Falsa (Phalsa or Grewua Asiatica), is a summer delight and a purely South-East Asian fruit. It can be found in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia and other tropical countries in the region. Falsa is both sweet and sour at the same time, these tiny red-purple fruits are ready for harvest between March and April. Throughout May and June, falsa is readily available with roadside hawkers in typically large cane baskets. Because of it’s seasonality, buying falsa can be a pricey affair.

Many, especially our elders who grew up in the subcontinent, have fond childhood memories with this tiny fruit. My father tells us he used to climb up trees to pick falsa and enjoy them under the shade of the same trees near the canal in Lahore. It always bring back nostalgic memories for him.

Falsa can be enjoyed as is, with small addition of salt and black pepper. Alternatively, you can prepare a juice and store it throughout the summer. Falsa is a great antioxidant and blood purifier as well. It is an excellent source to relieve various ailments.

Falsa has a short shelf life and must be consumed within a day or two of purchase. The fruit is easily perishable and the best way to enjoy this delicacy is to make it into a puree and consume it later as a juice or chutney.

So let’s get down to making some juice using this fantastic fruit.

Ingredients:

  • Falsa – ½ kg
  • Sugar – 1 cup (as per taste, depending on the sourness of the falsa)
  • Black Pepper – ½ to 1 teaspoon
  • Rooh Afza or Rose Water – 1 tablespoon
  • Water – 3 cups
  • Ice Cubes – as much as you want

Instructions:

  1. Soak falsa in a cup of water for at least 1 to 2 hours to soften the fruit (the fruit will become soft on its own)
  2. Strain the pulp through a fine sieve by pressing down with a spoon (for best results, use your hands)
  3. Extract pulp and juice and discard the seeds
  4. Dissolve one cup of sugar in 2 cups of water in a pan, and cook till the sugar is dissolved. Then let it cool
  5. Blend one cup of prepared falsa pulp with chilled sugar water and add black pepper and Rooh Afza
  6. Pour in glass and top with ice cubes

Fatima Ali

I am trained to be an IT professional. I served National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) for six years after graduating from the same university. As long as I can remember, cooking good food has been my passion and it makes me happy. My cooking lessons were a bit unusual though. Back in the day when digital did not mean much, my father would record cooking shows (knorr ka kitchen, kaukab khuwaja and Zee Khana Khazana – Chef Sanjeev Kapoor) for me to watch endless times later on, before trying the recipes out. I would make brownies and cold cake almost every day while my mother was asleep. This was my way of surprising her every evening. My mother cooks amazing food too and I have tried many of the recipes written in her recipe book. I draw inspiration from a number of chefs from televised cooking shows such as Late Chef Farah, Chef Rahat, Chef Mehboob, BBC Food, Masala TV, Chef Shai, Chef Sharmeen, Master Chef Australia and my ultimate favorite Chef Shireen Anwer. I would not be as good a cook I am now without passive guidance from each one of these.