Let’s start 2020 with some sweetness, shall we? Falooda is a cold dessert made like a milk pudding, with vermicelli noodles and sabja seeds (sweet basil seeds). The flavors can be anything you wish, from a simple cardamom saffron flavor to a complicated paan flavor, you can bring out amazing flavors in it. The most common and popular one is Rose Falooda, where the above milk pudding is flavored with rose water and then while serving rose syrup is added to the bottom of the cup and mixed along.
For the non-Indian folks reading this, Paan is very traditional after-meal mouth freshener, the betel leaves are rolled with rose jam (gulkand), other spices and flavors, shredded coconut, dry fruits, and nuts etc. The flavor is so unique and freshening, its super delicious. They also make different varieties of Paan now – chocolate paan, sweet and spicy paan, etc. Having Paan from the traditional street shop is just a very iconic Indian thing to do, and I miss it terribly over here, although these days we do have paan shops in big supermarkets in US where I live.
I have attempted a paan flavored Falooda here. My husband has made this paan masala earlier for kulfis and icecreams so we wanted to try to use the same for Falooda and see if it works. Oh, I can assure you, it definitely does. Fresh paan(betel leaves) give an amazing punch to an already delicious drink.
Paan Masala Dry ingredients
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tsp poppy seeds
8 pieces of cashews
8-10 pieces of almonds
8 black peppercorns
dried rose petals (optional)
2 cardamom pods (optional)
pinch of saffron (optional)
Paan Masala Wet ingredients
3-4 fresh betel leaves
6-8 dates chopped
2 tbsp gulkand
1/2 cup milk
2-2.5 ltr milk
3/4 cup vermicelli noodles
2-3 tbsp sabja seeds or chia seeds
8 tbsp sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
1 tsp rose water
chopped nuts (almonds, pistachios, cashews)
vanilla ice cream (optional)
Roohafza rose syrup (optional)
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a blender or a food processor and process it into a powder. Set it aside.
- Mix all the wet ingredients in a blender or a food processor and process it into a paste-like consistency. Add the dry mix into this and blend it again. It will become quite thick so you can add a little bit of milk to make it smoother. Set it aside.
- In a thick bottomed pan, heat up the milk. Bring it to a slow boil.
- Add the roasted vermicelli noodles and chia seeds to the boiling milk.
- Let it come to boil and then simmer for 10 mins.
- Add the paan masala made from earlier. Add half of it at first and mix it very well, and then another half and mix it thoroughly.
- Finally, add the sugar and rose water.
- Let the milk and paan masala mixture simmer for another 15-20 minutes and adjust sugar if you wish. The milk pudding mixture should turn out thicker by this time, if not simmer for another 10 minutes. It should not be too thick as well.
- Let it cool down, and then refrigerate it. The more the masala steeps into the milk the better, so refrigerate for at least 12 hours before serving it. Trust me on this, the flavors enhance so much the next day.
- To assemble the falooda – add some tutti frutti (dried fruits) at the bottom of the cup and then add the falooda. Top it with vanilla ice cream scoop, and chopped nuts, also more tutti frutti if you wish. You can totally omit the ice cream if you wish. The syrup is mostly added for Rose flavored falooda, but it goes with this as well, I omitted it since it was sweet enough and I do not like the syrupy sweetness of Roohafza.
Hope you enjoy reading about this delicious dessert and try to make it. I truly wish the sweetest start to your 2020. Thanks for reading!