Falooda Making | Street Food India.

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Falooda Making | Street Food India.

Falooda originally derived its name from Urdu language. It is also spelled as Faluda. It is a cold beverage popular in the Indian subcontinent. It is widely available in the street side vendor stalls and also available in the restaurants. Traditionally it is made from mixing rose syrup, vermicelli, psyllium (ispaghol) or basil (sabza/takmaria) seeds, tapioca pearls and pieces of gelatin with cold milk shake and ice chilled water.

Vermicelli used for preparing falooda is made from arrowroot whereas vermicelli used in the Indian version is usually made from wheat. The present day Falooda is a result of the many variations brought by Muslim merchants and dynasties of various origins present in and around the subcontinent, along with variations added through native taste preferences.

Falooda Making, Indian Dessert, Street Food India.
Falooda Photo.

Falooda History.

Food etymology says that the origins of Falooda in the subcontinent go back to Persia, where a similar dessert ‘Faloodeh’ was popular among the Persian population. The dessert came to India with the many Muslim merchants and dynasties that settled India, and made it home. Falooda, for the longest time was only made for and by Noble Muslim families in South Asia, but today, the dessert is enjoyed by all. The present form of falooda was developed by the Mughal empire people, and spread with its many conquests.

Muslim rulers who succeeded from the Mughals patronized the dessert with their own adaptations, specifically in Hyderabad Deccan and the Carnatic. The ice was gathered during the winter or carried from the mountain tops and stored in large insulated underground chambers topped by dome structures. This method used to allow ice to remain available throughout the summer, even in the desert.

The best use was made to prepare desserts like falooda. Later on, as the food making techniques improved, rose water and sugar were added with the vermicelli to enhance the touch of royalty in food. Today there are many versions of falooda. Some are made without noodles and blended with fruit. One of the Indian versions consists of kulfi, translucent wheat-starch noodles and flavoured syrup. Some faloodas are also served as milkshakes.

Falooda has some metaphorical references in usage of idoms. In idiomatic Hindustani language, falooda is sometimes used as a reference to something that has been shredded, which is an allusion to the vermicelli noodles. For example, someone who falls into disrepute might say that his or her izzat (honour) has been turned to falooda (a common phrase is “izzat ka falooda”), which is roughly equivalent to saying “reputation is shot.” This idiom is very common among people speaking Hindustani language and is used jocularly.

Types of Falooda.

Falooda has many variants. In India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka falooda is often served as an ice cream sundae float. It is prepared with psyllium seeds, boiled vermicelli, rose water and milk. It is mainly consumed after dinner. In Bangladesh, a common variant of Falooda in the south coast of the country is made with Ketaki (pandan) extract, pistachios, shagu pearls, creamed coconut and mango as well as milk, vermicelli and may even include strong black tea to make quite a distinct flavour.

Malaysia and Singapore also produce a similar drink called bandung. Falooda is very similar to the Thai drink Nam Manglak, which is made from different ingredients, such as shredded jelly, tapioca pearls, Job’s Tears mixed with sugar, water, and rose water. The Iraqi Kurds also have their own version similar to falooda but it is usually made with thicker vermicelli. A similar modern East Asian drink is bubble tea. A famous type of falooda, called ‘Andrea’, involves mixing various rose syrups with creamy milk and premature tapioca pearls.

Rabri falooda is also available in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. In India, West Bengal also has some outlets where Rabri falooda is very much popular. The Mauritian version of falooda is called ‘Alouda’ (which is also a variation of the literal meaning of falooda) . This beverage is almost identical in ingredients and flavor to Indian version of falooda. South Africa also has a variant known by the same name and is often served as a milkshake to be consumed with or after a meal.

Falooda is ranked within top five most popular desserts in India. In abroad also, falooda tops the chart within top ten most popular desserts.