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For the ancient Mesopotamian name for a disease, see Samānu.
Samanu for 7 sin.jpg
Type Dessert
Place of origin Iran (Persia) , Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan
Main ingredients Germinated wheat
Cookbook: Sumalyak  Media: Sumalyak
Cooking samanak in Isfara, Tajikistan

Samanu (Persian: سمنو‎‎), Samanak (Persian: سمنک‎‎), Sumalak/Sumalyak; Azerbaijani: Səməni halvası; (Tajik: сумалак; Uzbek: sumalak [sʉmælǽk]) or Sümölök (Kyrgyz: сүмөлөк [symœlœ́k]) is an Iranian sweet paste made entirely from germinated wheat (young wheatgrass), which is prepared especially for Nowruz (New Year's Day) in a large pot (like a kazan). This practice has been traced back to the pre-Islamic Persia.

The wheat is soaked and prepared for days and so the entire process takes up to a week. Traditionally, the final cooking would take from late in the evening till the daylight and was a party, involving only women. This would be full of laughter and music and singing related songs. In Uzbekistan the whole gathering, mostly women, gather near the huge pot: sit in a circle, sing songs, have fun, each of them waits for their turn to stir the sumalak. In the morning still warm sumalak is handed out to neighbors, relatives and friends.[1] In Tajikistan and Afghanistan they sing: Samanak dar Jūsh u mā Kafcha zanēm – Dīgarān dar Khwāb u mā Dafcha zanēm.[2][3][4][5] (meaning: "Samanak is boiling and we are stirring it, others are asleep and we are playing daf").

The Azerbaijani proverb: Samani, Samani, har il goyardaram sani, translated by the Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery (1989); "Samani, Samani, I try to make you grow every year.", refers to the annual renewal of nature.[6]

In modern times, making Samanu can be a family activity. Traditional Samanu is made entirely of germinated wheat and water (no other ingredients). Nowadays, it is common to add a bit of flour to speed up the thickening process, although this makes the paste taste somewhat bitter and less sweet.

A plate or bowl of Samanu is a traditional component of the Haft sin table.


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