“Palda” as we say in Turkish, or “Faloodeh” in Farsi is a cold dessert made from cornstarch, pussy willow extract and sugar. It can only be found in its frozen form in stores here in California. The only time I have ever had it fresh was in Iran, or when I visited my family in Canada many years ago. I was lucky enough that my step-mom wanted to make it again! Of course, I had to capture all the action this time around. It is such an involved process but really worth it, if you ask me.
How it’s made:
First you start by mixing one part cornstarch with 2 parts water in a big pot over medium heat. You keep stirring until the mixture becomes really thick and hard to stir.
Cover the pot with a cloth until the mixture becomes more clear and not as cloudy as the picture above
Next comes the fun part. You scoop the mixture into a special device designed to make palda. It consists of a tin container with tiny holes at the bottom, and everything gets pushed through the holes to form noodles. The noodles are then dropped into a bowl of ice cold water. Cold water helps the noodles maintain their form, and keeps them from turning mushy.
The noodles are chilled and served in a bowl of water flavored with pussy willow extract, sugar and sometimes lime juice as seen below
How can I describe the taste? First off, pussy willow extract?? I really cannot describe that taste. It is so unique and unlike anything I can compare it to. One sip of this and it took me back to 16 years ago when I had my first bite. If you want to try this on your own, you can buy it at any Persian grocery store, just ask for faloodeh. It will be in the frozen section and will most likely come in a white plastic container. However, the one you find in stores will be flavored with rose water. You will probably have to go to Iran to have the authentic and original form of palda. Overall, when it is nice and cold, and has a little bit of lime juice, it is such a refreshing snack. I savored every bite because who knows when I’ll get to have this again!
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