Sohan Asali (سوهان عسلی) or Persian saffron caramel is a traditional Persian sweet delight from Isfahan province. According to historical evidence, it first originated in Isfahan during the Qajar empire. It is one of the crunchy pastries that is made with almond and honey and includes other nuts as a topping. Sohan is a kind of Persian crunchy pastry and Asali is the Farsi term for with honey. So totally it is a crunchy pastry with honey. Isfahan is one of Iran’s central provinces which has been Iran’s capital for several years. We can claim that it has the most historical and cultural sites in Iran. Moreover, it has remarkable sweets as a souvenir.
Gaz is one of the most famous sweet pastries of Isfahan that has international fame. Sohan Asali is another sweet delight of this region that Iranians cook and consume it in parties and happy ceremonies. It is a great choice to use, along with Persian black tea.
Different types of Sohan Asali:
Sohan Asali is a subcategory of Sohan which is a crunchy Persian sweet, and it is made in Qom. in the past, there was only one type of Sohan Asali that Iranians made with sugar, almond, and honey. Nowadays they are more types of it available since they add new varieties of nuts to this sweet. Nowadays, there are Sohan Asali with pistachio, with cashew, with walnuts and pure ones with almond. There are also some mixed types which include almond as the main ingredient and a mix of other nuts as the topping.
Important Nutrition Facts of Sohan Asali:
Commonly Persian sweets are eaten because of their delicious taste. They do not own high nutrition. Sohan Asali is one of those pastries with a high calorie of 530 kcal per 100gr. On average It has about 106 kcal per serving. It has 5 gr fat, 5 gr protein, and 45 gr carbohydrates per 100 gr. However, the nuts and the honey used in cooking this sweet, include vitamins and minerals that can be beneficial for the body. If you have diabetes or you are suffering from high blood cholesterol, I suggest you never mind eating Persian sweets!
Persian cuisine is full of pastries and sweets that are suitable for vegetarian diets. Sohan Asali is one of those vegan sweets that don’t contain any non-vegetarian ingredients. It mainly consists of nuts and honey. As a vegan or vegetarian you can confidently cook and eat this sweet pastry.
Serving Style of Sohan Asali:
Commonly Persian sweets are served on happy occasions such as wedding ceremonies. Sohan Asali is not that official to be served on wedding parties or other official celebrations. However, it is an excellent choice for casual and friendly gatherings. We can serve it either as a dessert or as a sweet individually. You may host your guests with it along with a cup of Persian tea. It can be served instead of Gand (Persian cube sugars) next to the tea. It can be a great choice of brunch, a break snack at work or a sweet pastry at an evening party. If you are serving it in an evening party, a dish of fruits and a tray of Persian black tea can well accompany the Sohan Asali.
What are the ingredients of Sohan Asali?
Despite other pastries, you don’t need flour to cook this sweet. You need to prepare almond. You will need a proper amount of almond. Moreover, you need honey. It is better if you can find a honey with a thick texture. Then, it would be best if you had butter. Iranian confectionaries usually use ghee instead of butter. However, you can use butter or vegetable oil instead. You also need sugar, since the honey is not adequate to sweeten all that almond. The only spice that you need in cooking Sohan Asali is saffron. You will require brewed saffron. Finally, you can add other types of nuts such as pistachio and cashews as the topping depending on your liking.
How to cook Sohan Asali?
To cook Sohan Asali, use sliced almonds, or slice the almonds. You can also use chopped almonds. In a pot, mix sugar, honey, and butter. Heat and batter the mixture to the point that sugar solves in the butter. Brew some saffron and add it to the mixture. It is essential to mix the components to the point that they are mixed, but the butter is not separated. Wash and drain the sliced almonds and then add them to the mixture. Cook them to the point that almonds change to a golden color. Pour the mixture on a tray and flatten it. Immediately place the pistachios on the top of it. After some minutes that it has a soft, sticky texture, cut it into square shape forms. Then let it cool and become crunchy.
This recipe is adequate for four people. The preparation time is about 5 minutes, and the cooking time is 20 minutes. It would be best if you considered some time for cooling.
- 3 tablespoon honey
- ½ cup sliced almond
- 1 cup of sugar
- ½ cup brewed saffron
- 4 tablespoon ghee (or melted butter)
- 1 tablespoon pistachio slices
- Wash and drain, then dry the almonds
- In a pot, mix ghee with sugar and honey
- After the sugar solved in that mixture, add the almonds
- Cook them to the point that almonds’ color change to gold
- Add saffron
- After 5 minutes, please turn off the heat and pour it on a tray
- Flatten it and sparkle the pistachios on it
- After some minute that it has a sticky texture, cut it into 4-inch squares
- Let them cool down for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- You can use vegetable oil instead of ghee.
- You can keep it in the fridge for several weeks
- It is crucial to keep it in a container with lid
- If you want to know when is the proper time to turn off the heat, pour some of the syrup into cold water. If it solved in the water, you need to cook it still.