
4 cups refined flour,
¾ cup ghee,
1 tbsp yeast,
1 tsp sugar,
2 tbsp powdered sugar,
1 cup whole milk,
Salt to taste,
1 beaten egg,
100 grams khoya,
1 tbsp sesame seeds
¼ cup milk,
A pinch of orange colour,
Some extra ghee
Add the yeast and 1 tsp sugar to the luke-warm milk. Leave it aside to froth.
Heat a pan and add the khoya and sauté it till it turns light brown in colour.
Mix the refined flour, powdered sugar and salt well. Next add the roasted khoya and mix well. Then add the ghee, yeast mixture (after it has frothed) and beaten egg. Knead it into a soft dough, do not add any water.
Place it in a container with a tight fitting lid or cover it with cling wrap. Leave it aside to double in size. The time required for this step will really depend on the quality of your yeast.
Once it doubles in size, knead out the air and divide it into 7-8 balls.
Add the orange colour to the ¼ cup of milk.
Preheat the oven to 200oC for ten minutes.
Roll each ball into a 4-5 inches disc on a floured surface. Spread about a tsp of the coloured milk over the disc and sprinkle some sesame seeds. Gently press the sesame seeds into the dough.
Place it on a baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven at 200oC and then flip it over and bake for another 2 minutes.
Once it is out of the oven, dab some ghee over it.
You can serve it as an accompaniment to tea or even with any chicken or mutton dish.