Parsi New Year’s Milkshake (Faluda)
The last recipe in Niloufer Ichaporia King’s new Parsi cookbook, My Bombay Kitchen, this light dessert drink is supposed to be served on March 21st, the Parsi New Year. It is a creamy, slipperycrunchity, really tasty delight, and certainly delicious enough to have year round, or perhaps on our own New Year’s Eve tomorrow night.
It’s a cinch to throw together. Soak some basil seeds in water (just a teaspoon or so will be enough for several people, since they swell up quite a lot). Once they’ve had a chance to swell, spoon some into each glass. Add whole milk up to about an inch from the top of the cup, then pour in some saffron or rose syrup, and top it with a bit of vanilla ice cream.
You can buy basil seeds and rose syrup at Kalustyan’s (Lexington Ave at E. 28th St. in Manhattan), or order them online.
If you prefer to use saffron syrup, as I did, it’s simple to make your own at home. Just steep a pinch of saffron in some hot water, then simmer it in a pot with equal parts saffron water and sugar until it thickens into a simple syrup. Strain out and discard the saffron, and chill the syrup, which will keep indefinitely in the fridge.
Saffron syrup is my new favorite condiment, after making it for this shake. I’ve been pouring it over bowls of ice cream, and at some point I want to soak it into my homemade nutless baklava.
In honor of the new year, I’m going to take an idea from a few of my favorite fellow food bloggers, and try to make a habit of telling you what was going on in my kitchen each year around the time I make each post. To start it off: