MULTAN Known for its taste, sweetness, and freshness the mouth-watering Multani Sohan Halwa is considered to be one of the gifts of the Saints’ city.
Sohan Halwa is among six gifts, for which Multan is known. A famous Persian quote includes dust, heat, beggars, and graveyards as the four other gifts attached to Multan.
Mango is a seasonal fruit of summer and Sohan Halwa is a winter’s delight but both have become the identity of Multan at home and abroad.
The city has got international fame owing to these two sweet temptations. Some historians say a Hindu, Sohan Ram, had a name in the business of selling milk in ancient times in Multan. He would sell it in mounds on a daily basis. One day, he could not sell a large quantity of unboiled milk, which was boiled by him in a big container so that it might not get spoiled.
Ram made it thicker to the extent that it turned into a crunchy ‘Khoya’ and later he mixed various dry fruit into the product.
The new product (Halwa) was liked that much by his customers that it was named after his name as Sohan Halwa. Another theory says that the sweet dish had a special association with the Iranian city of Sohan as Multan had been the main trading center since old times and had a harbor too. The Halwa traveled here from Iran with traders and ultimately became the identity of the city.
Sohan is a Hindi word, which means an item of rubbing. While preparing Halwa, slotted spoon (Khurpa) plays a vital role, therefore, it is known as “Sohan Halwa”.
One can find a number of shops of the sweet dish in every nook and corner of the city. It is a fact that Sohan Halwa of some other cities of south Punjab, including Dera Ghazi Khan, Uch Sharif, Mailsi, Bahawalpur, and Makhdoom Aali has earned a name too. However, it is an undeniable fact that due to its popularity among sweet lovers, Multani Sohan Halwa has excelled all others.
Halwa preparation scene is very interesting to watch. It begins with the boiling of mounds of milk in large containers kept on big stoves. A man keeps on stirring a spoon in the containers, by the time milk starts boiling. The process is sped up as it gets boiled. Afterwards, flour is mixed in it matching its weight. Later, sugar and ghee are combined and the laborious process of preparation goes on to its baking.
“Halwa of MULTAN FARMS is very sweet and delicious. I love to eat Halwa made up of eggs here. This confectionery has its own flavor, though its sweets are bit costly”.
Beware of shops and vendors selling Halwa in the name of famous brands of the city at buses terminals, railway station and wagon stands where tourist come and go. It is a common observation that they sell fake Halwa with known brands names printed on it. They mislead people, who are not familiar with real markets or shops of the Sohan Halwa.