The contributor was compensated by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas for her time in developing this recipe and post. All opinions are her own.
When I was a young ‘un, there were certain treats that were just so good they only made their appearance in our midst only on uber special occasions. Take for example, my mom’s luscious chocolate cake.
Two layers of decadently moist chocolate butter cake with a rich, velvety, fudgy frosting only made an appearance on birthdays – which meant we had it maybe four times a year, unless my father wanted a vanilla butter cake, then it was three times a year!
And then there was rose-flavored falooda. This drinkable dessert with layers of strawberry jell-o, basil seeds, milk, rose syrup, and ice cream only took the place of smoothies and shakes on a special day like the last day of school!
I always thought falooda was a traditional Sri Lankan drink, but when I did some Googling, I came to find that falooda is supposed to have originated in Persia, where it was called faloodeh.
Muslim merchants were the ones responsible for bringing this drinkable dessert to countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Singapore, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka.
Nowadays, each country has their own unique version of falooda or faluda. Some add in creamed coconut and mango and black tea along with rose syrup flavored milk, basil seeds and vermicelli. Some add pistachios and ice cream, while others add in thicker vermicelli or use premature tapioca pearls.
The version I am sharing today is similar to the one my mom used to make my sister and I when we were younger. However, this version does not have vermicelli. I did use soaked basil seeds and microwaved tapioca pearls instead of the sago my mom used.
Have you had a chance to experiment with Nielsen-Massey products before?
Just like I fed my curiosity about the beginnings of falooda, I did some Googling and found that Nielsen Massey is a family run operation that has been churning out pure flavors and extracts since 1907. And, just like falooda has been delighting taste buds in a plethora of countries, Nielsen Massey’s products have been enhancing the cooking and baking of professional cooks and home cooks in South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Australia!
All Nielsen Massey products are certified gluten-free, certified Kosher, and are allergen-free and GMO-free.
- Strawberry Gelatin Prepared according to package directions, or ready-made
- 1 Basil Seeds
- 1 Water Divided
- 1 Tapioca Pearls
- 1 Milk Cold
- 2 Rose Syrup Rose syrup is sweet, so adjust amount accordingly
- 1 Nielsen-Massey Rose Water
- 1 Nielsen-Massey Pure Almond Extract
- 2 Vanilla Ice Cream Or strawberry ice cream
- 2 Pistachios Crushed
- Prepare strawberry gelatin according to package directions if not using ready-made. When this is set and able to be cut, you are ready to proceed.
- Soak basil seeds in 1/2 cup water for 30 minutes.
- Add tapioca pearls to 1/2 cup water and place in the microwave for 25 seconds.
- Pour milk, rose syrup, Nielsen-Massey Rose Water, and Nielsen-Massey Pure Almond Extract into a large glass and stir to combine.
- Then, take 2 tablespoons of soaked basil seeds and add them to milk mixture.
- Take 2 tablespoons of the tapioca pearls and add them too to the milk mixture and stir gently.
- Cut up the strawberry gelatin or scoop it out and add 4-5 tablespoons of it to milk mixture.
- Top with ice cream and pistachios and enjoy!