Faloodeh – Lime and rosewater granita with rice noodles

There is no shortage of western-style desserts in Iran, ranging from classic French pastries to cookies, cakes, pies, and ice creams. At the same time, there is an assortment of local and regional desserts that have long been part of Persian cuisine. Many of them have specific associations with special holidays, celebrations, or seasons.

Faloodeh is one of those truly classic Persian desserts. It is also quite possibly the most distinctive of them all, with a particularly unique combination of textures. By many accounts, Faloodeh is one of the oldest and most original forms of frozen dessert in Iran, dating back to the 16th century.

So what exactly is this dessert that has Persians swooning? Faloodeh is a granita-style frozen dessert that highlights semi-frozen rice noodles in the midst of a well-choreographed dance of sweet and sour flavors, all punctuated by the floral notes of rosewater.

I know what you are thinking; sounds intriguing, but noodles for dessert, and frozen too?! You are most likely accustomed to tossing noodles in delicious savory sauces. It would not be surprising if the idea of freezing noodles with a rose-flavored syrup were to be met with at least a little skepticism. But I do encourage you to read on, and to try Faloodeh.

Faloodeh, or more accurately Faloodeh Shirazi, originated in the city of Shiraz, in south-central Iran. The historic city of Shiraz was the capital of Iran from 1750 to 1800 and is known for its beautiful gardens, fruit trees, flowers, and wine. Home to many scholars and artists, it has made a significant contribution to Persian poetry and literature. In addition, it was the home and is the resting place of two renowned poets of Iran: Hafez and Saadi. Their tombs, Hafezieh and Saadieh, are two of Iran’s most famous tourist destinations.

Given its origin in a city with a never-ending love of poetry, art and cuisine, you would hardly expect this dessert to be anything less than poetic!

Nowadays, Faloodeh can be found at just about every local Persian market year round, but it is a particularly popular refreshing and cooling dessert during the hot summer days. It can be served along with either Persian saffron and pistachio ice cream or, more simply, with a wedge of fresh lime to squeeze over the frozen noodles. It is also customary to top the frozen noodles with sour cherries and a drizzle of sour cherry syrup to create a vibrant bright color contrast.

Next time you are in the mood for a refreshingly light and simple dessert on a hot summer day, I hope you consider making Faloodeh.

This recipe was published at The Spruce Eats

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Faloodeh

Omid Roustaei
Lime and rosewater granita with rice noodles
5 from 25 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
freezing time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Iranian, Persian
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

Syrup

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons rosewater

Noodles

  • 5 cups of water
  • 2 ounces thin rice noodles

Toppings

  • 1 wedge fresh lime
  • 1 tablespoon Slivered pistachios optional
  • 1 tablespoons Sour cherry syrup or sour cherry jam optional

Instructions
 

  • Combine the water, sugar, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Reduce the heat and stir for a couple of minutes or until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  • Remove from the heat, add the lime juice and rosewater to the syrup and transfer it to a shallow freezer-safe glass or metal dish, and place in the freezer, uncovered for 30 minutes.
  • Prepare the noodles by bringing the water to a boil in a medium-sized pot. Add the rice noodles and continue to boil on medium-high heat, uncovered for 2 minutes.
  • Turn the heat off, cover, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. The time may vary depending on the type of rice or vermicelli noodles. The noodles should be soft at this stage but still hold their shape.
  • Strain the noodles through a fine-mesh strainer, rinse with cold water and allow to drip dry. Using kitchen scissors or a knife, cut the noodles into 1 inch pieces and set them aside.
  • Remove the partially cooled syrup from the freezer after the initial 30 minutes, add the noodles and mix well. Place the noodles and syrup back in the freezer for one hour, uncovered.
  • Remove the noodles from the freezer, and using a fork, begin scraping the frozen parts from the sides of the dish and mixing them back to the center. Place the noodles back in the freezer for another hour before repeating the scraping and stirring.
  • Repeat one last time. At this stage, the noodles should be crispy and the syrup should have turned into a slushy semi-frozen granita texture.
  • To serve, scrape the noodles with a fork and place them into an individual serving bowl along with a wedge of fresh lime.
  • Top the Faloodeh with your choice of topping.

Notes

Ideally, the noodles should have only two ingredients: rice and water. Vermicelli noodles are sometimes made with various starches or even refined wheat flour, which is not what we are looking for in this recipe.
Whichever brand or type of noodles you choose, it is important that you follow the package’s cooking instructions, so as to ensure the noodles are not overcooked.
Keyword faloodeh, faloudeh, frozen dessert, granita, rosewater, shirazi
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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Charlotte says:

    This recipe looks so delicious. I will try it. Thank you.

  2. Connie says:

    I have tried making Faloodeh in the past with rice noodles and never felt like I got a result that resembled what I ate in Shiraz. Do they use rice noodles in Faloodeh in Iran or are rice noodles an approximation for Western cooks. My frozen noodles always seemed kind of chewy, not crispy. Perhaps they were not prepared properly. Some instructions say to just pour hot water over them and let them sit. Seeing your recipe, I am encouraged to try again with your instructions.

    1. Hi Connie, as you guessed it the traditional Faloodeh noodles are made of starch. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find a starch based noodle that has worked well for me, hence why I have used rice noodles. With rice noodles ,I find if you cook them long enough until they are quite soft, the texture will be more pleasant at the end. Hope you still give this recipe a go!

  3. Connie says:

    I will definitely make it and will follow your advice for cooking the rice noodles. This is the perfect summer dessert. I just have to wait for some warmer weather to arrive.

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