Healthy Strawberry Falooda
During my teen years, I remember fondly driving by this Mumbai style Café Shop in Dubai called Haji Ali, late nights or to grab a juice or sandwich or so.
My favorite would always be a juice or milk shake, with a grilled veggie and cheese club sandwich. The cheese there was my definition of perfect- creamy but not overly rich; when I got to the cheesy bite along with the rest of my sandwich, the melty texture was like a symphony. I LOVED IT! As I got a little more experimental, I occasionally bought their fruit creams (cream and fruits of choice based on the menu).
And then… once upon aI’ve- tried –so- many-things-here- I -want-to-try-something-new time, I came upon this tall, layered glass of colorful fun!
“I will try this dry fruit mix falooda please.” I said, excited. My excitement was immediately returned by a smile as the server saw how cheery I looked, and walked towards the kitchen to place my order.
Mum said I was going to love it.
And guess what? I did! Every time I would crave it, it was relatively easy to get it; especially if mum was around their vicinity…and when I could drive, I would gleefully get it whenever I wanted.
Okay, okay, hold back on the emotional blast from the past. Maybe I talked way too much without letting you know what this falooda is.
Let me hear you say (Fah-loo-dah)!
Falooda is a chilled milk and fruit based drink/dessert that is typically flavored with rose syrup and layered with basil seeds, vermicelli, fruits and nuts, fruit jelly and ice cream!
Sounds refreshing, yes? Maybe a bit too sweet but it can be the occasional treat-worthy refreshment for us fit foodies; so I made a healthier version of this originally Persian but also very much Indian drink, so we can all have tons of fun in the summer!
Let’s run a bit further away from the memory lane. I made this nutritious layer of fun as a Valentine’s Day special, as my Instagram friends would have already seen.
Here’s what you want to know about what I switched up to make the falooda healthier! The day I made this, I was pressed for time, and hence slightly frantic. This means that for those of you who have NO idea how this looks or is made I unfortunately could not take step by step shots. But, you could check out this cool mango falooda recipe (not as healthy because of the added sugars but use healthy substitutes!) to get some more clarity on my ingredients and instructions.
I replaced the milk with coconut milk and the rose syrup with strawberries by making it a smoothie (so this takes care of the ice cream bit, which is not necessary at all, really). See my recipe for a rich candy floss smoothie. If you really want to have it with the ice cream( a single scoop dropped in at the end)- use single and simple flavors like kulfi, vanilla, strawberry, pistachio or mango to best compliment your milk and fruit drink.
You can also use rose preserve or plain milk/nut milk, flavored milk, honey or maple syrup added in milk if you don’t like the thickness of a smoothie. I highly recommend trying the non smoothie version (despite mixed reviews from friends that tried the original and smoothie version).
For the vermicelli, I used roasted wheat vermicelli as that was the only one I had on short notice.
For the fruits, I used what I had at home- red grapes, apples and bananas. I support and encourage fruit fun, so get creative with your medley!
The nuts are totally optional, but if you’re an absolute nut, some more nuttiness wouldn’t do you any harm.
All these textures are an absolute delight when combined together. It’s what makes this summer special so darn chewy, sippy, munchy and enjoyable :D
If you have a better recipe to share, please let me know as I would love to try.
Love, The Writer Eats.