Cookbook:Shirmal (Persian Saffron Flatbread)

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Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes | Cuisine of India | Cuisine of Pakistan

Shirmal, also sheermal, is a traditional flatbread made in Pakistan and in the Hyderabad region of India, probably from Persian influences.



  1. Soak saffron strands in 2 tbsp. milk warmed. Keep aside.
  2. Sift together flour and salt, sprinkle in sugar.
  3. Take in a large bowl, add melted ghee. Run in ghee with finger until evenly distributed.
  4. Add milk a little at a time, and knead in dough. When it forms a soft smooth lump, cover with moist cloth.
  5. Keep aside for 2 hours, knead, keep aside again for 2 hours. Knead again, divide into 7 parts.
  6. Rub saffron strands in milk to dissolve.
  7. Place an inverted heavy iron pan on lower shelf of oven. Keep the grill on upper rack. Preheat to 250°C (480°F).
  8. Use dry flour for dusting while rolling. Roll to thick round about 6" in diameter. Prick with fork all over. Slap onto pan base.
  9. Allow to bake until brown spots appear.
  10. Move to grill with tongs. Dip fingers in saffron milk and splash on sheermal. Keep in oven few more seconds.
  11. Or, bake in traditional tandoor or in inverted pressure cooker.
  12. Remove, serve hot or wrap in slightly moist towel to collect.

Apply butter or ghee on top if desired. Serve with gravies, veggies, curds, pickles or jams.