Samanu, also known as "sacred Halwa", is one of the foods necessary for haft sin, and its tradition is also shared by many other non-Muslim populations celebrating Nowruz. Afghan, Tajik, Turkmen and Uzbek women and girls still cook Samanu today in a group, outdoors, using the kazan, a large cast-iron pot with a wide bottom resting or hanging on a fire, and there they spend the whole night singing popular theme songs and nursery rhymes. This dish has a very sweet taste, due to the enzymes contained in the wheat sprouts that at high temperature interact with the starches of the flour, turning them into sugars.
The preparation of the Samanu is divided into two phases: the germination of the wheat with the collection of the shoots and the consequent preparation of the extract and its cooking. However, it is possible to use the wheat sprouts flour (Sohan), which is already ready and available in specialized shops, for greater convenience; in this case 2 glasses of flour will replace the necessary amount of wheat.
INGREDIENTS FOR PEOPLE 4
• 500 g of husked wheat specific for Samanu (or 2 glasses of flour already ready)
• 2 kg of sifted whole wheat flour
• 11 of water
• 3 tablespoons of rose water
• 3 abundant spoons of almonds, pistachios and peeled hazelnuts, peeled, unsalted and flaked (optional)
Wash the wheat in cold water and rinse it. Place it in a basin and add cold water to cover it completely, leaving 2-3 cm of water above its surface. Change the water every day. After at least a couple of days the grain begins to germinate. Rinse in plenty of water and place the wheat in a thin, previously moistened cotton gauze; wrap the gauze on itself and place it in a bowl in a warm place away from drafts. Once or twice a day lightly moisten the gauze with cold water. When the first roots appear, spread the wheat on a large tray, cover it with damp gauze and water it from time to time with water, making sure it does not dry. When the sprouts are well grown and still of a silvery color (ie before they turn green), grind them in a blender by adding two glasses of cold water. Filter the excess water through a fine strainer or gauze by collecting the juice in a bowl or mixer.
Add the flour previously dissolved in water and stir continuously until you get a smooth and homogeneous paste that you will put on the fire in a pan.
In case you use the flour ready for Samanu, place it covered with cold water in the mixer and let it rest for 20 '. Incorporate the wheat flour at a later time by following the same procedure as above to obtain the homogeneous pasta to be cooked. The first 30-40 'firing require constant and frequent stirring to prevent the cream from thickening too much. Remove the boil, continue to simmer slowly making slightly thicken the puree that will caramelize enough to take on a beautiful light hazelnut color. Gradually, in the course of cooking add more 2 glasses of hot water while continuing to mix. Let the Samanu simmer for another hour on a very low flame or even better in a preheated oven no more than 30 ° C for a couple of hours. Only then, in order not to lose its delicate aroma, add rose water, and want flaky dried fruit.
The Samanu finally presents itself as a thick cream that can be kept in the fridge in glass or disposable containers for the entire holiday season.