Sheer pira

Afghan rosewater milk fudge

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes about

    25 pieces

Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

Meaning ‘sweet milk’ in the Dari language, sheer pera is a delicacy served at Afghan weddings and parties. It will delight your senses, and those of your guests, with its enticing flavours of rosewater, cardamom, walnut and pistachio.

Preparation 30 minutes
Cooking 15–20 minutes + cooling

Ingredients

  • 440 g (15½ oz/2 cups) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 440 g (15½ oz/4 cups) milk powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons rosewater
  • 75 g ( oz/½ cup) roasted walnuts or almonds, chopped
  • 100 g ( oz/½ cup) dried apricots, chopped
  • melted butter, for greasing
  • 70 g ( oz/½ cup) finely chopped pistachios
  • 65 g ( oz/½ cup) slivered almonds
  • edible silver leaf, to garnish (optional)

Method

Place the sugar in a saucepan, add 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) water and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the syrup thickens and reaches the ‘soft ball stage’, or 105–110°C (220–230°C) on a sugar thermometer.

Test by putting a small drop of the syrup on a plate; the syrup should be thick, and it should glide very slowly around the plate.

While the syrup is bubbling away, mix together the milk powder, cardamom, rosewater, walnuts and apricots in a bowl. Line a 20 cm (8 inch) square cake tin or another deep heatproof dish with baking paper and lightly grease the paper.

As soon as the syrup is ready, stir it through the milk powder mixture, then pour it into the cake tin or dish. Scatter the pistachios and almonds over the top.

Leave to cool to room temperature. Cut into 5 cm (2 inch) squares or diamonds to serve, garnished with flecks of edible silver leaf if desired.

The fudge will keep in an airtight container for 2–4 weeks; it is best stored at cool room temperature, rather than in the fridge, layered between sheets of baking paper.