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Popular Drinks in Sri Lanka

Milk Tea

milk tea
milk tea

Visit FACTS ABOUT SRI LANKA to see why milk tea is so popular in Sri Lanka.




Faluda is a sweet drink made from rose sherbet syrup, milk, basil seeds, vermicelli noodles and red jelly. When I was offered a glass, I was a bit apprehensive because of its pink colour and musky smell, but it was delicious and really refreshing. I guzzled it  down quickly, completely forgetting that it was made with Colombo tap water.

Serves 6

85 g  packet strawberry or raspberry jelly crystals
1 tbsp basil seeds*
35 g


dried seviyan vermicelli noodles**

1 litre full-cream milk
2 tbsp sugar
185 ml rose syrup (or rose sherbet syrup)
270 g ice cubes


1. Prepare the jelly according to the instructions on the packet and set aside to cool to room temperature. Line a rectangular container (measuring approximately 12 x 20 cm) with plastic wrap, leaving some plastic wrap hanging over the sides. Pour the jelly into the lined container, then place in the refrigerator to set.

2. Soak the basil seeds in 500ml cold water for 15 minutes, or until soft and plump. While the seeds are soaking, bring 500ml water to the boil in a saucepan, add the vermicelli noodles and cook for 2–3 minutes, or until tender. Drain, rinse under cold running water to stop the cooking process, then drain and set aside.

3. Bring the milk to the boil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Stir in the sugar, then reduce the heat and simmer over low heat for 2–3 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the rose syrup, and set aside to cool slightly.

4. Drain the basil seeds and add to the faluda, followed by the vermicelli noodles. Transfer to a large jug or container and chill in the refrigerator.

5. When the faluda is chilled, carefully remove the jelly from the container and cut into 2cm cubes. Take six tall glasses and fill each one halfway with the jelly and ice cubes, then pour over the faluda. Serve as a drink or dessert.

*Basil seeds: Tiny black seeds from the basil plant, which swell and develop a glutinous coating when soaked. Added to drinks and desserts. Available from Asian grocers and specialist spice stores.

**Seviyan vermicelli noodles, dried: Thin, dried vermicelli noodles made from semolina and broken into small 1.5cm pieces. Used in a variety of Tamil desserts.

Recipe Credits: LINK


King Coconut

Sri Lankan King Coconut Water
Sri Lankan King Coconut Water



Sri Lanka’s very own alcohol. Visit FACTS ABOUT SRI LANKA for more information on arrack.


Woodapple Juice

Sri Lankan Woodapple Juice
Sri Lankan Woodapple Juice