Desserts make our life sweeter and simpler. Just the thought of a delicious dessert makes our heart and tongue melt. Falooda is one such sumptuous dessert that is popular in many parts of the world, especially in India, Pakistan, and the Middle East.
Here is some interesting information about this famous dessert
Falooda, a cold drink/dessert is said to have originated from Shiraz in Persia (currently Iran). Falooda is known as Faloodeh/Faludeh in Persia and is a traditional Persian dessert. It is one of the oldest known desserts and is in existence since 400BC. The basic version of Falooda made in Persia included vermicelli noodles made of corn flour, rose water, and a dash of semi frozen sugar syrup.
Falooda was introduced in the Indian subcontinent during the Moghul period. Falooda means ‘shredded’ in idiomatic Hindustani and the name refers to the thin vermicelli noodles that are integral part of falooda. In India, the vermicelli noodles are also known as falooda sev. Today there are a variety of Falooda versions available, such as faloodas made without the trademark vermicelli and blended with fruits, faloodas with kulfi, wheat starch noodles and different flavors of sugar syrups, and faloodas that are served as milkshakes.
Ingredients and Preparation
Falooda is an exciting combination of a multitude of ingredients such as the vermicelli noodles, psyillum (ispaghol) or basil (sabza) seeds, any flavor of ice cream of your choice, and (usually) sweetened
rose-flavored milk. You can also add grated/blended almonds, pistachios or other nuts to experiment with the taste. In India, wheat starch is commonly used to make the falooda sev.
During earlier times, people prepared wheat or corn starch as thin batter and passed it through a sieve. This produces the delicate falooda sev. However, now falooda sev is available as readymade packets in supermarkets and it is quite simple to prepare the delicious falooda at home with all the necessary ingredients available easily. Falooda is not just tasty but this cool dessert is very soothing during summers. You can also serve falooda with a dash of lime juice.
Vegan falooda can be made by using almond milk and vegan ice cream. Whole wheat vermicelli is also used as a healthy substitute of the regular falooda sev.
Falooda Around the World
Falooda, is popular in many countries in different forms. We have listed below some popular variants of falooda and the countries they are popular in.
In the Indian subcontinent (India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh), falooda is served in the form of an ice cream sundae float. It is prepared with basil seeds, boiled vermicelli noodles, rose syrup, and milk.
Image courtesy: Sucheta Thakur
Rabri or Rabri falooda is another popular version of Falooda in north India. This variant includes powdered cardamom pods mixed with milk and sugar, known as rabri. Mango rabri falooda is often served as dessert in weddings and can be found in local sweets and savories shops.
A variant of Falooda including pandan extract, sago pearls, pistachios, mango, creamed coconut, milk, vermicelli is quite popular in the southern part of Bangladesh. Sometimes they even include strong black tea, which imparts a unique flavor to falooda.
In Pakistan, falooda is made of khoya, vermicelli, and sweet syrup. Falooda is served as an icecream sundae float, rabri falooda or kulfi falooda with various additions such as sabja seeds, almonds, jelly, fruits, kesar, rose water, and so on. Falooda is a popular dessert in Lahore, where you can find falooda in different forms and variations. Kasuri falooda, originated from the city of Kasur is quite popular too and can be found in almost all the falooda shops in Lahore.
Nam manglak, a basil seed drink of Thailand origin is quite similar to falooda. However, the ingredients are different. The Thai version of the drink is made of thai basil seeds, tapioca pearls, shredded jelly, tear grass flavored with rose syrup.
Bubble tea is a famous Taiwanese drink that resembles falooda. It is a tea-based drink made of milk, fruit, fruit jellies, and tapioca balls.
In Iraq, a drink similar to falooda is made with thicker vermicelli. Andrea is another variant of falooda made by mixing creamy milk, premature tapioca pearls, and rose syrups.
Kulfi falooda is another version of falooda that combines kulfi, falooda, and sabja seeds.
In Mauritius, Falooda is known as Alouda. The name is derived from the word “Falooda” and the beverage is similar in its taste and ingredients to the actual falooda.
In South Africa, falooda is known by the same name and is served as a milkshake along with the meal or after the meal.
Falooda can be served in a tall glass with ice cream with the ingredients visibly layered. This makes falooda look colorful and visually appealing. Falooda can also be served in a bowl or in a plate with kulfi.
We are sure that you did not know how famous India’s favourite falooda is around the world. Anyway, what’s in a name! As long as it’s delicious and satisfies your sweet tooth and cravings, enjoy the world famous falooda whether in the cozy comfort of your home or outside.