Icy Treats in Queens: Kulfi Falooda

Editor's note: It's still August, height of the season for frozen treats. We asked our Queens expert Sara Markel-Gonzalez to track down one great frozen sweet for every day this week.

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[Photos: Sara Markel-Gonzalez]

Kulfi falooda is a milky, sweet, but subtle icy treat. Served in many South Asian countries, falooda is particularly popular in India and Pakistan, as a dessert dish that combines sweetened milk with cooked vermicelli noodles, basil seeds (sometimes tapioca pearls as well), and rose syrup. A nice, summery drink.

But add kulfi, that delicious and dense Indian ice cream, to the mix, and you have something really special. Kulfi Falooda can be found in quite a few spots in Jackson Heights, and I found mine ($5.00) at Al-Naimat, a Pakistani sweet shop and steam table restaurant on 74th Street, where they have a picture of the dessert next to the door enticing people looking for a way to cool down in off the street.

The base of the falooda, the milky part, was light rather than rich, sweetened but not heavy, and each spoonful was filled with soft and slurpy, nearly translucent vermicelli, along with the tiny, gelatinous basil seeds. A squirt of rose syrup added a beautiful bright pink swirl and just a touch of floral flavor. The centerpiece of the dish, the kulfi bar, with its hints of caramel and cardamom, was icy and creamy, and added crunch. It was all too easy to finish the whole bowl.

Al-Naimat

37-03 74th Street, Jackson Heights, Queens NY 11372 (map)
718-476-1100

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