Fun With Falooda - Recipe and Ideas
From the traditional Pakistani shahi falooda made with rosewater and kulfi pieces to the contemporary East Asian counterpart of tapioca pearl milk tea drinks, the concept of mixing syrup-absorbent starches with sweet cream has proved to be a delicious concoction!
With its versatility and different textures, falooda is a truly indulgent experience for any sweet tooth. Here is a basic shahi falooda recipe you can use to slurp up those last few sips of summer right from home!
(Recipe makes 1 falooda drink)
2 tbsp rose syrup
1 cup of skim milk
1 scoop of pista kulfi
1 tbsp falooda sev (small pieces of rice vermicelli noodles)
1 tbsp basil seeds (also known as takmaria seeds in Indian grocery stores)
1 tbsp slivered almonds
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Falooda has as many recipes as it does names - feel free to mix and match the ingredients to your taste! Some common variations on falooda drinks include:
Ice cream: Any flavor of ice cream can be used, with vanilla and kulfi being popular choices for a sweet, creamy drink. I used pista kulfi to add a nice green color to the otherwise rosy drink, but options such as mango kulfi or tooti-frooti would give a fruity kick to your falooda!
Milk: Whole milk results in a creamier drink, while skim milk is a healthier option for those who prefer a lighter dessert. Any liquid milk form - soy milk, almond milk, or even half-and-half cream - is a viable choice.
Toppings: Falooda toppings, much like pizza toppings and frozen yogurt embellishments, make or break the drink - so go crazy with whatever suits your palate! Popular options include fruit jellies, fresh fruit, and chopped nuts. Just don't forget to include the falooda sev to soak up all that syrupy goodness! Basil seeds (takmaria) are pretty standard for all falooda drinks as well.
Syrup: While rose syrup is most commonly used in making faloodas, more experimental foodies may opt for stronger flavors such as kesar (saffron) syrup or even a fruity mango or strawberry syrup.
1. Prepare the basil seeds by soaking them in water for at least an hour before making the falooda. Make sure they are immersed completely and given ample room to absorb the water. The seeds will begin swelling in as little as a few minutes, but they need at least an hour for every seed to expand and become chewy.
2. Prepare the falooda sev by boiling the noodles in a small pot of water for 10 minutes or until they become soft.
3. Drain the falooda sev in a strainer, and immediately run them under cold water so that the noodles are cool before making the drink.
4. Add the basil seeds, falooda sev, and rose syrup to the bottom of a tall glass. Do not mix.
5. Top the glass to a few inches from the brim with cold milk. In order to minimize mixing the rose syrup and the milk, place a downward-facing spoon into the glass and pour the milk over it. The rose syrup should remain mostly untouched at the bottom of the glass so that the falooda sev can soak in it.
6. Top off the falooda with a scoop of kulfi.
7. Add any desired toppings to the drink, such as chopped nuts or slivered almonds.
8. Stir the drink to your liking - mixing thoroughly for a smooth taste or sparingly for bites of syrup-soaked falooda sev and toppings.
Now, slurp it up!
Since a typical serving of falooda can be too large a drink to serve at a wedding, here are some ideas on how to keep it short and sweet:
Smaller servings: Consider preparing the same drink, but serving it in smaller amounts - shot glasses or champagne flutes would make an elegant display!
Make it a dessert: Skip the milk and turn the falooda into a mini dessert! Simply top a scoop of kulfi or ice cream with rose syrup, basil seeds, falooda sev, and chopped nuts. You can even garnish it with fresh basil leaves!
Use the noodles: Want the sweet, creamy taste of falooda without the extra calories? Use the falooda sev as your base and garnish them into a delicious pudding-like dessert! Prepare the falooda sev, soak the boiled noodles in cold milk and rose syrup, add soaked basil seeds, and top it off with nuts, fruits or jelly to make a truly tasty and colorful dish!
What's your favorite falooda recipe?!