Ramzan Special Sheermal Recipe By Chef Megha Kohli
Image Credit: Ayandrali Dutta

It’s the holy month of Ramzan and most houses see an elaborate affair when it comes to Iftaar the evening meal while breaking the fast. And of all the dishes that that are seen on the table Sheermal makes its royal entry too. This flatbread that sees a Awadhi origin, is basically baked in a tandoor and sees use of  saffron and lots of dry fruit dressing which is paired perfectly with this spicy Mughlai curry. As the name suggests 'sheer' means milk and 'mal or maal' denotes 'rich food'), as this bread can be traced back as the upper-class food whose history can be traced to the Nawabi rasoi's. Paired with a plate of nihari, this slightly sweet bread tasted really delectable. It’s said that Sheermal was first prepared during the reign of  first king of Awadh Ghaziuddin Haider as he wished to have a special bread for some special occasion and hence Sheermal was born. This rich bread that was created by a local baker Mahmood, caught the emperor’s attention. He named it Sheermal as it had ‘sheer’ means ‘milk’ and ‘mal’ means ‘rich’ denoting the use of saffron in it.

Renowned Chef Megha took to Instagram and shared the recipe of this bread. She on her post wrote “I have always been fascinated by breads across the world but my love for Indian breads is unparalleled. Indian breads have such a unique character - extremely different from the breads of the West, be it in taste or variety.

The bread above is one of my favorite breads - Sheermal.

Sheermal originated in Persia, "Shir" means milk and "Mal" means to rub, in Farsi & Urdu. This bread is made from four basic ingredients: flour, milk, saffron, and sugar and is baked in a tandoor. I bake it in a oven whenever I make it at home & even in the video above.

I get my Sheermal and Nihari fix from Nizzamuddin in Delhi. I always get some sheermal packed and I have it the next day with some butter for my morning breakfast too!

To make sheermal you need -:


    Maida : 2.5 cups (320 gm)

    Salt : 1/2 tsp (3 gm)

    Egg : 1 pc

    Castor sugar : 1 tbsp (15 gm)

    Instant yeast : 2 full + 1/4 tsp (7 gm)

    Milk : 3/4th cup (180 ml)

    Ghee : 2.5 tbsp (50gm)

    Saffron strands : 8 to 10

    4 pc green cardamom powdered

    Melted butter : to brush on bread


* In a bowl, dissolve saffron into warm milk.

* In a seperate bowl add flour, salt, sugar, instant yeast, ghee, cardamom and mix everything.

* To this add the ½ cup of warm saffron milk and egg.

* Knead well to form a soft dough & transfer to a well greased pan and set aside for 1 hour for the first rise.

* Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease the baking tray.

* Punch down and divide the dough into 5 equal sized portions.

* Roll out each portion into a circle of about ½ inch thickness and about 6 inch diameter.

* Prick the rolled dough with fork so that it won’t puff up in the oven.

* When you are ready to bake brush them with saffron milk.

* And bake at 200°C for 12-15 minutes or until it become golden yellow colour.

* Once the bread is baked and out of the oven, brush with the melted butter.

* Serve hot.

I hope you enjoy making this at home! Do let me know how you liked it!