A picture of falooda in a glass.
Falooda - The classic Indian dessert. Copyright: photodee / 123RF Stock Photo

There are certain Indian restaurants, if you are lucky enough that produce a fantastically sweet dessert like drink called falooda or faluda depending the menu writer. I couldn’t call it a beverage, although that is what it is really because it seems to be more sundae than anything else. It appears to be very straightforward to prepare.

Its make-up is quite unusual. The dessert drink is primarily prepared with a rich mixture of rose syrup, vermicelli, tapioca pearls and water or milk. The tapioca for those not in the know is a starch which is obtained from the roots of the cassava plant and is used in preparing various puddings usually beloved of school dinner chefs. To create the individualism in the dish, sugar, ice cream, basil seeds and ‘tutti fruitti’ may be added to augment the flavour.

The dessert originally came from Persia as did naan breads and is known as faloodeh towards more northern climes. It was brought into India during the period of the Mughal ascendancy. However, it would seem that faloodeh made in Afghanistan and Iran is very different from falooda prepared in India. In Afghanistan and Iran, the vermicelli that is used for preparing faloodeh is made from arrowroot starch as opposed to that coming from Indian wheat varieties.

The Falooda Recipe – Preparation


  • cooked and chilled vermicelli,
  • basil seeds soaked in water,
  • a chilled mix of blended pistachios, almonds, powdered sugar and milk which is the milk mix.
  1. In a glass, add half of the chilled vermicelli and half of the basil seeds.
  2. Half of the milk mix is poured in the glass over basil seeds and vermicelli.
  3. Some rose syrup is added and mixed to an appropriate consistency.
  4. One scoop of kulfi or ice cream is then added.
  5. Garnish with chopped pistachios and almonds. Some rose syrup can also be added for garnishing. The falooda is served with a spoon for mixing and teasing out the vermicelli and a straw.
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