This classic Iranian dessert is made by folding rice noodles into a sweet simple syrup made with water, sugar and rose water. Typically it's topped with sour cherry syrup and lime juice. However, macerated strawberries are the perfect substitute for this time of year.
To learn more, read "Legends of the Faloodeh."
"Faloodeh" (Rose Granita with Frozen Rice Noodles)
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour, plus 5 hours chilling time
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes, plus 5 hours chilling time
For the Macerated Strawberries:
1 pound strawberries, hulled and cut into wedges
¼ cup fresh lime juice
For the Faloodeh:
2 ounces rice vermicelli noodles
8½ cups water, divided
1¾ cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon rose water
½ cup crushed unsalted, toasted pistachios
⅓ cup mint leaves, torn
1 tablespoon dried, ground rose petals (optional)
¼ cup to ⅓ cup fresh lime juice
1. Make the macerated strawberries: In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, tossing them occasionally until macerated. Strain the mixture and reserve ½ cup of liquid. Pour the remaining liquid back into a bowl with the strawberries and set it aside.
2. Meanwhile, make the faloodeh: Place the vermicelli in a bowl. In a large saucepan over high heat, bring 6 cups of lightly salted water to a boil and pour the water over the rice vermicelli. Soak the noodles until they are tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and rinse the noodles with cold water. Using scissors, snip the noodles into 1- to 2-inch pieces; Set them aside.
3. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the remaining 2½ cups of water and sugar. Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the sugar from the heat and stir in the rose water. Pour the mixture into a nonreactive bowl along with the reserved ½ cup of macerated strawberry liquid, and chill it in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
4. Pour the chilled faloodeh base into a pre-chilled bowl of an ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer's instructions to churn until the mixture begins to turn icy around the edges, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the rice noodles to the mixture, and continue to churn until the noodles begin to freeze and the mixture begins to look like slush, about another 10 to 15 minutes.
5. Transfer it to an airtight container, and place plastic wrap directly onto the faloodeh. Chill it in the freezer for at least 3 hours before serving.
6. To serve, scoop the faloodeh into a chilled glass or bowl, then top it with the macerated strawberries, pistachios, mint, rose petals (if using) and lime juice.