Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Food of India: A Journey for Food Lovers

The Food of India

By Priya Wickramasinghe

Published 2005

  • About

Sweet drinks, Indian Muslim in origin, are often drunk during the month-long ramadan fast. In this rosewater drink, the sugar is an energy source that is highly recommended while fasting. Falooda can also be made with falooda noodles instead of the agar jelly.


Rose Syrup

  • 220 g (1 cup) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons rosewater, or to taste
  • pink food colouring


  • 2 teaspoons agar-agar
  • yellow food colouring
  • 30 g (1 oz) basil seeds
  • 1 tablespoon icing (confectioners’) sugar
  • 1 litre (4 cups) milk, chilled
  • 6 tablespoons ice cream or thick (double/heavy) cream
  • pistachios, chopped (optional)
  • almonds, chopped (optional)
  • mint leaves (optional)


To make the rose syrup, put the sugar and 250 ml (1 cup) water in a large, heavy-based saucepan, bring to the boil and boil for 2 minutes. Add rosewater, to taste, and enough colouring to make a pink syrup. Cool.

To prepare the falooda, dissolve the agar-agar in 250 ml (1 cup) boiling water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 15 minutes. Add a little yellow food colouring. Pour into a large, flat dish and refrigerate until set. Turn out onto a board and slice into thin strips (thin enough to be sucked up a straw).

Soak the basil seeds in a little water for 1 hour, then drain. Stir the icing sugar into the milk.

To prepare six glasses of falooda, pour 2 tablespoons rose syrup into each large glass. Add a helping of falooda and 2-3 teaspoons basil seeds to each and top with the sweetened, chilled milk and 1 tablespoon cream or ice cream. Garnish with nuts and mint leaves if you wish.