Soan papdi is a traditional Indian dessert closely related to the Turkish sweet pişmaniye. According to The Food Hog, pişmaniye is made by forming a fine floss out of flour, butter, and sugar. Soan papdi is made much in the same way, says Awesome Cuisine, though pişmaniye traditionally has a strong nutty flavor, whereas the Indian treat is lighter. It is often cut into cubes and flavored with sugar, cardamom, pistachios, or almonds and is crisper and flakier than the more cotton candy-like pişmaniye.
The Times Food says that while soan papdi can be bought at any old Hindu grocery store, it can also be easily made using some of the most basic ingredients you probably have at home. The process of making this classic Indian treat begins by gathering gram and all-purpose flour, ghee (clarified butter), sugar, milk, and cardamom. Simple, right?
Add the ghee to a saucepan, and mix your flour into the butter until the sauce is golden in color. Set that aside to cool, and then heat your sugar into a syrup with water and milk. When the syrup is completed, pour it into the four mixture and whisk until flaky. Finally, add the cardamom and shape or decorate however you like! The simplicity of this sweet is one of the reasons it is so popular to see during Diwali.