A flat-bread of Middle Eastern origin. Initially eaten in Iran and Pakistan and particularly north India, now this flat-bread has its fans world over.Its truly said that the world is shrinking and in the culinary world the cuisines are nearly merging.
Shirmal literally means ‘Milk Bread’.
It’s a bit sweet in flavor and kneaded with milk and yeast as a leavening agent, along with other ingredients .It’s a bit sweet in flavor, which it gets from the milk and a bit of sugar which goes in. The preparation of Shirmal is similar to that of the Indian ‘Rotis’, but the difference is the addition of yeast in it. History has it, that this flat-bread was brought to India by the Persians and soon it became an integral part of the royal dinners. I have eaten these many times as a child and now this exquisite bread being part of many wedding banquets where one can enjoy these with kebabs as well as with desserts. It brings my fond childhood memories and a touch of nostalgia together, when I eat this soft rich in texture bread.
Now, why did I want to cook it after all?
Although we foodies don’t need any reason to cook, but yes this has a story. A boring evening, with a beautiful weather, my taste buds were craving for a mutton delight. Then we agreed (me n my heart) on keema. Now, a normal roti with keema would just kill the whole essence of the keema, so I decided to prepare Sheermal. It was 8:00pm and the dinner was ready, but my cravings took me to prepare it all over again and I quickly kneaded the flour and went to keep it to a warm place to ferment….with no time for a second proofing, I took the chance and went ahead as I just had to eat it then (lots of laugh).And tada…I check after 45 minutes and the flour had risen. I was elated and made soft, rich and much wanted Sheermal for the first time. I was so happy that I made them. I have some 5 people to testify for it .The reaction was WOW! One of our friends who is from Lucknow, where he grew up eating all these nawabi delicacies gave a big compliment “It reminded him of his childhood”. But really, you just have to make these. They look difficult but they are so easy to prepare.
Follow my simple recipe and enjoy these easy and soft Sheermal!
Warm the milk in microwave till little warm than lukewarm. Add 1 tsp sugar and yeast.Let it sit covered on the counter for 5 minutes .
One you see some bubbles form that means the yeast is ready.
Take all purpose flour in a bowl,add this yeast mixture ,salt,ghee,the remaining sugar and egg.Mix this with the help of a spatula.The mixture at this point will be sticky.
Don't worry just keep mixing softy and use your hands to bring it together.You may dust your hands with a bit of ghee or flour, but donu2019t put extra flour in the mix.
Cover this with a muslin cloth and lid and keep it at the warmest place of your house. I had kept it in my linen closet between two blankets.
Meanwhile you may prepare keema and cut your salad for serving.Also mix 2 pinch of saffron in xbc cup of milk to dress the sheermal pre- or post the bake.
After 30-45 minutes,check the flour.Mine had risen to double and I started making the naans.
Preheat your oven at 220 degrees Celsius at bake.
You do not need a rolling pin for these,as the flour is very soft and you may just spread it on the counter with your hands in a roti shape or shape it between two hands.
Line a baking tray and start placing your sheermal onto it.Bake for 10 minutes till done and last 5 minutes change the oven option to top element to have a nicely golden top.Take out the sheermal out of the oven and dress it with milk saffron mix with a silicon brush.The sheermal gets its beautiful yellow color from this milk saffron brushing.
Note: Best served with Keema, Nihari, Kababs and Phirni as dessert.Rose phirni served as dessert serves as best combination.Also see Recipe: Rose/ Gulab Phirni