Faloodeh (Persian Lime and Rose Water Granita With Rice Noodles)
50g rice vermicelli, cooked, chilled
150g caster sugar
60ml lime juice
2 tbsp rose water
80ml sour cherry syrup
1-2 drops yellow food dye (optional)
50g pistachios, crushed, to serve
Pistachio and honey ice cream, to serve
Cook rice vermicelli according to packet directions. Usually, this will involve soaking the noodles in boiling water for around five minutes. Once the noodles are cooked, drain them and place them in the refrigerator to chill them while you perform the next steps.
Combine caster sugar and water in a medium saucepan over a low heat, stirring until sugar is fully dissolved. Allow to cool for about five minutes, then add lime juice, optional food dye, and rose water.
Pour sugar and water mixture into ice cube trays and place in freezer. Allow to chill until frozen, at least 1.5 hours.
Crush ice cubes in a blender until finely crushed, but do not allow them to melt.
Combine crushed ice with vermicelli and return to the freezer for about fifteen minutes, or until noodles have gone white and are frozen.
Break up as required and divide between serving glasses. Pour cherry syrup over immediately before serving. Top with crushed pistachios.
Optionally, add a scoop of pistachio and honey ice cream (or plain vanilla if you can’t get the pistachio flavor) to the bottom of the glass before serving--this will keep the Faloodeh frozen for longer, and add an extra level of decadence to the whole dessert.
Optional garnishes could also include lime wedges, fresh or preserved cherries, fresh mint sprigs or pomegranate seeds, all of which are traditional.
Faloodeh is an ancient Persian dessert, a sort of granita threaded with rice noodles and spiked with rose water and lime. Though you may typically cook noodles until al dente, you’ll need to really cook them through here before adding them to the syrup so that they soak up enough liquid to become as crunchy as possible as they freeze. In Iran, most ice cream shops sell just two items: traditional saffron ice cream and faloodeh, which is typically topped with bottled lime juice that tastes mostly of citric acid. Faloodeh has been my favorite since childhood, but now I prefer it with the juice of freshly squeezed limes. It’s incredibly refreshing and the ideal end to a rich meal filled with complex flavors