Sunday, August 4, 2013

Rose and Rooh Afza Ice Cream


The blue paint is chipping off some of the benches, while others are glossily newly painted over the old paint in attempt to hide the distress the wood has seen in last 15 years. The walls are covered entirely by advertisements, the same ones I saw as a child. Adverts of ice creams and drinks they no longer serve or even manufactured still proudly hanging in all its glory despite the wear and tear. A particular poster with a girl next door model, in her gypsy top and rugged jeans advertising cola heightens the 90's appeal of this tiny cafe in my hometown in Rajasthan, India. 

While sitting there waiting for our orders, it was as if time has stood still, I was still the adamant 10 year old, insisting with Papa on getting one more ice cream and the owner would hand me another kulfi without Papa's consent. 'Le lene do - saal main ek baar hi toh aati hai India'  - Let her have it, she only comes to India once a year, he would tell Papa.

Being a Bohra pilgrimage town people flock in huge numbers all year round and this cafe has served thousands of people with their signature falooda - a milkshake flavored with rose syrup, vermicelli and gelatinous basil seeds. Though generally topped with Indian ice cream like kulfi or vanilla, this cafe makes homemade rooh afza ice cream to go with the falooda. 

As kids, we would only have the ice cream and  ask for extra scoop leaving behind the milkshake. It is only as adults we learned to love the entire experience of the falooda but the thought of that ice cream has always infatuated me. So couple of weeks back I made it. And have made three batches since trying to perfect the recipe. On its own, in a milk shake, in falooda, or as falooda ice cream with garnish of basil seeds and vermicelli -  this fruity, floral, herbal icecream has a blushing peach pink color and rose flavor perfect for summers.

Talking of my hometown, I thought I'll share pictures of the nearby farms I visited while there. We thought we'll find some locally grown mangoes but instead found acres and acres of land filled with chickoo trees.  

Rose And Rooh afza Ice cream


6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar (125g)
350 ml whole milk
250 ml heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp rose water
2 tbsp rooh afza/rose syrup, I wrote in more detail about this syrup here


Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick.

In a saucepan heat the cream, milk and vanilla mixture just until it starts scalding.

Remove 1/2 cup of the dairy mixture and slowly add it to the egg mixture whisking as you go.

Once the egg mixture is tempered, slowly add it to the dairy mixture and whisk with a wooden spoon until the custard coats the back of the spoon.

Switch of the flame and whisk in the rose water and rooh afza.

Chill in an ice bath.

Churn in an ice cream maker as per manufacturers instructions.

Freeze for at least 4 hours.

You can also fold in rose jam (gulkand) for more rosiness! 


  1. <3 <3 the beautiful and so familar scenes :) and guess what? put in my ice cream maker in the freezer to make roohafza ice cream :) LOL last night I told A that we need to make the roohafza ice cream... was missing the indian summers!

  2. These pictures remind me of my home town. It feels really great to freeze the moments of nostalgia through pictures. :)

  3. Lovely post, pictures and recipe! That ice cream must taste divine.



  4. What a fabulously unique ice cream! Lovely recipe!

  5. I drank a lot of roohafza milk during summers.Never ate an ice cream but we used to keep the whole milk glass in the fridge to freeze.
    But its so strange that even though I am living in the middle of a desert for last 4 years,I never bought it. Maybe I should get one on my next trip to india store. yummy recipe!
    Love the pictures of your town, K. That dried bean is sangri? right?

  6. It is not even few months since I came back from India and now I am craving to go back home. This ice-cream reminds me of the flavors of India and I am infatuated.

  7. Wow! Lovely pictures Kulsum! I remember keeping my glass of milk & Roohafza in the freezer as a kid, so I could have it as an ice cream :-)

  8. Beautiful post, pictures and recipes! Thank you for sharing.

  9. I usually dont enjoy taking pictures of anything else other than food or my daughter - LOL but your post has really inspired me to expand my territory :)
    Nice clicks and welcome back to blogging. Love seeing your posts

  10. Gorgeous ice cream and wonderful photos.

  11. Wonderful photos! Thank you so much.

  12. such a delicious ice cream combo. I love falooda but never had this flavor.

  13. Beautiful post with such familiar scenes. I always find the Rooh Afza so so strong. But with an icecream, it might just be right. Good to see regular posts from you Kulsum:)

    1. Ishita - I know what you mean about roohafza being strong. That's why I had to test this recipe quite a few times. I wanted it to just give hints of rooh afza with main flavor being rose. It worked!

  14. Love the flavors of rose and rooh afza -- so summery :)

  15. Lovely post and beautiful pictures. We love falooda, it's perfect on a beautiful warm day.

  16. Oh I remember Roohafza! Such a rage when I was growing up especially since for some reason it wasn't that easy to find in Chennai! I think the sweet sticky flavor will be so awesome in an ice cream!

    Love the pictures too Kulsum! Gorgeous life stills!

  17. I just want to taste this beautiful ice cream, this is a wonderful post!

  18. Love this Kulsum, you know how much I love rose flavored desserts and foods! I haven't tried a chickoo in years, that brought back memories, I wish I could find some here.

  19. OH MY! You turned rooh afza into such beautiful ice cream! I loved the colour...gorgeous!

  20. Yummy!!!! it looks very delicious really i want to feel the taste of the ice cream, with this ice cream we can used in roohafza also.

  21. Gorgeous and evocative recipe, words and of course, images. Just lovely. I feel soothed and calm now :D

  22. These villages are where the heart of India lives! Your ice cream reminds me of Falooda in tall glasses, we used to eat in Sukhadia circle...beautiful clicks capture the mood and the emotions in all the pictures very beautifully!

  23. I always enjoy looking through your photos of home, you capture it beautifully.


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