This milky rosewater-infused cold dessert is popular in the subcontinent. It is served in a tall glass, with layers of rose syrup, pieces of maghoot jelly, icecream, milk and nuts.






Skill level

Average: 4.3 (27 votes)

In Afghanistan, falooda is sold in small, colourfully decorated ice-cream shops known as shir yakh feroshees.

This recipe has several different components – rose syrup, soaked basil seeds and maghoot jelly – which are all made separately and assembled together to make falooda.


  • 1 litre (4 cups) cold full-cream (whole) milk
  • vanilla ice-cream, to serve
  • coarsely crushed pistachios and rose petals, to garnish

Maghoot jelly

  • 1 tsp yellow food colouring
  • 3 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)

Rose syrup

  • 220 g (1 cup) white sugar
  • 1 tbsp rosewater
  • 2 tsp pink food colouring

Basil seeds

  • 2 tbsp dried basil seeds (sabja; available from Asian grocers)
  • 625 ml (2½ cups) boiling water

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time: 2-3 hours

1. To make the maghoot jelly, bring 500 ml (2 cups) water and the food colouring to the boil in a saucepan. Stir the cornflour with 2 tablespoons cold water in a small bowl to form a smooth paste, then add 2 tablespoons of the boiling coloured water and mix to make a slurry. Slowly add the tempered cornflour to the boiling water, stirring continuously to prevent lumps from forming. As soon as the mixture begins to boil again after 2–3 minutes, pour it into a large shallow heatproof dish, and refrigerate to set and cool for at least 2–3 hours. Cut the maghoot jelly into small cubes by cutting it into thin strips horizontally and then vertically, and set aside.

2. To make the syrup, add the sugar and 250 ml (1 cup) water to a small saucepan over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil, and boil without stirring for 2–3 minutes, or until the syrup thickens and reaches 112°C (233°F) on a sugar thermometer. Stir in the rosewater and pink food colouring to combine well and set aside to cool.

3. To prepare the basil seeds, place them in a bowl and pour the boiling water on top. Set aside to soak for about 15 minutes, or until the seeds are sticky and gelatinous. Set aside to cool.

4. To assemble the falooda you will need 6 tall glasses. Put 2 tablespoons of the rose syrup into each glass. Add 1 tablespoon of diced maghoot jelly, followed by 1 tablespoon of soaked basil seeds. Next, pour in cold milk to three-quarters full, add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and garnish with crushed pistachios and rose petals.

5. Serve immediately, with a straw and a spoon.


Images and text from Parwana by Durkhanai Ayubi; recipes by Farida Ayubi with assistance from Fatema Ayubi. Photography by Alicia Taylor. Murdoch Books RRP $45.00