Gulkandh is a jam made with rose petals. It is popular in Middle Eastern and Southern Asian cooking. Gul means flower and kandh means sweet in Persian. Gulkandh means sweetened flower. During my trip to Israel in March this year, I brought home few pounds of dried Moroccan rose petals. I used it to make the jam with sugar, lemon juice and water. They are served after a meal along with betel leaves.
According to Ayurveda, Gulkandh is a tonic and it reduces heat in the body and treats acidity. During pregnancy, Indian women are advised to eat a teaspoon of gulkandh after a meal to reduce acidity and acid reflux. I wanted to introduce this amazing dish to my San Francisco foodies. I decided to cook them with arisi payasam (rice pudding). The creamy milk pudding should be served chilled with cashews, rose water and roasted coconuts.
Rose Petals Jam
- 1 cup dried rose petals or 3 cups fresh rose petals
- 3 cups sugar
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 cup water
- Bring all the ingredients to a rolling boil until they thicken, about 30-40 minutes. Keep stirring every 10 minutes to prevent burning.
South Indian Arisi Payasam (Rice Pudding)
- 1/2 cup raw rice ( I used raw ponni rice)
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 1 litre whole milk
- 1/2 tbsp cardamom powder
- 1 cup grated jaggery, packed
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp rose water (I used Dabur brand – can be found in Indian grocery store)
- Mix all the ingredients and pressure cook for 1 whistle or cook them in a pan for 45 minutes until they turn creamy. Please don’t add more sweetness as we will be mixing in the rose petals jam.
- Add 1 cup gulkandh to the milk mixture and continue to stir until they are well incorporated into the pudding. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Switch off the flame and add the rose water. Stir and let it cool.
- Place in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Transfer to the serving bowl and garnish with unsalted roasted cashews and roasted unsweetened coconut shavings.