Sheermal or Shirmal (Persian-Urdu: شیرمال, Hindi: शीरमाल), is a saffron-flavored traditional flatbread from Greater Iran.[1] The word sheermal is derived from the Persian words شیر (translit. sheer) meaning milk, and مالیدن (translit. malidan) meaning to rub. In a literal translation, sheermal means milk rubbed. After being introduced to North India by the Mughal emperors. It became a delicacy of Lucknow, Hyderabad and Aurangabad.[2] It is also part of the Awadhi cuisine[3] and is enjoyed in Old Bhopal and Pakistan.

Sheermal bread made in Iran.jpg
Sheermal served in Iran
Alternative namesShirmal
Place of originIran
Region or stateGreater Iran, later spread to North India with the arrival of Persianate Mughal rulers
Main ingredientsMaida, Milk, Ghee, Saffron


Shirmal is a mildly sweet naan made out of maida, leavened with yeast, baked in a tandoor or oven. Shirmal was traditionally made like roti. Today, shirmal is prepared like naan. The warm water in the recipe for naan roti was replaced with warm milk sweetened with sugar and flavored with saffron and cardamom. The final product resembles Danish pastry.

In Iran, there are slight regional variations in the preparation of sheermal. As such, it is sometimes sold as a souvenir when travelling between the regions.

Shirmal is sometimes served with Lucknow kababs or alongside nihari.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Sheermal, Persian Sweet Bread". Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  2. ^ "A nawabi affair". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 23 October 2010. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  3. ^ "A slice of the Awadh exotica". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 5 November 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2014.