Make your Eid Feast extra special with Shahi Zafran sherbet and more!

This Eid, why not add other items to your menu for the feast? Present your guests with a saffron-imbued cold drink.

Shayma Saadat July 16, 2015
In my ancestral home in Lahore, on Eidul Fitr, our table is adorned with Bohemian crystal bowls filled with fruit or chickpea chaat and mithai in kitsch colours, laid out on silver platters. But as in many homes across Pakistan, it is the vermicelli pudding, the seviyan, which is the pièce de résistance on the table.

This Eid, why not add other items to your menu for the feast?

Present your guests with a saffron-imbued cold drink – Shahi Zafran ka sherbet  upon their arrival. The dollop of fresh cream on top with pistachio dust is a lovely way to do something a little extra special on Eid.

After your guests have eaten and enjoyed a few spoonful’s of seviyan (which is a rite of passage on Eid), there is always room for more dessert when the tea trolley comes around. Make a gorgeous date cake for your guests, and serve it alongside a cup of cardamom-fragranced green tea. In my ancestral home, green tea was always served in my paternal grandmother’s red Russian Gardner cups, which her mother-in-law brought back from Afghanistan in the late 1800s.

And for those guests who will be coming for lunch or dinner, prepare some Kebab-e-dayg – tender kebabs prepared on a slow flame, in a spicy tomato base, which pairs beautifully with some basmati rice and a kachumbar (salad).

This warming sherbet with its vermilion hue and musky, smoky aroma of cardamom and saffron is beautiful with a crown of cream. It is just what I want to drink with a copy of Donna Hay’s magazine in my lap.

This recipe serves four.


Saffron strands – 1 tsp (crushed in a pestle and mortar)

Milk – 1 litre and 3 tbsp whole milk

Heavy whipping cream – 300ml

Cardamom pods – 6 pods (shells removed, seeds extracted)

Honey – 2 to 3 tbsp honey (I like acacia or manuka)

Cardamom powder – 1 tsp

Crushed unsalted pistachios – for garnish


1. Crush saffron threads in a pestle and mortar and transfer to a bowl. Add three tablespoons of milk.

2. Beat the cream in a chilled bowl with a whisk or an electric mixer just until it holds a loose peak.

3. Store in refrigerator till you are ready to serve the sharbet.

4. Place milk in a medium-sized sauce pan on medium-low heat. Add cardamom seeds and bring to a simmer.

5. Pass milk through sieve into a glass vessel and discard cardamom seeds.

6. While milk is still warm (it should not be hot), add saffron water, honey and cardamom powder.

7. Stir well to incorporate.

8. Transfer to serving glasses and add dollop of cream and sprinkle with crushed pistachios before serving.

Wishing everyone a lovely Eid with your loved ones!

All photos: Shayma Saadat

This post originally appeared here.

This is Part 1 of our delicious three part Eid Feast Recipe. Part 2 (Kebab-e-Dayg) shall be published tomorrow, stay tuned!
Shayma Saadat The author is a food writer, stylist and photographer who focuses on the food of her heritage - Pakistani, Afghan and Persian. She is the editor of the award-winning food website, The Spice Spoon ( She lives in Toronto with her husband and son. You can follow Shayma's culinary journey on Instagram @SpiceSpoon (
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

Facebook Conversations


Commemtator | 5 years ago | Reply | Recommend It seems that blogger of this post never visited Pakistani grocery stores. She has no idea about the costs of ingredients. In Pakistan only few people can afford saffron because it is an expensive ingredient available for nearly two thousand Rupees per Tola (around 12 grams). The average cost of a dish or drink would be out of control if a person try to add saffron in it, and that would be a big big bad idea!!!!!
Malik Ahsan Noor Bhutta | 5 years ago | Reply | Recommend I think the author is crazy, suggesting such Royal Type and luxurious feast, safroon being extremely expensive selling at around 1800rs/tola, and the weather being extremely hot, we certainly cannot afford it.
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