Every particular city or region has a historical background and with its history, it also possesses some certain characteristics which make it distinguished amongst other such cities. Multan is one of the oldest cities in Pakistan hinting its origin to thousands year back. The city is attributed with couple of special features which also earn it couple of titles i.e. The City of Saints, The Mango City, etc. Although these are the identities of Multan, here we are highlighting a dessert which strikes in the minds whenever we hear the name of this city.
Just like Mango reigns throughout the entire summer in Multan and the denizens tolerate the scorching sunlight owing to the fruits it bears to splash juice of freshness with variety, the winter allows another sweet but hot dish to take over the Multanis. Yes! Winter in Multan without Multani Sohan Halwa, impossible! In the same passion as Multan’s Mangoes have high demands in global market, its Sohan Halwa also enjoys much popularity not only in other parts of the country but also in the world. It is almost impossible that someone visits Multan, especially during winter, he/she will surely keep remember to purchase few boxes of Multani Sohan Halwa to take it along when goes back.
The fact that makes Multani Sohan Halwa so special is its taste and the stuff with which it is cooked and garnished. There are several popular brands of Sohan Halwa in Multan and each claims to be the ‘genuine’ one. However, the ‘Hafiz’, Hafiz Abdul Wadood and Ahmad brands are undoubtedly the ones that dated back to dessert’s origin and these brands give you the real taste. But not all boxes of the dish bearing any of these titles are genuine. So, in order to cope with this issue and to buy the real stuff, anyone who wishes to taste the real stuff should collaborate with someone belongs to the old city. It is also recommended to avoid purchasing Sohan Halwa from railway station, bus terminals, venders etc. and it should only be bought from authentic stores. In this regard, I personally would recommend you to pay a visit to Muhalla Qadeer Abad – a den of Sohn Halwa makers – to relish the real taste.
As per the varieties of Sohan Halwa, using different nuts doubles its taste and multiplies its power. In this regard, wall-nuts, pistachio, almond, cashew nuts, peanuts, coconut, saffron are used mostly for garnishing to add more potential in the dessert to provide calories and warmth to the body of eaters. The nutritional values and calories vary in accordance with the type of the dish you are having. A hundred gram of simple pudding gives you 399 calories besides providing relief from gust of cold season. Sohan Halwa is very delicious dessert and it never lets you forget the taste once you have it. Its each bite is replete with taste and delight that makes you feel great amidst the frost season.
Moreover, if you happen to be living in far places where you can’t have access to real Sohan Halwa, you can also cook it by yourself, but you need to be passionate for cooking and must have patience as making of Sohan Halwa isn’t a piece of cake. Following is a simple and strait forward method of preparing Sohan Halwa at home.
Warm Milk: 1 liter
Angoori or Almond powder: 25g or 1 tbsp
[the method of making Angoori is given at the end]
Citric Acid: Half tbsp
Almond, Pistachio: 2 tbsp
Green cardamoms: 1 tbsp
Place a wok on the burner, add flour, angoori and 2 cups of water and mix all the items together
Now, pour warm milk and cook on very low heat till it starts boiling
Keep stirring slowly to avoid forming lumps
Then remove the wok from stove and add citric acid (dissolve in one cup of water), when the milk turns into curdle form, put it back on the fire and cook on low flame until water fades away
Now, add sugar and cook to dry sugar water
When the mixture turns into thick form then cook on low heat while continuously pouring ghee, cardamom powder, and stirring for further 20 minutes or till the mixture gets separated
When mixture turns light brown, remove from the flame and add chopped nuts
Now, take it into dish or bowl, garnish with almond and pistachio and serve
Direction for Angoori:
Add 250gm wheat in a bowl and leave it soaking in water for 3 days, drain water and spread the grains of wheat on a damp cloth, cover it with another damp cloth, leave it covered for 3 day but keep sprinkling water on it during these days.
The sixth day will show growing from the grains; when it grows to half an inch, remove from the grains, placing them under the sun, let them dry.
When dried, ground them to make powder. Angoori is ready to be used. You can keep it in dry and clean jar for later use.