Sohan Halwa

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Sohan Halwa
Sohan Halwa.JPG
A variation of the Sohan Halwa made as circular discs
Alternative names Persian Sohan Halwa
Course Dessert
Place of origin India, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan
Region or state Multan, Pakistan, Herat, Afghanistan
Main ingredients cornflour, sugar, milk, water
Variations Almonds
Other information Halva
Cookbook: Sohan Halwa  Media: Sohan Halwa

Sohan Halwa (Urdu سوہن حلوہ; [ˈsoːɦən ˈɦəlʋaː]) is a traditional dessert in Afghanistan, Iran, India and Pakistan, which is a variety of dense, sweet confection or halwa and believed to be Persian in origin. Gheewala Halwa is popular for Sohan Halwa since the Mughal era. There are hundreds of shops that produce Sohan Halwa in Multan. In fact, the whole city of Multan is best known for its production of the Sohan Halwa, with a pioneering and passion of the dish going back decades.

It is made by boiling a mixture of water, sugar, milk, and cornflour until it becomes solid. Saffron is used for flavoring. Ghee is used to prevent it from sticking to the pan. Almonds, pistachios, and cardamom seeds are added. Unlike most other halwa dishes in South Asia, it is solid.


Sohan Halwa (top shelf) and other traditional Indian sweets.

The Hafiz Halwa shop in Multan claims it was introduced by Dewan Sawan Mal, the ruler of Multan in 1750. However, there is a theory that it was invented in Persia by iranian people and it was considered an ancient sweet served during social gatherings.[1]

S. Abdul Khaliq claim that this halwa was introduced in South Asia in the early 16th century when Mughal emperor Humayun (r. 1530–1540, 1555–1556) came back to power in India after being exiled in Herat Province, which was the capital of Persia. He called for the makers of this halwa from Persia and the ancestors of modern-day S.Abdul Khaliq were the official halwa makers for the Mughal rulers for 300 years. S.Abdul Khaliq also have the term, "Shahi Halwa Sohan Merchants" as part of their branding.

In Old Delhi, the 225-year-old Ghantewala sweet shop established during the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II, (r. 1759 - 1806) in 1790, made Sohan Halwa, and remained a popular visitors attraction[2][3] till its closure due to a lack of profitability hit the news July 23, 2015.[4]

Commercial production[edit]

Sohan has been commercially produced by traditional confectioners for decades. It is brittle and caramel in color. It is usually made into disks of 5-6mm thickness or as square bite-size pieces. It is usually packaged in intricately designed tin cylinders. In recent years other packages have also been common.[5]

Notable brands[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "- A Royal Sweet For Royal Palates". 
  2. ^ Planet, Lonely. "Restaurants in Delhi, India". 
  3. ^ The royal treat in Chandni Chowk The Hindu, Nov 07, 2002. Archived July 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Ghantewala: Why did Delhi's 'oldest sweet shop' shut down?". 24 July 2015 – via 
  5. ^ Ramazani, Nesta (1997). Persian Cooking: A Table Of Exotic Delights. Ibex Publishers, Inc. p. 296. ISBN 978-0-936347-77-6. 
  6. ^ Usman, Nizam Ud Deen. "Multani Sohan Halwa". Multani Sohan Halwa.