Besan Ka Sheera (Natural Cold Home Remedy)


Besan ka Sheera - an Indian natural cold and cough remedy - recipe by ashley of

This recipe is both a dessert and a natural cold and cough home remedy.

(For the record… this is obviously not meant to replace actual medicine. I’m literally just a food blogger who enjoys cooking/eating).

What’s besan ka sheera?

If you’ve never heard of besan ka sheera, it’s a sweet Indian drink made with ghee, besan (Indian chickpea flour), milk of your choice, sugar, and spices. It’s a drink that’s often given to young kids and adults when they feel under the weather. You’re supposed to drink it at night before bed  – and it’s supposed to be served hot. Please know – I’m in no way a doctor – these are just things that I’ve been taught by my parents who were taught by their parents.

I have to ask. Did you pause for a second when I told you there was Indian chickpea flour in this drink? I know that sounds like a strange ingredient to use in a dessert, but it’s actually very common when it comes to Indian sweets. When you roast chickpea flour, especially in ghee, it gives the flour a delicious, nutty flavor that works extremely well in desserts. In fact, some of my favorite Indian sweets are made with this type of flour.

Besan flour actually does something really cool to this drink. It helps thicken it, a lot. When you pour milk into the pot, the besan absorbs a lot of it – so you can make this drink as thick or as thin as you’d like by adjusting the amount of liquid that you add to it. I personally like mine to be on the liquidy side but again, adjust the consistency to your preference.

Besan ka Sheera - an Indian natural cold and cough remedy - recipe by ashley of

The cold season has hit our little family hard. First, my husband got sick. Then, my poor baby, Tony, got his first cold. I’ve been feeling sick for about a week now, but I’m pretty sure I’ve somehow willed myself to be okay so that I can take care of my boys. Now that they’re better, I’m losing to the cold – losing badly. I will eventually resort to the medicine cabinet, but I first try home remedies at the onset of a cold. There are several things I like to do: drink this besan ka sheera, drink turmeric milk, or eat golden milk gummies.

Now I’m not sure if this is true or not, but the rumor is that the benefits of besan ka sheera can help a nursing baby. I have no idea if this drink helped my son get better or if the cold just ran its course (probably the latter). But I have to tell you – I felt so helpless while my little guy was sick, and drinking this drink made ME feel better. Like I was doing something to help.

I’m pretty sure that this is by far the best cold “medicine” you’ll ever have. The great thing about this recipe is that even if it doesn’t help you feel better, it still tastes delicious. You can top it with cashews cooked in a bit of ghee to make it more dessert-like.

Besan ka Sheera - an Indian natural cold and cough remedy - recipe by ashley of

Besan Ka Sheera (Natural Cold Remedy)

Besan ka Sheera - an Indian natural cold and cough remedy - recipe by ashley of

Besan Ka Sheera (Natural Cold Remedy)

4.85 from 19 reviews
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Servings 1 cup, Serves 1-2


  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 3 tablespoons besan
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • ¼ cup jaggery or coconut sugar or sweetener of choice to taste


  • Melt the ghee in a small pot, then add chickpea flour and stir the two together until the chickpea flour becomes dark yellow/golden in color and gives off a nutty aroma.
  • Stir in the spices, then add the milk and sweetener. Mix well.
  • Once the milk is hot, turn off the heat. This drink is best served hot and before bed.


  • If you prefer a thinner consistency, you can add more milk.
  • You can use Indian besan flour (desi chana flour) or chickpea flour in this dish - both work, though besan will have a nuttier flavor.
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Besan ka Sheera - an Indian natural cold and cough remedy - recipe by ashley of

Disclaimer: I’m not a scientist or a doctor, so I can’t give you any expert health or medical advice. I’m just a food blogger who likes to eat. The information on my blog should not be construed as professional medical advice.  You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. If you have any health concerns, contact your physician or another health care professional.

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Seema says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley ! I made this recipe today and it turned out so good. I loved it as I am under the weather today and this has soothed my throat so well. Thank you.

  2. William says

    5 stars
    I had a sore throat for a few days and found this by searching for Indian foods for cold recovery. Tried it and I absolutely loved it! I’m not used to the Indian level of sweetness so I put half sugar, but it still tasted excellent. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Shanthini Jayanthan says

    5 stars
    Ashley love your recipes and they always come out perfect most of the time. I will try the above as a dessert as sounds yummy. Had a question on Besan flour I bought recently. Label says kala Chana Besan. Is this the same as Chickpea flour in crepe recipes ? My crepe cracked so not sure. Thank you.

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Thank you! Kala chana besan means that the besan is ground with the outer brown skin – it’s different from regular besan which is made with chana dal (no skin). I haven’t tried this with kala chana besan so I’m not sure how it’d go so I’d suggest using regular besan for it.

  4. Vagisha Ravi says

    5 stars
    I was actually starting to think my mom made up the whole idea of seera because i have never heard about it from anyone lol so i was glad to see it here! the recipe was pretty much the same as my moms with the exception of non-dairy milk and coconut sugar. Made this today with a pinch of ginger powder like my moms original recipe and it made me feel like i was home!thank you so much!! Oh and it “helped” with my cold too haha

  5. Deepthi Varrier says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley,

    Thank you for the recipe. I made this for my husband who is down with a bad cold. It was my first time making it after a friend suggested the home remedy and I looked up your recipe, and my husband loved it! I’ve been using other home remedies along with this one, but I’m sure this one worked really well by not only making him feel slightly better, but also drastically improving his mood by getting to eat something so delicious besides the usually bland khichdis, soups and bread. I personally loved the taste so much, that this will be a regular in my household going forward 🙂

  6. Rupi says

    4 stars
    So yum! Love besan anything. Lol! How often should the drink be consumed? I’m sure there no harm if let’s say a week.?

  7. Jain says

    5 stars
    🙂 Yess!! I grew up on this cold/cough remedy. Always worked /works wonders for me! I don’t use sugar and prefer a much more milkier version. Thanks for sharing!!

  8. Dominika says

    Just to make sure – is sugar amount correct in the recipe? It seems to be extremely sweet? Otherwise looks great.

      • Dominika says

        Thanks! I made one yesterday and added half of that amount – it was still much too sweet for me (I don’t use much sugar in the kitchen), but otherwise it was delicious :-)! And EXTREMELY worming! That would made perfect evening drink for winter after some outdoor activities. But in the summer works as well when you feel like getting a cold :-). I have added quite a big chunk of fresh turmeric as it happened I had one in the fridge. I guess you could add honey if not vegan, which is known as cold remedy as well. Thank you for sharing this great idea.

  9. Mari says

    5 stars
    I just tried this. I’m not sick though, just disgruntled and I wanted something creamy. I really enjoyed it- it made me think of drinking vanilla wafers. My mom tasted it and said it reminded her of egg custard. I used a mix of coconut cream and water for the liquid, and sweetened it with maple syrup- definitely will make this again.

  10. Denise says

    Being paleo, I don’t think flour made from chick peas would be acceptable. Can you substitute it, or is it the main ingredient for the flavour and getting over the cold? Thanks.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Denise, you can’t substitute the chickpea flour. My blog is a real food blog (no longer just paleo) but you can find all of my paleo recipes by visiting my recipe index:

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