Falooda/Faluda is a cold, sweet, refreshing and nutritious drink that is traditionally made with a mixture of all or a few of the following ingredients- vermicelli (made from arrowroot), basil seeds (takmaria), jelly pieces (china grass jelly) and tapioca pearls-along with milk and ice cream
This popular Persian dessert was brought to the Indian subcontinent when the Mughal Empire was flourishing in India. Today there are many versions of Falooda—different regions have different varieties. In Pakistan and Northern India Faluda is prepared with rose syrup, chilled milk, some ice cream, finely chopped and boiled vermicelli, soaked takmaria (basil seeds) and a dash of cardamom powder and generally served after dinner during the hot summer months.
I remember while growing up my grandmother always insisted we have this milk drink with the takmaria seeds that literally looked like tadpoles floating in the milkshake—we were always hesitant to have it and she would say you have to have it is good for you, however she never ever mentioned what was the good part of it and we ignorant ones never asked—just did as we were told. To this day I still have it during the summer months but, like I have done with all of my grans recipes—I tweaked it to make it a healthier version.
When I decided to write a post about Faluda I Googled “Faluda and Takmaria” and I was blown away by the wealth of health benefits that Takmaria has— since reading about the health benefits I have started having the seeds on its own and not necessarily in a milk shake. Now I understand my grans insistence on us drinking the tadpole infested milk shakes. Tadpole like seeds included it is a delicious and nutritious drink, if prepared using fat free ingredients.
This is just a summary of Basil Seeds or Takmaria’s Health Benefits:
Faluda (Serves 4)
10ml china grass powder to be cooked in 250ml water (optional)
30ml takmaria (basil seeds) soaked in 250ml water
1l fat free milk (chilled)
5ml cardamom powder
4 sachets of sweetener (or sugar to taste)
2-3 drops of food colour
5ml rose syrup
125ml boiled and chopped vermicelli (optional)