Use of roses in cooking is not new. It makes into delicious icecream/ milkshake to tea or lassi. Roses are highly used in garnishing desserts and also in aroma terapy & cosmetic industry. Rose petal jam/ rose preserve or gulkand in simple terms is an age old dish believed to be originated in India. It is also found in Persian and ayurvedic medicine in the treatment of different ailments. It works as a wonderful coolant.
This preserve can be made in different ways. Either by slow cooking cleaned rose petals in sugar syrup or using sunlight to preserve rose and granulated sugar. Honey can be used instead of sugar too, which I haven’t tried yet. A spoonful of gulkand can be consumed regular basis with a glass of milk or you can prepare milkshake with the gulkand. Click here for my recipe of rose petal milkshake, homemade rose water.
I have this fragrant rose variety called Rani gulabi which is dark pink. We can harvest many roses during flowering seasons. Now lets see the recipe of gulkand.
Rose petals (fragrant variety) – 1 cup (tightly packed), choose chemical free/ home grown without pesticide.
Sugar – 4-5 tbsp
- Collect pink/red rose petals recommended fragrant variety. As I am not using any rose essence or flavor here, this is very important to have the flavorful gulkand.
- Clean, remove any bugs if found. Wash rose petals with clean running water. Pat dry with clean kitchen towel. Leave half day or overnight/ until all the extra water content is dried.
- Take a dry glass jar having lid. place a layer of petals, spread a layer of sugar. You can also pulse the petals in a mixer before assembling too*.
- Arrange rose & sugar layer until all the petals are finished..
- You will need 3-4 tbsp sugar for 1 cup rose petals (tightly packed).
- Close the lid of jar and place in sunlight for 7 days (morning to evening).
- Mix the rose sugar mix well every morning with a clean dry spoon.
- Then store for 1 - 2 months to set well. I recommend refrigeration.
- The gulkand will be tasty when it set well. Also on refrigeration, it will turn bit chewy and hard.
- You can use the gulkand in various recipes like icecream, milkshake, lassi or jamoon. You can even chew it as candy or with pan.
- It is a good body coolant and can be used as home remedy for constipation, mouth ulcer etc..
- Use carefully & as there may be people who are allergic to rose.
- Gulkand will turn bit hard (without moisture) after refrigerating for few months. If you like syrupy texture, you can add little sugar syrup before eating.
- *Pulsing/ churning rose petals quickly in a mixer will help to blend rose petals with sugar fast. When we use whole petals like I did, the petals in the gulkand will not be softened. Do not make paste but.