Mama Vil's Parsi Style Falooda
Today's we have another recipe which my Mum has been making for for us for many, many years and today she is sharing her family recipe for her amazing Falooda here on my blog, so thanks Mum!
For those of you who haven't heard of Falooda, basically is a celebratory rose flavored milk drink and it is a tradition for Zoroastrians and Parsis to enjoy it on special days like Navroz and Khordad Sal which are special days on the Parsi/Zoroastrian calender. (You can read more on these religious festivals in the Health & Lifestyle section).
Almost every family will have their own way of preparing this refreshing, cooling drink. It can be made with as a simple rose-flavored milk or it can be made more decadently with sev (vermicelli), a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and more. Some people like to add jelly cubes, tukhmaria seeds, nuts and more so feel free to experiment. In the picture above I decorated the top with some torn rose petals but this was more for the visual effect more than anything else.
My only addition to my Mum's recipe when I make it is a sprinkling of nutmeg over the top of the Falooda before serving it as I think it just adds a lovely warmth to the flavor.
In India you get a special type of Falooda sev made from sago starch but regular (thin) store bought pasta style vermicelli made from wheat will also do just fine. Just ensure the pasta is thin and not too thick.
For years I’ve enjoyed this drink and never really known what the “little black seeds” floating around were as I was just too busy enjoying it. I now know they are called tukhmaria which in English is known as sweet basil seeds. It is also known as sabja, tukhmaria, falooda and selasih. Almost all Indian grocery stores worldwide will carry these and the rose syrup - so you shouldn't have any problem finding them. in any Indian grocery store.
I was very surprised to find that sweet basil seeds have a host of health benefits including antioxidant, anticancer, antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antiseptic and anti-fungal properties - so in other words they are very, very healthy!
Some people make their Falooda without heating the milk at all but heating the milk just adds that little more depth and complexity to the flavor.
This recipe can be made the day before a big occasion - which is great for your party planning. but this recipe needs to be served chilled so if you plan on serving it the same day just give it sufficient time to cool (several hours). It will also keep well in the fridge in an air-tight container for several days. Navroz Mubarak!
You can use light/skim milk if you prefer however the end result will not be quite as “full/thick”.
You can try different flavored ice-cream in your Falooda for subtle different flavors but ensure that the flavors are complementary as you do not want to overpower the rose syrup. Ice-creams with finely chopped nuts, a good cassata and flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom all work extremely well.
If you cannot find falooda sev, you can use store bought thin egg noodles (the dried one that must be boiled in water) cooked according to instructions and continue with the recipe
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE - MAMA VIL'S PARSI STYLE FALOODA
YOU WILL NEED
1 litre | 34 ounces | 4 cups whole milk
200ml | 7 ounces sweetened condensed milk (about half a can)
1 tablespoon tukhmaria seeds (sweet basil seeds)
150g | 5 ounces thick falooda sev/ thin vermicelli roughly broken into small 1”/2 + 1/2 cm pieces (you can add more if you like)
8-9 tablespoons rose syrup (you can add more if you like a stronger flavor)
1/2-1 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)
Vanilla ice-cream for serving (one small scoop per glass which is optional but does add a little something to the end result)
Finely chopped pistachio nuts, ground nutmeg and/or ground cardamom (optional) to sprinkle on top before serving (optional)
In a medium sized saucepan add the milk and condensed milk and over a medium heat bring to the boil stirring gently but consistently. (Do not be alarmed if you see a few black bits floating around as this is just sugars from the condensed milk and will strained off later on.) Once the milk has come to the boil take off the stove, allow to cool a little, cover and place in the fridge to chill completely.
In a small mixing bowl add the tukhmaria seeds, ¾ cup of water and 1 tablespoon of the rose syrup. Give a quick stir, cover and set aside to allow the seeds to swell up - this will take about an hour. Check that the seeds have swollen up nicely after and hour, cover and set aside in the fridge.
Take a small saucepan and cook the vermicelli in boiling water according to the packet instructions. It is best to cook the vermicelli to al dente (just cooked through, so it has some bite and is not mushy).
Once the vermicelli is cooked, drain off the hot water, return the vermicelli to the saucepan and add enough cold water to just cover the vermicelli as this will help stop the cooking process and prevent the vermicelli sticking together. Add 1 tablespoon of the rose syrup to the vermicelli, give a quick stir, cover and set aside in the fridge to chill.
When ready to serve, pour the milk through a fine strainer to remove any impurities or film on the top of the milk, straining it into a fresh bowl or saucepan. (This step is only necessary if your milk has any impurities, if not, skip this step.)
Stir in the vanilla essence and 6-7 tablespoons of the rose syrup until you get the desired flavor and color. (Taste at 6 tablespoons and see if you need more.)
Add the tukhmaria seeds according to your personal tastes about 5-6 tablespoons is what I use. (You may not need/want all the seeds or you may want more.)
Drain and discard the excess liquid from the vermicelli and add to the milk, gently stir through.
Ladle the falooda into small cups or glasses.
Add a heaped tablespoon of vanilla ice-cream to the falooda, a sprinkling of nutmeg and/or cardamom if desired and serve.