" Serve cold Shahi Tukda with silver leaf, almonds and pistachios."
By Prerna Gagerna

New Delhi, July 27 - From succulent dates to popular sheer kurma, from delicious shahi tukda to mouth-watering paneer jalebi - these traditional sweets attract people from all walks to the walled city in the Indian capital during the holy month of Ramadan.

As Eid-ul-Fitr nears, the lanes and bylanes of the Jama Masjid are packed with people who go around from stall to stall tasting their offerings.

IANS interacted with a few sweet shop owners and makers and Muslim housewives to share their recipes of traditional sweets to celebrate the festivities in the comfort of one's home.

Sheer Kurma: This is an easy dish to prepare at home and a must-have on Eid. It takes only 40 minutes to cook this, said Kusum Khan, a housewife.

For preparing the dish, first heat sewaiyan (vermicelli) in butter until it turns golden brown. Then add sugar and milk and cook until sugar is fully dissolved. Now add dry fruits, dates, chiraunji (charoli) and rose water. Further cook it for 5-7 minutes on slow heat.

Sheer Korma is ready and can be served both hot or cold, after garnishing it with cardamom powder.

Paneer Jalebi: This is one of the most selling sweets in the month of Ramadan, said Arif Siddiqui, a sweet shop owner near Jama Masjid.

Make a smooth dough by mixing maida (flour), milk, a pinch of baking powder and paneer (cottage cheese). Now shape the dough into small jalebis (spiral shapes) and deep fry it in pure ghee over slow fire, until it appears crisp and golden.

After frying, immediately put jalebis into chashni (sugar syrup) for at least 10 minutes. Serve hot or cold after garnishing it with silver leaf.

Khajla: Although Khajla takes almost an hour to prepare, it is still one of the most served sweet at the time of Iftar, said Shabnam Farooq, a housewife who likes to end her fast with it.

To make khajla, mix 4 tablespoons of maida (flour) with 500 gm of wheat flour and prepare a smooth dough. Leave it for 10 minutes. Roll the dough, add ghee and knead it. Leave it again for 10 minutes. Now cut the dough into desired size and leave it again for 5 minutes.

Now roll these pieces in long shape and then start layering it like you do for lachcha paratha. Deep fry these pieces in ghee until it puffs up and turns golden brown.

After everything is ready, heat milk, sugar and cardamom powder. Pour this into a bowl and then put khajla into it.

Khajla is ready to be served with pistachio and almonds.

Shahi Tukda: This is easy to make, but time is required to serve it cold, said Ashwaq Khan who works in a sweet shop.

Combine milk, a small amount of condensed milk (milk maid), fresh bread crumbs, cardamom powder and a pinch of nutmeg (jaiphal) in a broad bottomed pan and boil it. Stir it continuously. After some time, lower the flame and boil it till rabri becomes thick.

Keep it aside.

Now pour this on to deep-fried toast pieces, and cover them completely. Keep it in refrigerator.

Serve cold Shahi Tukda with silver leaf, almonds and pistachios.

(Prerna Gagerna can be contacted at [email protected])


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