Muslim Villa

Category 12 => Desserts and sweets. => Topic started by: Ruhi_Rose on June 23, 2019, 08:13:07 am



Title: Sohan desserts: Candy and halwa-style sweets
Post by: Ruhi_Rose on June 23, 2019, 08:13:07 am


BismEm  and  salamem everyone.

First let's prepare the hard sohan candy-style, or Sohan-e-Qom, as it's popularly known.   This is a traditional specialty of the holy city of Qom, south-west of Tehran, Iran.   It is buttery and brittle, studded with pistachios and flavored heavily with saffron strands.


(https://i.imgur.com/Ay9JFto.jpg)     
This is apparently a professionally made sohan in  retail store, cut into pieces with one of those large candy cutters.  Since most kitchens don't have that, thus spreading sohan on butter paper or parchment paper in small, separate circles is best as shown below.

(https://i.imgur.com/wP2IgEb.jpg)

Ingredients for Sohan-e-Qom:
2 and a half tbsp  all-purpose flour
2 tsp (sprouted) wheat flour
1 cup white sugar
8 tbsp water
10 tbsp  butter (unsalted) .. can be substituted with corn oil but may not taste as great
6 tbsp corn syrup - dark or light doesn't matter (this maybe optional), you can substitute it with 3 tbsp honey
tsp green cardamom powder .... also use a few whole ones split open
tsp saffron strands
few drops of saffron essence (commonly known as kewra in Pakistan)
⅛ teaspoon salt
slivered almonds
cup unsalted pistachios, crushed
parchment paper (or butter paper)

Instructions
Remember to be organized ..... mise en place [mi zɑ̃ ˈplas] :D

Put the dry ingredients in the required bowls and cups;  keep the butter and honey ready close by.   Have some parchment paper sheets ready.  You will need them for lining the flat dish or tray while spreading the hot sohan.

Put both kinds of flour and sugar into a saucepan (preferably non-stick) and cook over medium heat for couple of minutes, stirring constantly.   Next, add water and stir till sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture begins to boil.   Then, add butter until it melts.  Flavor with kewra.  Finally add honey or corn syrup (whichever you choose), pinch of salt, saffron and cardamoms. Keep stirring.  The longer you stir and the hotter it gets, the harder will be the sohan (hard candy type).   Even a few minutes of extra cooking can make a difference in the consistency of the sohan.   When you see it getting quite hot, shut the cooker, quickly but carefully add the almonds, stir and spread the sohan mixture on the parchment in little circles.  Don't circle them too close to each other as they will need room to spread.   Last step, sprinkle the pistachios on the sohan circles and press them gently on the sohan with the back of a spoon. 

That's it.  You're done!  :)    Let it cool.
 
Enjoy with tea, coffee or just a plain glass of cool water.   Alhumdulilah.



That was sohan candy which is different from sohan halwa of Pakistan.  The Multani sohan halwa, a specialty of the Pakistani city of Multan is a sticky and nutty dessert.

Whole milk 1 liter
White flour and whole wheat flour mixed half cup 
Citric acid half tsp or little more if necessary
1 cup sugar
Green cardamom powder 1 tsp level and a few whole ones split
Unsalted butter half cup
Slivered almonds
Chopped Pistachios
Walnut pieces  half cup
Kewra essence 1 tsp and few strands of saffron
(remember to soak the saffron in 2 tbsp water)
Brown food color one-quarter tsp or little more if required

Boil milk.  Add citric acid.  Stir until milk cuddles.  Shut the cooker and leave it for a few minutes.  Then put the cooker on and stir.  Let the whey from the cuddled milk reduce sufficiently.  This would take 20 minutes on medium to low temperature. 

Next, gradually add flour.  Keep stirring to prevent lumping though some smaller bits of lumps will remain which is okay.  Continue stirring and try to crush as many lumps as possible with the back of a wooden kitchen spoon. 

When it gets thicker, add sugar, cardamom, kewra and saffron.  Keep stirring.  Add chopped walnuts. 

Last, add butter gradually.  Keep stirring.  If you wish you may also use Mazola corn oil instead of butter though it mightn't taste as nice.  Nonetheless, it would surely be healthier.  Cook for approximately 15 to 20 minutes.  By now the consistency of the halwa should look quite thick.  Stir for another 5 minutes. 

Spread on a square shaped flat dish.   Sprinkle the rest of the nuts on the halwa.  Smoothen it patting with the back of a spatula.  Allow to cool for at least an hour.  Then cut into squares with a knife.  It's a sticky halwa so the squared won't cut clean.  Leave to cool for a while longer before enjoying the results of your hard work   :)

Please note, use of brown color is a must.  Otherwise the halwa won't get its traditional color.  That talk about the color coming on its own as the milk cooks is a myth.  That really doesn't happen.   Some folks suggest to use cocoa powder for the brown color.  Not advisable.  We don't want a chocolaty taste is in a halwa like sohan.   You can buy brown coloring online from Amazon.  Or, you would find Wilton brown gel color at Bulk Barn.  For a brighter brown color mix a wee bit of Wilton yellow gel color with the brown.


(https://i.imgur.com/Z3unPB8.jpg)
This is how it should look, a single square piece from the spread-out halwa on a flat dish.  The rough grainy look is because of the cuddled milk.



Title: Re: Sohan desserts: Candy and halwa-style sweets
Post by: Zeynab on June 23, 2019, 08:28:20 am


Both desserts absolutely mouth-watering!  But does look like too much work  :-\


Title: Re: Sohan desserts: Candy and halwa-style sweets
Post by: Ruhi_Rose on June 23, 2019, 08:32:41 am


   :D   Couldn't agree more sis.  It does involve quite some work.  You can make with smaller quantities of ingredients ... half of the measurements mentioned here.  That would be simpler and quicker, Insh'Allah.   

Allah willing, some day I will make it and send it to you  :)




Title: Re: Sohan desserts: Candy and halwa-style sweets
Post by: Zeynab on June 23, 2019, 08:34:16 am


Aw!  thank ye dear sis.  How thoughtful  :)

Yes, using smaller quantities is a good idea ......


Title: Re: Sohan desserts: Candy and halwa-style sweets
Post by: Heba E. Husseyn on June 24, 2019, 08:23:14 am

Yums folkies   :o    Looks great!  :)   I've tasted sohan candy several times in the past (purchased from store, not homemade  :-\ :) ) but never knew about that halwa.  Hope to try it soon enough in my kitchen, Insh'Allah.  It looks simpler to make than the candy.    Btw, where to find citric acid?   How about putting lemon juice?  Isn't that best for cuddling milk?



Title: Re: Sohan desserts: Candy and halwa-style sweets
Post by: Ruhi_Rose on June 24, 2019, 08:36:41 am


Sis, citric acid in available in Bulk Barn.  Maybe you can use lemon juice too ... for 1 liter of milk, one large yellow lemon.  I just hope it doesn't leave too much of lemony or sour flavor.  We don't want that in sohan halwa either.   


Title: Re: Sohan desserts: Candy and halwa-style sweets
Post by: Heba E. Husseyn on June 24, 2019, 08:39:22 am


I see ..... so will it be available in regular grocery stores?


Title: Re: Sohan desserts: Candy and halwa-style sweets
Post by: Ruhi_Rose on June 24, 2019, 08:59:20 am


It should be available in most grocery stores in the canning or spices section.  I know for sure it's there in Bulk Barn and perhaps Lablaws.   Look under the name citric acid.  In Bulk Barn they also have lemon flavored salt which could be simply salt with lemon essence or artificial lemon flavor.  You don't need that.  But if you ask specifically for citric acid there won't be any mixup or confusion.

In case you don't find it (though I'm certain you will Insh'Allah) .... you can also prepare it at home ... as my sister did.  Quite simple.  In one cup lemon juice add 2 tablespoons of salt.  Stir well, pour it into a saucepan and let it come to boil.  You will observe a white crust-like substance forming on top.  Scrape or skim it and collect this white crust in a clean little bowl or plate.  Continue boiling and scraping until lemon juice is finished in the saucepan.  Let the crust dry a bit, drain off any liquid that maybe running along the sides.  It would be a good idea to place it on a double sheet of paper towel for a while.  Then put it in a small airtight jar or ziplock bag and store in some dark, dry and cool spot.  It might remain a bit damp, but that doesn't matter. 
 



Title: Re: Sohan desserts: Candy and halwa-style sweets
Post by: Heba E. Husseyn on June 24, 2019, 09:15:55 am


O, thanks a lot sis.  I'll remember the homemade alternative in case I don't find it.


Title: Re: Sohan desserts: Candy and halwa-style sweets
Post by: N. Truth Seeker on June 26, 2019, 10:12:26 am

Sohan-e-Qom is delectable.  Had it many times, my mom is expert in it.   I must also give her the recipe of the second dessert.  She might be able to make that too.   That halwa looks quite like fudge.

I think Sohan candy is also had in Pakistan.  Once a Pakistan friend of our family who lives in U.K. gave my family a present of Sohan brittles made by some sweet manufacturing company of Pakistan.  It was good but no flavor of saffron nor augmented with pistachios.  Just a few bits of blanched almonds as substitute.


Title: Re: Sohan desserts: Candy and halwa-style sweets
Post by: Zeynab on June 29, 2019, 09:34:22 am


Yes brother, in Pakistan too Sohan is popular, known as Sohan-papri. But you're spot on.  No saffron flavor nor pistachios.  With inflation sky rocketing to astronomical heights - despite never experiencing the challenges of sanctions - use of ingredients like saffron and pistachios would see the price of a single piece of Sohan candy not much less than a 15 carat diamond solitaire!  Even without saffron and pistachios the price is hardly affordable by the majority except on special occasions.



Title: Re: Sohan desserts: Candy and halwa-style sweets
Post by: N. Truth Seeker on June 29, 2019, 09:40:09 am


hummm ..... in Iran too cost of living including items like these has spiked much but that's entirely because of the sanctions.   I've heard many reports on Pakistan's soaring cost of living almost reaching dollar levels but without dollar level incomes.  And considering that it's never faced sanctions (except probably for a couple of years after nuclear testing in 1998 or 99), there's no reason for such price hikes ... unless the system is going on the wrong path.



Title: Re: Sohan desserts: Candy and halwa-style sweets
Post by: Zeynab on June 29, 2019, 09:52:09 am



That's precisely the problem .... the system is moving on a very, very wrong track.   With the feudal system with no agricultural tax in a predominantly agricultural country, Pakistan is losing billions every year in its revenue and is permanently cash strapped.  With costs going up more modestly in other parts of the world as well, in Pakistan with very insufficient internal revenue, costs are climbing at breakneck speed by the week.  The local Pak currency (rupees) is losing, on average, 5 points against the U.S. and Canadian dollars every week.  It's never been like this.   The solution of such a problem by the country's establishment is to devalue the local currency instead of working to abolish the bad system with land reforms etc. 

~ deep sigh ~    :(




Title: Re: Sohan desserts: Candy and halwa-style sweets
Post by: N. Truth Seeker on June 29, 2019, 09:55:00 am


Lamentable, honestly ......  :(