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Mum's Parsi Falooda

Thank you Mum for this beautiful recipe! This sweet celebratory rose-flavoured milk drink is enjoyed by Zoroastrians and Parsis on special days like Navroz and Khordad Sal. (You can read more on these religious festivals in the Health & Lifestyle section).

Experiment With Flavours and Enjoy Falooda Your Way!

Almost every family has their own way of preparing this refreshing, cooling drink. It can be made as a simple rose-flavored milk or it can be served more decadently with sev (vermicelli), vanilla ice cream, tukhmaria seeds, nuts, jelly cubes and more. Some people make their falooda without heating the milk, but heating the milk adds more depth and complexity to the flavour. In the picture above I decorated the falooda with fresh rose petals however food-grade dried rose petals look beautiful and would complement this recipe perfectly.

My only addition to Mum's recipe is a sprinkling of nutmeg and cardamom over the top of the falooda before serving. While completely optional, it does add a lovely exotic and warming flavour.

In India, you can buy falooda sev which is 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.

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Surprising Health Benefits!

For years I’ve enjoyed this drink and never really known what the “little black seeds” floating around were as I was too busy enjoying it. I now know they are tukhmaria which in English is known as sweet basil seeds. They are also known as sabja, tukhmaria, falooda and selasih. Almost all Indian grocery stores will carry these and the rose syrup required for this recipe.

I was pleasantly 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!

No Parsi Celebration is Complete Without Falooda

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 please give it sufficient time to cool (several hours). It will also keep well in the fridge in an air-tight container for several days which is perfect if you are planning a big birthday, Navroze or Khordad Sal celebration!

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  • 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


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