Falooda

Falooda is a popular dessert enjoyed in India especially in summer months. It forms an integral part of the menu for any street vendors that sell ice creams and commonly sold in any restaurants and ice cream parlors.  

Falooda originally a Persian dessert, made its way to India along with many Persian traders and dynasties that settled in India during the earlier centuries. It is a layered dessert made by layering syrup, tukmariya (sweet basil seeds), falooda sev, milk, and topped with ice cream and dry fruits. Traditionally Rose syrup is used in this dessert, however, nowadays you can use any syrup of your liking. Tukmariya or sweet basil seeds used here are known for their cooling properties, using these seeds in summer will help keep the body cool.

This chilled dessert is a perfect way to enjoy hot summer days!! 

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Serves – 4 to 5 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Milk warmed (Can use any milk of your choice)
  • tablespoon Sugar (Adjust per your taste, should be on the sweeter side)
  • 6 tablespoon sweet Basil seeds (Also known as sabja or tukmaria)
  • Rose syrup, 1 tablespoon per cup
  • 1 packet Falooda sev or any thin vermicelli (1.75oz/50gm packet)
  • Vanilla ice cream, 1 scoop per serving
  • Slivered almonds and Pistachio 
  • Rose petals for garnish, optional

How To:

  • Warm milk in a pan, add sugar to it. Stir well to dissolve and taste for sweetness. Add more sugar if needed, it should be a bit on the sweeter side as this is the only sweet thing in this desert other then ice cream and rose syrup. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Soak sweet basil seeds in about 2 cups of water for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. They plump up to become about twice in size and gelatinous. Check the seeds after an hour and add more water if needed to help them plump up. Store them soaked in water until ready to serve in the fridge. 
  • Bring about 3-4 cups of water to a rolling boil. Cut the falooda sev with scissors into about 2″ to 3″ long pieces. Once the water is boiling add falooda sev to it and let it simmer on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until it is just done (Follow the instructions on the packet you are using for best results). Drain and rinse the falooda sev in cold water to stop further cooking. Store the sev soaked in cold water until ready to use it in the refrigerator.

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  • When you are ready to serve, take all the ingredients out from the fridge and start assembling the dessert. Once assembled serve immediately as you don’t want the ice cream to melt away completely… Enjoy!!

Serving suggestion:

  • Take 4 tall slender glasses preferably chilled and start layering as follows: Begin by adding 1 tbsp rose syrup into each glass. Now add 2-3 spoon fulls of sweet basil seeds into each glass, followed by spoonfuls of falooda sev on top of it.
  • Now add about 1/2 cup of sweetened cold milk, just eyeball it. Finally, top it off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and garnish with nuts and rose petals.
  • Optionally you can also drizzle some more rose syrup on top of the falooda, in which case drizzle the syrup first and then garnish with nuts.

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Note:

  • You can adjust the quantity of each ingredient used to your liking. Add more or less of tukmaria or falooda sev to suit your taste.
  • Make-Ahead tip for parties: Assemble part of the dessert in individual glasses and keep ready for big parties. In each glass just add rose syrup, tukmariya, and falooda sev. Cover the glasses with foil or wrap and keep in the fridge until ready to serve. Just before serving remove from the fridge, add milk, and top with ice cream and nuts.
  • Basil seeds are not chia seeds. Even though they look very similar, chia does not plump up as much as basil seeds. However, in case you cannot find basil seeds you can replace it with chia however the taste will be very different.
  • Sweet basil seeds have cooling properties so using these seeds during summer helps keep your body cool.
  • Make-ahead Basil: Soak basil seeds a day ahead and keep it refrigerated. Store it in a covered bowl or container soaked in water. This will stay fresh for about a week in the refrigerator.
  • In case you cannot find falooda sev you can always use vermicelli noodles readily available in various stores these days.
  • Make-ahead Falooda sev: You can cook the falooda sev a day ahead. Cool it down to room temperature and store the cooked falooda sev in a covered bowl filled with water just enough to have all the falooda sev soaked. This will prevent them from sticking to each other forming lumps and also stays fresh for about a week.
  • You can replace regular milk with almond or soy or any milk of your choice.
  • You can make this vegan by using vegan milk, ice cream, and vermicelli.

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