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Sohan desserts: Candy and halwa-style sweets


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Author Topic: Sohan desserts: Candy and halwa-style sweets  (Read 81 times)
Ruhi_Rose
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« 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.


     
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.



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] Cheesy

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!  Smiley    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 6 tbsp
2 tbsp (sprouted) whole wheat flour 
Half tsp or little more lemon salt (aka sour salt or citric acid)
1 cup sugar
Green cardamom powder 1 tsp level and a few whole ones split
Unsalted butter 2 tbsp
Slivered almonds
Pistachios
Walnut pieces

Mix both both kinds of flour.    Boil milk.  Add flours.  Stir well.  Don't cook too much to avoid lumps.  At this point add lemon salt and cuddle the milk.  Mix just a bit, gently, so that the cuddled grains remain.  Cook on medium heat until the color begins to change a bit and the mixture is reduced, approximately to half.  Now add sugar and cardamom.  Stir stir otherwise it will get very lumpy.  The mixture will gradually become smooth and thick.   Add butter and stir until the melted butter comes on the surface of the halwa turning into a light brown shade of sticky dessert.  This may take 20-25 minutes when it should leave the sides, not stick to the pan, the melted butter oozing from the sides.   Mix the walnuts and spread on a flat square dish evenly.  Lastly sprinkle the slivered almonds and pistachios, and roughly cut into squares by driving a blunt table knife through it.



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 cuddling the milk mix with lemon salt.

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Zeynab
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2019, 08:28:20 am »



Both desserts absolutely mouth-watering!  But does look like too much work  Undecided
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Ruhi_Rose
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2019, 08:32:41 am »



   Cheesy   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  Smiley


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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2019, 08:34:16 am »



Aw!  thank ye dear sis.  How thoughtful  Smiley

Yes, using smaller quantities is a good idea ......
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2019, 08:23:14 am »



Yums folkies   Shocked    Looks great!  Smiley   I've tasted sohan candy several times in the past (purchased from store, not homemade  Undecided Smiley ) 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, what's lemon salt?   How about putting lemon juice?  Isn't that best for cuddling milk?

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Ruhi_Rose
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2019, 08:36:41 am »


Sis, lemon salt is the same as citric acid.   I don't think putting lemon juice would be a good idea, not in this particular recipe.  It may leave a sour or slightly sour flavor .... and may taste like it's not too fresh.  Sohan halwa is supposed to be just sweet, no sour flavor.
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2019, 08:39:22 am »



I see ..... so will it be available in regular grocery stores?
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2019, 08:59:20 am »



It should be available in most grocery stores in the canning or spices section.  I'm pretty 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. 
 

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« Reply #8 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.
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« Reply #9 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.
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« Reply #10 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 of special occasions.

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« Reply #11 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.

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« Reply #12 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 ~    Sad


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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2019, 09:55:00 am »



Lamentable, honestly ......  Sad
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