Summer is near and nothing is better than a little bowl of faloodeh, a curious Persian sorbet, on a warm summer afternoon. Noodles folded into this sorbet give it a very unusual texture because they become very crunchy when frozen.
Faloodeh (also spelled faludeh) is traditionally flavoured with rosewater. At the time of serving freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice or a light fruit syrup is added for more flavour.
My easy recipe deviates a bit from the traditional recipe. I use much less sugar and make the sorbet with lemon juice and zest, then delicately flavour it with rosewater. Raspberries are not commercially grown in Iran but I find them a great substitute for the sour cherries (albaloo) that is sometimes used to make the fruit syrup.
In Iran the noodles for faloodeh are made fresh from potato starch but well-cooked vermicelli-like oriental rice noodles make life so much easier and taste exactly the same.
You can see how shop-bought cooked rice noodles look like in the picture below. I found these in the chilled section of my local supermarket. But I don’t use them as they are. They will get too hard when frozen so I boil them for a few minutes again until they are really soft, almost mushy. If you choose to use dry rice noodles make sure you cook them very well. You want your noodles to look like the first picture below. In the second one you can see how they look when frozen.
If I’ve tempted you enough to make this unique dessert you’ll need to prepare your sorbet first. I sometimes make the sorbet the day before and freeze it overnight.
In Iran faloodeh is usually sold along with Persian ice cream (bastani). Check out my Persian Rose and Vanilla Ice Cream recipe if you haven’t already.
The ingredients for this recipe are quite easy to find everywhere. You can buy Iranian rosewater from many Persian or Middle Eastern groceries. Just a word of caution: Middle Eastern rosewater is different from rose essence normally found in UK supermarkets. Rose essence is very very strong and should be used by the drop. If you are using rose essence start with one drop, taste and add more if you wish.
Ingredients for 4-6 servings:
Instruction for making the sorbet, noodles and syrup: