How could I resist the idea to celebrate American Independence with an iconically Indian dessert? If you're, in any way, familiar with my ways, the answer should come pat.
Some call it a drink, others say it's a frozen ice cream meal. Falooda is a combination of this and more, but really can't be defined. It's a favorite sweet course that spans across the Indian subcontinent and is shared by many of its Asian neighbors.
What is falooda? Served in a glass, it is a rich, textured cream( think ice cream Sundae on steroids). Ingredients most often include sweet basil seeds, vermicelli, flavored gelatin, rose syrup, milk, ice cream and fruits. Although you can toy with a number of ingredients, you really shouldn't get past the ones just mentioned.
A large enough display is essential to layer falooda components. Sheeted and wedged together, the visual alone is spectacular, sending the truth that you really do eat with your eyes first. Elements build in exponential awe with each potential bite.
In no uncertainty, all the distinct factors shine, transcending to a more magnificent end product, much like the country I live in. Isn't it good to see a motley of components, quite amazingly different, stupendous as a whole while retaining their individual identity?
It makes me happy to know today's story might be the only result in Google searches tag-lined "red, white and blue falooda".
Here it is, our Fourth of July centerpiece imported from Asia, aflush in the day's patriotic color.
Besides its simplicity, the recipe is highly tweakable and can adjust to many a holiday theme or midnight craving relegated to icebox leftovers.
Finally, I'll raise my glass, a betoken to my first heritage in making my second heritage a bit more special.
Namaste and happy birthday, America!
- ¼ cup sweet basil seeds( can sub with chia seeds)
- 4 cups water
- 1 ½ milk ( 2% and higher)
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup cooked vermicelli noodles
- strawberry gelatin , prepared from the .3 ounce box and refrigerated
- 4 -6 tbsp rose syrup
- vanilla ice cream
- ¼ cup slivered almonds or pistachios
- maraschino cherries, separated from syrup.
Directions and assembly:
- Soak the basil seeds in 1 cup water until gelled and larger in size, about 20-30 minutes. Strain and keep aside
- Heat the milk with the sugar. Boil and reduce flame until mixture is slightly thickened, about 5-6 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Cook the vermicelli noodles in the remaining water. Boil 5 minutes. Strain vermicelli. Keep aside.
- Refrigerate the basil seeds, thickened milk and vermicelli at least an hour before assembly, until cold.
- When ready to assemble, have 3-4 serving glasses ready
- Take out falooda ingredients from the refrigerator.
- Cut the gelatin into half inch cubes.
- Spoon rose syrup into the bottom to coat the bottom and sides of each glass.
- Layer with 1 tablespoon vermicelli, 1/2 teaspoon basil seeds, pinch of rose syrup, thickened milk, and a few gelatin cubes.
- You can repeat the layering, depending on the length of the glass. Top with one to two scoops of ice cream.
- Garnish with almonds/pistachios and cherries.
Notes: You may have more than enough to make faloodas for a few more days. Chill surplus ingredients until ready to use.
I've used blueberries and strawberries for color. You can use any number of fruits/dry fruits to make yours pretty/delicious too.
Fourth of July recipes~
2019: red, white and blue cake
2017: star spangled meringues
2013: Crostata di marmellata
2012: Fourth of July tarts
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” -Galatians 5:13