Banana flavored Thai Basil Seed Drink

Banana flavored Thai Basil Seed Drink Recipe

Thai basil seed drink is a very refreshing beverage that is popular both in Vietnam and in India. It's called hột é in Vietnamese and falooda in India.

The visual aspect of the drink is unusual and not very appealing, but it tastes great. It kind of looks like fish eggs in a pond and tastes like gummy-textured sugar water. I flavored it with banana extract because that's the flavor combination I remember from my visit to Vietnam.


Yields: 12 servings

4 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup superfine sugar, to taste
1 Meyer lemon (or regular lemon), freshly squeezed
2 quarts water
4 tablespoons Thai basil seed
2 teaspoons banana extract
3 cups ice cubes, or more


Place the Thai basil seeds in a pitcher.

In a saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a near boil. Pour into the pitcher. Let the seeds gain in volume, which will take about 5 minutes.

In the same saucepan, dissolve the sugar with 1 cup of water. Bring to a near boil, then add the honey. Pour the syrup into the pitcher. Add the banana extract, the rest of the cold water and lots of ice cubes.

I served this chilled with some fresh Thai baby basil leaves from my vegetable garden.



I bought my Thai basil seeds in an Indian store. I think some Asian stores carry this product as well.

I added banana extract but you can add your own flavor, such as mango extract, cherry extract, rose water, orange blossom water or simply vanilla extract. Be creative!

I prefer using superfine sugar. It's is a fine-grained sugar and it dissolves much more quickly than regular sugar.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on April 27, 2009.


[-] Interesting - Guest-SteffInMO
I've never seen a drink like this before but I would definitely give it a try. But it does really look like a food from "Bizarre foods" with Andrew Zimmern.
[ Posted at 11:44 PM on 4/27/09 | Reply ]
[-] kids would love it! - Guest-MyLastBite
I know my niece and nephew (twins, 13) would love this drink... and I would too! I'm definitely going to ask for the seeds the next time I go to my Indian market. Thanks.

MyLastBite Website Link
[ Posted at 2:31 AM on 4/28/09 | Reply ]
You have to love the refreshing drinks of Asia! No plain old fruit juices there - from tapioca to 'gulaman'/jelly cubes and now, Thai basil seeds, it's always visually interesting. This is the first I've heard of this but I really want to try it.

Tangled Noodle Website Link
[ Posted at 7:14 AM on 4/28/09 | Reply ]
The Indian Falooda is made from milk, basil seeds soaked in water, a rose syrup called Rookh Hafza, you can use any pink cordial instead and a scoop of ice cream. Pour the Rose syrup in a glass - about an inch of it, then the milk with basil seeds mixed in it and put in the ice cream scoop - plain vanilla is best.
[ Posted at 11:59 PM on 3/25/10 | Reply ]

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