Faloodeh (Persian Lime and Rose Water Granita With Rice Noodles)
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.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 1cup granulated sugar
- Fine sea salt
- ⅓cup lime juice, plus wedges, for serving (about 3 to 4 limes)
- 2tablespoons rose water
- 4ounces very thin rice noodles or rice vermicelli
Step 1Place 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and set over low heat. Add about half the sugar and stir to dissolve completely. Add 1/8 teaspoon salt and the rest of the sugar and continue stirring until completely dissolved. Take off the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Step 2In a freezer-safe bowl or dish, stir together 4 cups water, cooled syrup, lime juice and rose water, then place in freezer until ice crystals begin to form on the edges of the mixture, about 1 hour.
Step 3In a medium pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook thoroughly until there is no bite left, about 8 minutes or as instructed on the package. Drain and rinse immediately with cold water. Use scissors to cut noodles into 1-inch pieces, then stir them into the partly frozen syrup mixture. It’s important that the mixture has begun to freeze before adding the noodles so that they don’t all sink to the bottom of the dish, so if your syrup mixture needs more time, freeze for another hour before adding noodles.
Step 4Every hour for the next several hours, scrape the granita thoroughly with a fork to prevent huge icy chunks from forming. The mixture should be light and airy, punctuated with crunchy noodles.
Step 5To serve, scrape and serve bowlfuls of faloodeh with lime wedges.