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Falooda


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I'm engaged in a research project, a collaboration uniting traditional Indian desserts and ingredients with contemporary techniques and styles. In addition to the many custards and lassis, what I've been told of falooda fascinates me, and mirrors what some progressive pastry chefs have been toying with in recent years.

What I am looking for are not only traditional and not so traditional versions/recipes, but also some of its history, or interesting stories and associations.

Thanks to all in advance!

Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York

www.michael-laiskonis.com

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what have you been told?

For starters, the range of flavors and textures- spice, cream, fruit, rose, noodles,etc. is interesting. In recent years, pastry chefs have been layering flavors and textures in coupes and shot glasses. The similar presentation has inspired me to assemble some of the traditional flavors (rose, cardamom, pistachio, etc.) but utilizing perhaps different techniques: foam, gelee, etc.

Any background/insight I can get will simply help inform my decisions!

Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York

www.michael-laiskonis.com

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Michael,

Indian influenced desserts are something that I looked into pretty heavily my last two months of teaching (as I was planning on entering the chocolate competition in lancing with theme of "Kamasutra", but new plans arose). I explore the possibilities of making ganaches with yogurt, and was quite successful. I looked into ingredients that are commonly, and uncommonly, found in the Indian kitchen. Some basic books by Mahadra Jaffrey were very helpful. There is also a dessert in Vietnam (though the name escapes me) that is very much like a falooda or a coupe, with layers of flavors in a glass. So it may benefit you to look toward the far eastern cost of the country, finding the cuisines of Manipur, Nagaland, or Mizoram (all east Indian states). As far as flavors go I Found that the state of Kerala had much to offer to the dessert realm, and also was the only pineapple producing state. One of my favorite recipes came from this region, a brittle using chickpea flour (offering a nutty, earthy flavor to the caramel). There is also the possibilities of using “screw pine” essence, and don’t forget to explore Jaggery (sort of the Indian version of panela).

Found this little bit of info:

This drink must have been brought by Parsis from their homeland in Iran. Its wonderful composition consists of rose sherbet or syrup, sweet milk, little black tukmaria seeds, cooked wheat milk drops, cream or ice-creams. Its another which is enjoyed on the 21st of March each year. This day is the Spring Equinox and was widely celebrated in Iran. Even today in India, the Irani Zoroastrians and Parsis celebrate this day as Jamshedji Navroze in memory of an old Iranian King who was a law maker and who is said to have discovered the Equinoxes as well as the power of wine.

Edited by cbarre02 (log)

Cory Barrett

Pastry Chef

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well there's satyajit ray's felu da stories--gripping histories of the indian sweets tradition.

episure, look what you are doing to me.

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Funnily enough in this case Feluda started from Sandesh. :raz:

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Falooda can be classified as one of a large family of similar cold drinks that are popular in South and Southeast Asia, such as che ba mau (Vietnam), cendol (Malaysia), and halohalo (Philippines). Each of these drinks is made from a milk or coconut milk base, into which is put a large variety of chewy ingredients, including at least a couple kinds of starch or agar-based gels. Hence even Taiwanese bubble tea can be seen as a simplified adaptation of this concept. Barely cooked legumes are another common addition to this mix, as are the use of highly perfumed flavorings as rose, orange flower, kewra and kus in India, and pandan in most of Southeast Asia. Kewra and pandan come from the same plant, though kewra is derived from the flower and the leaves are used in Southeast Asia.

More than the exotic flavorings, however, I think that the most interesting part about this family of drinks is their emphasis, indeed obsession, with providing a wide range of textures. In their more ornate forms, just about every corner in the plant world seems to be represented: besides the various ingredients listed above, and a wide variety of tropical fruits, the drinks listed above can include such ingredients as chopped nuts, diced tubers (such as yam), boiled grains(including corn kernels), or small balls of glutinous rice.

The interesting contrast between these techniques and the contemporary European use use of foams, gelee, etc. is, while both are concerned with shape and texture, the former generates texture by ranging far and wide over available ingredients, while the latter emphasizes more on manipulating the structure of ingredients once they are in hand. . .

Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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what have you been told?

For starters, the range of flavors and textures- spice, cream, fruit, rose, noodles,etc. is interesting. In recent years, pastry chefs have been layering flavors and textures in coupes and shot glasses. The similar presentation has inspired me to assemble some of the traditional flavors (rose, cardamom, pistachio, etc.) but utilizing perhaps different techniques: foam, gelee, etc.

Any background/insight I can get will simply help inform my decisions!

FALOODA to most North Indians, or should I say Punjabis, refers to spagetti thin noodles which are usually colorless, flavorless and kind of gelatinous with a lechee like texture.

These noodles are usually sitting in an ‘ice bath’ to keep them from drying up and sticking together. I have seen them served two ways.

1. As a topping on Kulfi ( a dense kind of semi hard Indian ice cream set in individual moulds) The Kulfi is de-moulded cut up into roundels, a handful of the falooda noodles is grabbed from the ice bath, the excess water is shaken off and the noodles plonked on top of the kulfi. This may further be topped with a syrup, usually rose. The falooda noodles blend very nicely with the syrup and the ‘juice’ of the melting kulfi to produce a much liked taste and texture sensation.

2. You can order FALOODA on its own. In this case the vendor takes a tall glass and half fills it with shaved ice, a handful of the falooda noodles are placed on top of the ice, the noodles are then topped with some Rabri ( reduced sweetened milk with some cardamom or saffron, very similar to the kulfi ice cream mix) A little syrup ( usually rose) is poured on top, a parfait spoon inserted in the glass a you are ready to go. The cool combination is heavenly on a hot summer day. Some vendors will dye their falooda, add flavor and also sprinkle slived almons or pistachios or add silver leaf to their falooda.

I do not know how these vendors make their falooda but I was taught a simple falooda reciepe in a hotel kitchen. Take some water in a Kadai ( I guess you could take a regular saucepan) bring some water to boil, dissolve some cornstarch like you were making a custard but use about three times the amount of cornstarch. Add the dissolved cornstarch to the boiling water stirring vigorously until it is cooked and a kind of thick lump forms.

This was then filled into a noodle making tool( essentially a tube with a plate with holes at one end and a corkscrew at the other) the noodles were formed by pressing the cooked cornstarch through the holes. The falooda noodles were pressed directly into a container with water and ice.

Some people also use the thin ‘ rice noodles’ available at oriental stores as a good substitution.

Edited by BBhasin (log)

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Here I am again (the family was shifting, yeah! No more travelling for me!)...

I'm surprised that no one (except cbarre02) has mentioned sabja (tukmaria) seeds that are indispensable in a true Parsi falooda...

BTW, apart for sherbets and falooda, does anyone use sabja seeds in other (especially savory) dishes?

Edited by bague25 (log)
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I've had as many different versions of faluda/falooda as times I've ordered it: it's a little different everywhere I have it (basically Indian restaurants, mostly in Atlanta). The little black seeds aren't always used, but do appear frequently and are a nice contrast in both color and texture. Were I going to do a fancy version of it I'd definitely use them.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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  • 11 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Please, please do not substitute rice noodles for falooda in kulfi-falooda or rabri-falooda. I recently had a kulfi-falooda at an Indian restaurant that had boiled and drained rice noodles topping the kulfi. The texture was not pleasant and they are far more chewy and substantial than regular falooda should be. Iranian falooda (available in some traditional Iranian icecream shops) can be an acceptable substitute, but they are usually very thin, frozen and crunchy, although less odd than rice noodles in a falooda concoction.

I think either mung bean or cornstarch would yield the desirable results, and here I'm trying to extrapolate from memory, since I've never made falooda at home, nor seen anyone making it at home. The noodles are very soft and slippery, and only a small bunch is tossed on top of a plate of sliced kulfi for kulfi falooda. Sliced pistachios and rose water are optional, but add a nice touch. Rabdi falooda is usually in a glass and the contents are rabdi, milk and falooda topped with nuts and possibly char magaz (four kinds of dried seeds). My experience though with falooda is limited to Delhi and I've never had the Parsi falooda.

A nice touch that the Iranians do with faloodeh ba bastani (falooda with icecream) is to provide a slice of fresh lime to squeeze on top of the falooda bastani. The sweetness of the icecream, falooda and rosewater is balanced out very nicely by the sour lime juice.

Michael, I'd be really curious to know what method you'd be using to make your falooda and how you'd be using it in a dessert.

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Please, please do not substitute rice noodles for falooda in kulfi-falooda or rabri-falooda. I recently had a kulfi-falooda at an Indian restaurant that had boiled and drained rice noodles topping the kulfi. The texture was not pleasant and they are far more chewy and substantial than regular falooda should be. Iranian falooda (available in some traditional Iranian icecream shops) can be an acceptable substitute, but they are usually very thin, frozen and crunchy, although less odd than rice noodles in a falooda concoction.

Hmm.. I am no falooda expert, but I have used rice noodles as a pretty good substitute. I buy the "thick" noodles (I forget the brand name). I then boil them in water for close to 30 minutes. Once they are soft, they are then dumped in cold water to cool them, and then drained.

I have also tried the falooda from my local Iranian grocery store (they come in little cups, frozen along with a syrup) -- they are good, but boy they are expensive. I can't afford to use them on a regular basis.

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Please, please do not substitute rice noodles for falooda in kulfi-falooda or rabri-falooda. ...

Hmm.. I am no falooda expert, but I have used rice noodles as a pretty good substitute.

...

Sorry, I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote that :huh: . I have never used rice noodles. I usually always use Corn Starch Noodles (which I boil for 30 minutes and then cool down) that I get from my local vietnamese grocery. These little packages of corn starch noodles work pretty well as a falooda substitute in my opinion. (Isn't real falooda also made from corn starch?).

The part about the frozen falooda from Iranian store being expensive still stands though. :shock:

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Michael, I tyhink you are right. As a dessert fiend, it's the various textures that goes into a great falooda that tickles me pink. I think the main thing about Falooda is that all the elements have to be well balanced crunchy with the slurpy and creamy with tart. Much too often the falooda is reeking with rose water that tastes like you've just eaten a bar of soap. I've been playing with a combination of guava lime, sweet basil seeds and kulfi, topped with fried sweet vermincelli, although I've not made much progress....It's not very authentically Indian but then again it's the inspiration that counts here.

Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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It is very easy to make your own falooda noodles at home. Blend 6 TBSP with 1/4 water to make a smooth paste and then add 1 cup of water. Stir over med-low heat until a smooth thick paste is formed. Remove from the heat once it becomes translucent. When cool enough to handle, press the paste through a colander over a bowl of ice water. This will form you noodles and they will be ready for use. Instead of a colander, you could also try pressing the mixture through a ricer. I find that to be bit easier. Don't forget to add some Rooh Afza to your falude dessert to finish.

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I have never used rice noodles. I usually always use Corn Starch Noodles (which I boil for 30 minutes and then cool down) that I get from my local vietnamese grocery. These little packages of corn starch noodles work pretty well as a falooda substitute in my opinion. (Isn't real falooda also made from corn starch?).

Thank you so much for clarifying Bong. Boiling rice noodles for 30 minutes sounded so strange! I think a lot of places do make falooda with corn starch, but mung beans are used just as often. I think the corn starch noodles as falooda substitute sound great.

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  • 3 years later...

I made some falooda today for the first time, as a special treat for Children's Day in Japan (but really mostly to please my aging brother in law!).

Went with: basil seeds, cornflour noodles, rose syrup (home made, so I was able to go easy on the rosewater), aloe slices in syrup (yes, well, easy to come by in Japan, taste and look cool), milk, and Japanese lacto-ice on top with a tiny drizzle of rose syrup on the top.

To my surprise, it was a major hit - just proves how very pleasant the combined textures of falooda are.

Any further ideas on favorite faloodas?

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Please check out the ideas here:

The benchmark faloodas of Mumbai:Badshah's had 3 faloodas Royal, Kesar and Shirazi post #19

http://www.gourmetindia.net/forums/index.p...wtopic=490&st=0

See post #13 for pic of kesar/saffron falooda [above link ]

"Royal Falooda is made with Rose syrup. made this today with home made Rose ice cream. ...Vanilla/Strawberry ice cream ....." post #25 for pics and recipe ideas

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