Servings : Serves 6-8
During hot summer days and the Holy month of Ramadhan, this falooda/faluda pudding is a staple in our home. It is a light soft-set pudding made out of china grass (agar agar). Getting the consistency just right can be a bit tricky, but once you have the method down pat, making this delicious refreshing dessert is a breeze!
- 1 packet china grass or agar agar (the pack I use is 25gm although I use one sixth of it for each recipe portion, to be explained in details below)
- 750 ml whole milk (you can also mix half whole milk and half semi-skimmed)
- 4 tbsp evaporated milk (optional but it does improve the consistency)
- 1 cup water (200 ml)
- 12 level tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/4 tsp red food colouring
Open the pack of china grass. Divide it into 6 equal portions. You will only need ONE portion for this recipe. Wrap up the remaining 5 portions separately in cling film to store them for next time you need to make more pudding. That way whenever you need to make pudding, you only need to grab one small pre-packed portion.
Chop up the one portion of china grass as finely as you can using a scissor or sharp knife. Put it into a small pan and add 1 cup water. Bring to a slow simmer over low heat while stirring until most of the china grass is dissolved. This will take about 5 minutes. Pour this mixture into a blender and blend until smooth.
In another pan, add the whole milk, evaporated milk, sugar, vanilla and food colouring. Then add the blended china grass mixture. Bring to a boil over medium low heat while stirring. Once the milk begins to steam keep on stirring for another 3-4 minutes. You will NOT notice a lot of thickening at this stage as this pudding thickens slowly with time so do not worry if it seems like nothing has changed with the milk's consistency. Taste and adjust the sugar if need be. Turn off the heat and sieve the entire mixture into a jug. Sieving it will help catch any pieces of china grass that did not fully dissolve and having it in a jug makes it easier to pour into individual bowls.
Now gently pour equal amounts of the falooda into 6 or 8 bowls. Let them sit for a few minutes to cool slightly then sprinkle some crushed almonds and or pistachios. Do not add the nuts immediately as they would sink to the bottom, make sure to wait about 10 minutes before sprinkling them on the pudding. Once the pudding is at room temperature, cover the bowls and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight. You will notice that the falooda pudding will have a soft set texture after being refrigerated for that long. The dessert can easily keep for up to 3 days refrigerated. Serve chilled.