This recipe for Sohan-e Qom is very special – it’s a unique sweet from the city of Qom, just southwest of Tehran. It is a buttery brittle studded with pistachios and flavored heavily with saffron – whose earthy aroma and rich color is unmistakably beautiful. Its texture is just the right amount of crumbly from the butter and satisfyingly crunchy from the nuts.
There are different types of Sohan in Iran but the regular one is made as following:
- 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp sprouted wheat flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 8 tablespoons water
- 10 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons corn syrup (either light or dark works fine)
- ½ tsp ground/powdered cardamom
- ½ tsp ground/powdered saffron (dry, not dissolved)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ slivered almonds (optional)
- ½ cup shelled, raw or roasted, unsalted pistachios, crushed
- Very important: get your mise-en-place in place ready before you start cooking. I arrange mine as small bowls of: flours, spices and salt, corn syrup, butter, sugar and finally the crushed pistachios. Also, spread several large sheets of parchment paper on your counter near the stove that you will use to pour the hot sohan mixture on to cool. You could also use a glass or silicone dish.
- Add the flours and sugar to a non-stick pot and heat over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes (stirring frequently).
- Add in the water and stir until all the sugars are dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil.
- Clip the candy thermometer onto your pot now.
- Add in the butter and stir until melted.
- Add in the corn syrup, salt and spices and continue to stir.
- You want your mixture to get to 260 F, just right about the SOFT CRACK stage of making candy. The hotter you let it get above that, the more the sohan will become like ‘hard candy’. Pay very close attention to the temperature because a couple degrees one way or another can make a huge difference in how hard the candy is at the end.
- Once it hits 260 F, cut the heat, quickly stir in the almonds then carefully (but be fast!) pour the mixture onto the parchment into small circles (with room to spread). You should get about 5-6 sohan circles.
- Sprinkle the crushed pistachio into the sohan rounds and using the back of a spoon or side of a mug, smush the pistachios into the sohan until it’s flattened out.
- Let cool then enjoy with tea!
Special thanks to AHU SHAHRABANI