This recipe is featured in the story, 4 Milky Indian Elixirs to Soothe & Sweeten Your Day, sponsored by Milk Life.
Ah, falooda: The magnificent, high-maintenance, completely-worth-the-fuss drink that turns heads. Every element, from the basil seeds (which expand and make the drink jelly-like), vermicelli (which adds a nice, surprising texture), the quenelle of ice cream on top, and, most notably, the shocking pink rose syrup that runs through it all, is a showstopper.
It’s a drink I’m more likely to order at a cafe than make at home, because I rarely have vermicelli at home, but I sometimes make a lazy version of this recipe with just organic milk, chia seeds—which I prefer to basil seeds because they’re widely available and provide more of a gelled texture—and Rooh Afza, a concentrated fruit and herb syrup with the primary taste of rose (you can find it at any Indian or Pakistani grocery store). If you don't have access to this or rose syrup, try it with any other syrup you have on hand, like strawberry or maple; it won't be a falooda anymore, but you'll enjoy it all the same.
Ingredients2 teaspoons basil or chia seeds
1 handful (nest) falooda sev or rice vermicelli
2 cups organic dairy milk (whole), plus more for soaking chia seeds
4 tablespoons rose syrup or Rooh Afza (available at Indian stores), divided
Vanilla ice cream, for topping (optional)
Crushed pistachios, for topping (optional)