Falooda: A vibrant, cool dessert with multiple layers of colours, textures and flavours. While the main components like vermicelli, sabja or chia seeds and ice cream remain constant, there are regional variations in making a Falooda. What is the most authentic recipe? Hard to tell, since Falooda does not find its roots in India. Just like grapes, melons, peaches and apricots immigrated to India from Persia in 16th century AD, Falooda followed along as a ‘refugee’. Soon made itself comfortable and settled down making India its home for a few hundred years now. Naturally, it was influenced by the ethnicity of India, giving it its present-day ‘look’.
Falooda is derived from the term ‘Faloodeh’. Persians were familiar with the technique of freezing liquids, thanks to their friendly trade relations with the Chinese. While China is known to be making ice for about 4000 years now, Persians acquired the skill about 2500 years ago. A cold, icy drink was the favourite of Persian kings during heat-blasting summers. They called it a ‘Sherbet’. Alexander, the great mentions in his writings about an icy ‘gola’ that he enjoyed with honey drizzled all over. Jahangir, Babar’s great-grandson managed to import ice to his then capital (Lahore) from a Himalayan village, Kasavali. Poor Prince could not bear the summers without ice. Ain-i-Akbari (1590 AD) talks about ice slabs weighing 10kg each imported every day in boats, with 12 slabs per boat. A foodie that he was, Jahangir mixed rose syrup with ice and milk, sowing the seeds of modern day Falooda.
A regular Falooda, today, will present a milkshake, vermicelli noodles, sabja, and a scoop of ice cream floating in it. There are many different styles of Falooda available lately: Kulfi Falooda, Oreo Falooda, Unicorn Falooda… and the list is endless. Creativity knows no bounds, you see! Because the summer has got you real bad and it is mango season, we are sharing a recipe for mango falooda. Yummers!!
2 Alphonso mangoes, ripe
2 cups whole milk
1 cup whipping cream (unsweetened)
2 scoops of fresh mango ice cream
¼ cup sabja or chia seeds soaked in cold water
¼ cup rice vermicelli, cooked
Pinch of cardamom powder
1 vanilla bean
1 tbsp rose syrup or saffron syrup
Sugar as per taste
Few toasted pistachios or cashews for garnish
- Cut one mango into pieces and squeeze the pulp of the other one.
- Using this mango pulp, milk, cardamom powder and sugar, make mango milkshake.
- Make unsweetened whipped cream with vanilla bean for flavour. Scrape out the insides of vanilla bean and add it to your whipping cream. Keep it in the fridge until ready to use.
- In a tall glass, put very few pieces of crushed ice. Add 1 tbsp rose or saffron syrup, followed by cooked vermicelli noodles.
- Pour your milkshake, add sabja and add two heaping spoons of whipped cream. Scoop out some mango ice cream. And finish it with chopped pieces of mango and toasted nuts.
So rush to your kitchens now and make a cooling Falooda if you also are fed up of summer heat like Jahangir. Now that we have his favourite recipe, let’s make the most of it! Use different flavours or fruits as per your liking. Upload pictures and tag us #metime.
Did you read our Mango and cream recipe? If you missed it click here as the mango season is still around and you can still try it as desert!!