Rhubarb and Rose Water Sorbet with Rice Noodles (Faloodeh)
Source: Louisa Shafia, The New Persian Kitchen
On the streets of Tehran you’ll find food vendors selling dishes of chewy frozen vermicelli suspended in an icy white sherbet with a perfumed scent. This whimsical treat is called faloodeh, and is one of the earliest known frozen desserts, dating as far back as 400 BCE. Faloodeh is typically white, but this version is colored bright pink by a compote of rhubarb. A drizzle of something tart, like sour cherry syrup or lime juice, brings this dessert vividly to life.
2 ounces rice vermicelli
1 pound rhubarb stalks, preferably red, coarsely chopped
¼ cup water
1½ cups organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon rose water
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, plus extra for garnish
Crushed pistachios, for garnish
Sour cherry syrup, for garnish (optional)
Put the vermicelli in a bowl. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil, and pour over the vermicelli. Soak for 4 minutes, until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. Cut the vermicelli into 1-inch lengths.
In a saucepan, combine the rhubarb with the water, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cover and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the rhubarb is very soft. Let cool completely.
Pour the rhubarb into a blender. Add the rose water and lime juice and blend until smooth. Stir the vermicelli and rhubarb together in a large bowl. Pour into a shallow baking dish and freeze, uncovered.
Rake the faloodeh with a fork after 2 hours to prevent it from freezing into a solid mass. Freeze and stir again after 2 hours. Repeat after another 2 hours, if necessary. The faloodeh will have a malleable consistency, somewhere between ice cream and sorbet, within 4 to 6 hours. Scoop it into serving bowls and top with pistachios and lime juice. Drizzle with sour cherry syrup, if desired. The faloodeh tastes best within 24 hours of being made.
Reprinted with permission from The New Persian Kitchen by the Louisa Shafia, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photography copyright: Sara Remington © 2013.