My husband Vishal got these tiny purple blue berries one day back from office. On asking him what they were, he proudly proclaimed the season's first batch of Falsa. I know my fruits and somehow this one escaped my knowledge since the time I was born!! I had never even noticed them, leave alone tasting them. On finally having the privilege to taste them, I found them a bit too tiny, sweet and sour and a little cumbersome to remove the seed while eating. So the Falsa was happily left for Vishal to devour.
I took a picture of them and posted in the Facebook group-Chef at large asking fellow foodies its English name. To my surprise I was bowled over with many answers, most of them referring it to as the Indian Blueberry with its scientific name being Grewia asiatica.
A little research divulged that Phalsa/Falsa(Urdu) is native to Southern Asia and is a Summer fruit. It is an excellent cooling agent and has astringent properties. It is rich in Vit C and is a good source of antioxidants. Falsa is popularly used to make juices, syrups and sherbets.
My discussion on Chef at large FB group made me suddenly jump on the realization that I could use them in some bakes and Sayantani came to my rescue by suggesting me to check Deeba's blog Passionate about baking. Once I realized I could use them as Blueberries, I actually went hunting in the market in time to buy the season's last produce(They have a short season)
My first attempt in my Falsa Fetish series is this extremely simple and yummy Gelato or better called Frozen Yogurt. With an amazing sweet and sour taste and a pretty colour, this dessert is definitely a Heart Winner and worthy to be called an excellent Summer Treat.
Recipe adapted from: Passionate about Baking
Ingredients: Serves 2
- 100 gms Falsa/Indian Blueberries
- 3-4 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp hung curd(Take 4 tbsp of normal curd and tie in a muslin cloth. Hang it for 1-2 hours to drain the water)
- 2 tbsp cream(I used Amul)
Wash berries, drain and mix them with sugar and water. Keep aside for 1-2 hours.
Mash them (I used my fingers) and pass through a strainer (this helps to remove the seeds). Be careful to not get any stains on your clothes.
This step takes some effort and time but is worth it as you can get a lot of the pulp mixture by repeated straining.
Take hung curd and cream in a bowl and whip it. Add the berry pulp mixture and mix well.
Transfer to an airtight container with a lid and put in the freezer.
Let it set for an hour or 2 and whisk it with a fork to break the ice crystals. Repeat it 2-3 times, whisking every hour. Let it set.
Scoop out the Gelato and serve with a sprinkle of fresh Falsa and a sprig of mint leaf.
- You may use the pulp of any other fruit like Mango, strawberry, blueberry etc
- The quantity of sugar may vary with the sourness of the fruit. Always taste the pulp mixture before proceeding.
- You may save some pulp mixture to be poured as a sauce on your Gelato.(I forgot and added it in the end)
From being unaware of its existence to falling in love with this tiny summer fruit, I sure had a whale of time with my experiments. More on my Falsa Fetish following soon with an amazing Falsa bake!!