Faloodeh (Persian lime and rosewater granita with rice noodles)

Faloodeh - refreshing rose and lime granita threaded with rice noodles.
Faloodeh - refreshing rose and lime granita threaded with rice noodles. Photo: Con Poulos/The New York Times
Dietary
Gluten-free

Faloodeh is an ancient Persian dessert, a sort of granita threaded with rice noodles and spiked with rosewater and lime. It's incredibly refreshing and the ideal end to a rich meal filled with complex flavours. In Iran, most ice-cream shops sell just two items: traditional saffron ice-cream and faloodeh, which is typically topped with bottled lime juice. Faloodeh has been my favourite since childhood, but now I prefer it with the juice of freshly squeezed limes.

Ingredients

1 cup sugar

fine sea salt

⅓ cup lime juice, plus wedges, for serving (about 3 to 4 limes)

1½ tbsp rosewater

110g very thin rice noodles or rice vermicelli

Method

1. Place half a cup of water in a small saucepan and set over low heat. Add about half the sugar and stir to dissolve completely. Add one-eighth teaspoon salt and the rest of the sugar and continue stirring until completely dissolved. Take off the heat and let cool to room temperature.

2. In a freezer-safe bowl or dish, stir together one litre of water, cooled syrup, lime juice and rosewater, then place in freezer until ice crystals begin to form on the edges of the mixture, about one hour.

3. In a medium pot, bring four litres of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook thoroughly until there is no bite left, about eight minutes or as instructed on the package. Drain and rinse immediately with cold water. Use scissors to cut noodles into 2.5cm pieces, then stir them into the partly frozen syrup mixture. It's important that the mixture has begun to freeze before adding the noodles so that they don't all sink to the bottom of the dish, so if your syrup mixture needs more time, freeze for another hour before adding noodles.

4. Every hour for the next several hours, scrape the granita thoroughly with a fork to prevent huge icy chunks from forming. The mixture should be light and airy, punctuated with crunchy noodles.

5. To serve, scrape and serve bowlfuls of faloodeh with lime wedges.

This is one of Samin Nosrat's 10 essential Persian recipes.

Samin Nosrat is the author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and star of the related Netflix show. This recipe originally appeared in The New York Times.