Every summer, like the roses, childhood returns. -Marty Rubin
The first time that I tasted falooda was during my first visit to India. I was nine and it was love at first sip.
If any one of the locals in our ancestral village where we were staying had judged my sister and I by our fancy dresses and shoes to be prim and proper children upon our arrival, within the next days, it was known throughout the village that we were merely children, not any different from the local village children as we joined them in running around barefoot, walking in knee-deep, muddy waters chasing frogs, climbing jujube trees (belonging to other villagers) and feasting upon their fruits and lighting up with delight at the mere mention of falooda. This refreshing, part-beverage, part-ice cream dessert is the perfect solution to staying hydrated and cool during hot weather. My first taste of it still lingers in my memory and the longing for it, as well as, my childhood memories attached to it, surface every summer.I must have been well into my teenage years when my parents brought home from the local Indian grocery store a bottle of rose syrup. You can imagine how excited I was when they explained that this was the missing ingredient we needed for making falooda at home here in Canada. For a short while after that, we enjoyed homemade falooda topped with a scoop of store-bought vanilla ice cream. It never really did taste quite like the ones I had enjoyed in India and the half-emptied bottle of rose syrup made its way to the back of the fridge only to be discarded months later, I imagine.
In recent years, I have tried desperately to achieve the particular taste of Indian falooda but to no avail and finally gave up. Although, this recipe here will not give the taste of the authentic, traditional Indian version, it is quite delicious, and as a bonus, on a much more healthier side with the use of strawberries.
Strawberry Rose Falooda
- 150 g strawberries, hulled
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (or honey)
- 2 tsp tukmaria seeds (or chia seeds)
- 2 tsp rosewater
- 2-4 scoops ice cream (strawberry, vanilla or pistachio flavoured…. recipes to come!)
- some crushed ice (optional)
- Soak tukmaria (or chia) seeds in 1/2 cup warm water and set aside for about 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally.
- When ready to make falooda, strain seeds and discard the water.
- Using a blender, puree strawberries, milk, maple syrup and rose water.
- Divide strawberry milk equally between two glasses.
- Stir in half of the seeds into each glass.
- Add crushed ice if using.
- Top falooda with ice cream and serve with a straw as well as a spoon!
Note: Using strawberries helps to give the colour pink of the traditional recipe. Alternatively, raspberries also work perfectly well here, but just remember to pass the raspberry milk through a strainer when pouring into glasses to remove the seeds which can be rather annoying. (Strawberry seeds aren’t as annoying.)