Falooda recipe with step by step photos and video. Falooda or faluda is a popular Indian summer dessert drink consisting of various elements like milk, ice cream, rose syrup etc.
It is served both in restaurants and even on the streets in many Indian cities like Delhi, gurgaon, Mumbai or Pune. So you can gauge its popularity in India. It can be made with or without ice cream.
Falooda is one dessert beverage which is our favorite. I often make falooda during the summers. Sabja or sweet basil seeds are always at home. Since I add them often to various beverages like Rose milk or Jigarthanda.
What is falooda – a drink or a dessert ?
I call falooda as a dessert drink. It is just not simply a drink that you can sip away. You have to eat some edibles too. You have to have this dessert drink with a spoon. Falooda can be defined as a layered summer dessert drink made of various edible ingredients.
Elements in a falooda are
It is layered with many edibles like:
- Rose syrup – both homemade rose syrup and store brought rose syrup work well. In the absence of rose syrup, rose water can be used. You can even use rooh afza instead of rose syrup. It is the rose fragrance and the pink color that makes falooda refreshing as well as appealing.
- Sabja seeds – sabja seeds are sweet basil seeds. These tiny black seeds are also known as tukmaria seeds. They are similar to chia seeds, but not the same. In the absence of sabja seeds, you can use chia seeds.
- Falooda sev – sev means vermicelli and in an authentic falooda vermicelli made from corn starch or arrowroot flour are added. That being said, for healthier options you can use whole wheat vermicelli or rice vermicelli.
- Jelly – strawberry, raspberry or rose flavored jelly is another optional ingredient. In fact, you can use any fruit-based jelly.
- Milk – the milk is always chilled and cold. For a vegan version use almond milk.
- Dry fruits and nuts – cherries, tutti frutti, cashews, almonds, pistachios. Add any dry fruits or nuts that you or your family likes.
- Ice cream – vanilla ice cream is the commonly added ice cream in a faluda. But even other ice cream types like mango ice cream, pistachio ice cream, butterscotch ice cream, chocolate ice cream work well. Even kulfi like malai kulfi or mango kulfi can be added.
How is a basic faluda made
Each ingredient element is added one after the other in a serving glass or jar. First goes in the sabja seeds, followed by the falooda sev and jelly. Then the milk is poured which is lastly topped with ice cream and garnished with nuts or dry fruits.
As mentioned above falooda is equally popular all over India but especially in Delhi and Mumbai. It is not only delicious but also very cooling for the summers as sabja seeds and rose syrup or rooh afza are cooling in nature.
There is another variation of Kulfi falooda in which kulfi is served with falooda and sabja seeds.
Falooda recipe video
How to make Basic Falooda Recipe
1. Take ½ tablespoon sabja seeds (sweet basil seeds) in a bowl. You can check for some husks or stones if any and remove them. Chia seeds can be added as a substitute for sweet basil seeds.
2. Then add water and stir.
3. Soak the sabja seeds in the water for about 20 to 30 mins.
4. After 30 minutes, you will see the sabja seeds fully soaked and will look gelatinous.
5. Using a fine strainer drain the extra water from the sabja seeds. Cover and keep the soaked sabja seeds aside.
Cooking falooda sev
6. Meanwhile, begin to prepare the faluda sev according to package instructions. Some require just soaking the falooda sev in warm water. I had to cook them in boiling water much like noodles. So I heated up 1.5 cups water and let it come to a boil.
7. Then added 5 tablespoons sev (roughly ⅓ cup). If the faluda sev are long, then just chop them before cooking. The ones I had got, were already small sized.
8. Boil them in the water on medium flame till they are softened.
9. They need to be cooked well.
10. Once they are cooked well, then strain them and drain the water. Rinse them in running water and keep aside. This removes the extra starch. Cover and let the faluda sev cool completely at room temperature.
11. Chop the nuts that you will be adding. I have added some cashews, almonds and pistachios. Raisins can be kept whole. You can rinse the nuts and raisins in water if you want, before chopping them. That’s what I do always when using nuts and dry fruits.
12. In about 4 tall serving glasses each, add the rose syrup first. You can add about 1.5 to 2 tablespoons rose syrup depending on your taste as well as the size of the glass.
13. Then add 2 tablespoons of the soaked sabja seeds.
14. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the falooda sev. After adding falooda sev, you can add jelly if you are using it.
15. Add about 1 cup chilled milk in a slow stream taking care that the milk does not mix with the rose syrup and the sabja seeds. The layers have to be visible and that is what makes the falooda visually appealing.
16. Finally add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or pista ice cream or mango ice cream or malai kulfi.
17. Top with sliced pistachios, golden raisins and sliced almonds.
18. Serve falooda with ice cream immediately. the remaining soaked basil seeds and sev can be kept in the refrigerator and stays well for a couple of days.
Soaked sabja seeds can be added to lemon based drinks, rose-based drinks, any sherbet or even just plain water or chilled milk. While drinking falooda, with a spoon mix the rose syrup settled at the bottom with the milk and then drink.
Tips & variations to make falooda
- There is no need to add any sugar as the sweetness of the rose syrup is enough to make the faluda sweet.
- For the ice cream, you can easily use any variety of Ice cream or kulfi.
- The falooda recipe can be made vegan, by using chilled almond milk and vegan ice cream or kulfi.
- There are many variations you can make in a basic falooda which is simply made with just soaked sabja seeds, rose syrup or rooh afza, falooda sev and chilled milk.
- If you do have falooda sev, Substitute whole wheat vermicelli or rice vermicelli instead.
- Chopped fruits like mangoes can be added. I have earlier shared Mango falooda which makes use of fresh sweet mangoes. But only add fruits that are compatible with milk.
- Fruit purees or dates puree can also be added.
- Chocolate falooda can be made with chocolate syrup.
- Dry fruits falooda can be made by making a paste of soaked dry fruits & nuts and adding it to milk.
for soaking sabja seeds
- ½ tablespoon sabja seeds (sweet basil seeds, tukmaria seeds) - chia seeds can be added as a substitute
- 1 to 1.25 cups water or add as required
for cooking falooda sev
- 5 tablespoons falooda sev - roughly ⅓ cup
- 1.5 to 2 cups water
for making basic faluda (4 glasses or 4 servings)
- 6 tablespoons rose syrup or add as required
- 6 tablespoons soaked sabja seeds
- 12 tablespoons cooked falooda sev - about ¾ cup cooked falooda sev
- 4 cups chilled whole milk or chilled almond milk
- 4 scoops of vanilla ice cream
- 10 to 12 unsalted pistachios - sliced or slivered
- 10 to 12 almonds - slivered or chopped
- 10 to 12 cashews - chopped
- 10 to 12 golden raisins
- Soak sabja seeds in water for about 20 to 30 mins. Once they swell then drain the extra water and keep aside.
- Prepare the falooda sev according to package instructions.
- Some require just soaking the falooda sev in warm water. I had to cook them in boiling water much like noodles. So I heated up 1.5 cups water and let it come to a boil. You can heat about 1.5 to 2 cups water.
- Then added 5 tablespoons sev (roughly ⅓ cup). If the faluda sev are long, then just chop them before cooking.
- Boil the faluda sev in the hot water on medium flame till they are softened and cooked well.
- Once cooked, using strainer or colander, drain the extra water. Then rinse the cooked falooda sev in fresh water. Drain the water again. Keep covered aside till they are cooled completely at room temperature.
- Chop the nuts.
making basic falooda recipe
- In 4 tall glasses each, add 1.5 to 2 tablespoons rose syrup. Depending upon your taste you can add less or more of the rose syrup.
- Then add 2 tablespoons soaked sabja seeds.
- Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the faluda sev.
- In a slow stream, pour about 1 cup milk.
- Then top with one scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- Garnish with a few raisins, sliced pistachios, almonds or cashews. Prepare the remaining falooda drink in the same way.
- Serve the falooda immediately. while drinking, with a spoon mix the rose syrup settled at the bottom with the milk and then drink.
- This recipe can be doubled and tripled.
- No need to any sugar as the rose syrup itself is very sweet. You can add less or more of the rose syrup according to your taste buds.
- Jelly can be skipped or added and is an optional ingredient.
- Dry fruits and nuts can be of your choice.
- Use almond milk and vegan ice cream for a vegan falooda.
- The remaining soaked basil seeds and sev can be kept in the refrigerator and stays well for a couple of days. Soaked sabja seeds can be added to lemon based drinks, rose-based drinks, any sharbat or even just plain water or chilled milk.