This lurid pink oddity is Falooda, a dessert-drink popular in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and most of the Middle East.
The falooda drink is an adaptation of an ancient Persian dessert made from noodles frozen with pistachio, rose water and lime juice, thought to be one of the world’s earliest frozen desserts (400 BCE).
Falooda drinks are unusual in composition because they contain basil seeds and wheat vermicelli noodles doused in cold milk and a variety of other flavourings.
My version is based on an Indian-style falooda with scoops of ice cream and jelly, topped off by the sweetest, most toxic-food-colour-red rose syrup that will give you a sugar headache for 3 days!
You can ditch the rose syrup and go for mango or fig falooda instead, but I think that’s wimping out. What’s the pleasure without the pain?
Making falooda was one of my 2009 Food Challenges: I have wanted to make this dessert-drink at home ever since I tried it at a local Indian restaurant. It's got few steps to it, but it's very easy to prepare.
If you like rose-flavoured sweets, you can’t beat this recipe.
One every few months can’t hurt, right?
Falooda (sweet vermicelli shake)
Recipe by Anna Fedeles. Makes 2.
½ cup strawberry or raspberry jelly
½ cup dried wheat (or arrowroot) vermicelli noodles
2 scoops ice cream
2 tablespoons rose syrup
1 tablespoon basil seeds
1. Soak basil seeds in water. They will appear like tiny frogs eggs. Drain.
2. Boil vermicelli according to manufacturers instructions. Drain, rinse and chill.
3. In glasses, layer vermicelli, jelly, basil seeds, milk and rose syrup.
4. Top with ice cream a drizzle of syrup and a drop of basil seeds.
5. Serve with a thick straw and long-stemmed spoon.
This falooda is my contribution to Presto Pasta Nights, hosted by the event founder, Ruth from Once Upon A Feast.