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Coffee & Tea 15

Falooda, faluda, faloodeh … bubble tea

rworange | Sep 17, 200510:37 PM

An innocent little 99 cent kulfi bar (Indian popsicle), has me sampling Indian/Persian/Iranian frozen desserts. Not an area of the world that I associated with ice cream.

It seems that falooda is in a sense the equivalent of the term sundae, in that it involves ice cream but can have all different types of ingredients. The Persian version seems like a stripped down version of the Indian dessert. The Asian food dictionary says it is:

“An exotic Indian milk-based drink flavoured with rose syrup (sharbat gulab) and named for the strands of cornflour vermicelli that float in it. The vermicelli are not easy to make at home. An acceptable substitute is agar-agar jelly, flavoured with rose and coloured green or red”

I was just wondering what falooda means to you? Just whose idea was it to mix noodles with ice cream? Someone on the web concluded that bubble tea with its mixture of starchy tapioca pearls and liquid was based on drink-desserts like falooda, halo-halo (Philippines), che ba mau (Vietnam) and cendol (Malaysia).

It seems almost like a cross between a drink and a parfait. A glass may have layers of shaved ice, rose sherbet or bastani (Iranian ice cream), noodles, condensed sweet milk flavored with cardamom or saffron (Rabri), rose water or syrup, black tukmaria seeds (sabja). It may be sprinkled with chopped pistachios, slivered almonds or silver leaf. Sometimes rice noodles or noodles made of mung beans are used.

Someone said in Iran people drink it during the spring equinox (March 21st)

I’ve recently had bright pink agar agar noodles on top of kulfi.

I read the version of falooda in Delhi is different from the Parsi version.

The Persian version I had was like a lemonade with a scoop of sherbet. The sherbet was put into a glass of clear rose water. A shot of lemon juice was added to balance the slightly flowery and sweet rosewater. The whole thing was topped with what appeared to be shredded coconut but were the noodles. It was a lovely refreshing drink / dessert. I believe this is called faloodeh ba bastani (falooda with ice cream).

Any info would be appreciated. Would also like to hear of good versions and where you tried them.

Any accepted spelling of this dessert or is it country-dependant?

BTW, I found this article about the history of ice cream in Iran. Very cool (heh) picture of an early Iranian type of Good Humour cart.



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