This recipe is my take on the popular indian dessert called ‘rabdi falooda‘, which is basically vermicelli (falooda) soaking in sweet thickened milk(rabdi) and consisting of a burst of texture in every bite, for it is studded with chopped nuts & soaked basil seeds and is usually topped with a big scoop of ice-cream. To me this dessert brings with itself the memory of my college days. When we set out in the wee hours of the morning for a tour of the city. Shopping in our minds and skipping breakfast so that we could start as early as possible, hopping on to three or four buses (the Delhi metro was not operational back then) and changing routes as per bus schedules that day, we measured length and breath of the city to reach our favorite area in the south of Delhi. If you reached the place by 11 in the morning, the day presented myriad way to shop, eat and relax.Not only you could choose and bargain with the vendors over your favorite chunks of bohemian jewelry at length but reaching early would also mean that the time spent in queue at the eating joints would be less. What I would have on my mind since morning were the silky smooth milk shakes and dense rabri falooda in the tallest tumbler available there, I always made sure to ask for an extra serving of that leathery cream from the earthern pot to chew on. After a tiring day, I inhaled the chilled rabri falooda like a portion of ambrosia – full of textural bites and smelling of rose and cardamom.
The weather in my part of the world has already touched 80 F and we could not have asked for a better dessert for Holi (indian color festival) last week. This dessert, or if you want, call it a thick sweet cold beverage is served with a straw as well as a spoon.It is an immensely popular as a street food in Delhi but maybe not so much in the rest of India since it was the husband’s first time sampling it.There are many flavors and combinations that can be done – talk strawberry, talk vanilla or butterscotch but my favorite has always been the rose.So exotic and extremely cooling on a warm day. It is something you are bound to like. I made it last week and served along with nuggets of homemade rose jelly thrown in. It was well received and all I could say is that I wish I could have made a little more.
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Ingredients (Makes 2-3 servings)
- 1 package falooda sev ( 2 oz, or use vermicelli)
- Rabdi, as much as you like (recipe below)
- Whipped Cream, as much as you like (recipe below)
- Rose Jelly, as much as you like (recipe below)
- Rose Syrup, as much as you like
- Chopped pistachios or almonds, as much as you like
- Chopped fruits, any kind, as much as you like
- Soaked basil or chia seeds, as much as you like
For the Rabdi
- 1 no 12 oz evaporated milk can
- 1.25 cups whole milk
- 2 no green cardamom pods
- 2-4 tablespoon sugar (adjust quantity depending on how sweet you desire)
- 1.5 tablespoon rose-water
For the Rose Jelly
- 3 tablespoon water, room temperature
- 1.5 tablespoon unflavored powdered gelatin
- 4 tablespoon rose syrup (easily available in indian/pakistani/middle eastern stores, I use this )
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
For the Whipped Cream
- 1/2 cup cold whipping cream
- 1.5 tablespoon powdered sugar
- pinch green cardamom powder (optional)
- Use a dollop of Cool Whip or your favorite ice cream on top.
- You can add chia, sunflower seeds for extra crunch.
- If you do not get rose syrup, use strawberry syrup at the bottom layer and for making jelly.
Making Rabdi (This can be done 1-2 days in advance)
Pour evaporated milk whole milk and cardamom pods into a heavy, deep bottom pot (preferably non stick) and put on stove on medium low heat. Let the milk cook till it is reduced to half the quantity.You will need to stir every few minutes or so, make sure that it does not stick to the bottom of the pot. You can scrape the sides as you stir. The milk will thicken and change color to pale. After about 30-40 minutes, you will see that the milk is thickened.Put off the stove.Pick out and discard the cardamom pods.
Let cool down slightly (about 5-8 minutes). Add sugar and mix well. Let sit to cool down completely. Once cold, stir in the rose-water.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or till ready to use.
Making the Rose Jelly (This can be done 1-2 days in advance)
In a small bowl, add 3 tablespoon water and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Let bloom.
Meanwhile, in a small jug/tumbler, mix together hot water, rose syrup, sugar and lime juice. Stir so that sugar has dissolved. Add the bloomed gelatin to it.
Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes to cool down.
Pour into a small square glass dish and refrigerate for at least 5 hours. Once chilled and set, unmold (by running a sharp knife along the edges and tapping the bottom of inverted dish) and using a sharp knife cut into squares.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
Making the Whipped Cream (This can be done 1 day in advance)
In a cold bowl, using a whisk or hand mixer, whip up the cream to soft peaks. Add powdered sugar 1/2 tablespoon at a time and whip to incorporate.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
Making Rabdi Falooda
Cook the falooda sev or vermicelli as per package instruction.Let cool completely. Toss the noodles with rose water.Chill for at least 30 minutes.
Start with 1 tablespoon rose syrup at the bottom of a tall glass. Add the chilled faloooda(or vermicelli). Add 2-3 tablespoon of cold rabdi. Top with 1 tablespoon chopped nuts and 1-2 cubes of rose jelly.
Repeat 2-3 times to make a layered dessert. Top with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream.
Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!