“Since the thing perhaps is to eat flowers and not to be afraid” – E. E. Cummings
It’s almost springtime and along with it brings long hours of sunlight, warm breezes and blooming flowers – everything you’ve missed all winter.
Thinking of the sweet scent of blooming flowers, the first flower that comes to mind is the rose.
Roses (genus Rosa) are an edible flower belonging to the Rosaceae family. They not only smell sweet, they look beautiful, too. It’s an ideal flower to give as a gift for any occasion. Be it someone’s wedding or a marriage proposal, roses are most known for expressing love.
But did you know that roses also have culinary uses?
Rose petal jam, as the name suggests, is made from rose petals and is widely popular in Indian sub-continents.
Being used in Ayurvedic medicine for ages, it works as a great digestive stimulant and helps keep the stomach calm. For those reasons, it’s usually consumed after a meal for better digestion. Plus, it freshens up your mouth and helps get rid of bad breath.
Here are two methods to make rose petal jam, also known as gulkand. Before you start, make sure that the rose petals are firm and free from any blemishes or dark spots.
- Method 1: Sun-Dry Method
- Method 2: Skillet Method (Instant)
Method 1: Sun-Dry Method
The petals are dried under sunlight using this method. Hence, it may take up to 3 to 4 days to prepare the jam.
Things you’ll need:
- Fresh rose petals – 1 cup
- Sugar – 3 tablespoons
- Honey – 3 tablespoons
Step 1. Clean the petals
- Place 1 cup of freshly plucked rose petals in a strainer.
- Gently wash the rose petals using fresh water.
This step will ensure that the petals are clean and free from dirt and insects.
Step 2. Dry the petals
- Place the petals on a plate lined with a paper towel.
- Use another paper towel on top and press down gently to completely dry the petals.
Step 3. Crush the petals
- Press the petals between your fingers so as to crush them (just a little bit).
- Do not press them too hard. Do it gently.
Step 4. Layer the ingredients in a jar
- Layer ⅓ of the rose petals in the bottom of an airtight jar. Then, layer it with 1 tablespoon of sugar, and top it with 1 tablespoon of honey.
- Repeat the process in the same order with the rest of the ingredients, i.e., ⅔ of the rose petals goes first, then the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, and finally the remaining 2 tablespoons of honey.
Step 5. Mix them up
- Using a spoon, fold the layers. Mix them up well, and put the lid on the jar.
Step 6. Let the mixture dry in sunlight
- Place the closed jar in the sunlight, allowing it to dry. It may take 3 to 4 days, depending on the weather conditions in your area.
- Stir the mixture in the jar once every morning.
Your rose petal jam is now ready to be served. The jam will keep for up to 6 months when stored in the airtight jar and refrigerated.
Method 2: Skillet Method (Instant)
If you don’t want to wait 3 to 4 days to try this rose petal jam, this method is for you. It will be ready even before you know it.
Things you’ll need:
- Fresh rose petals – 2 cups
- Sugar – 4 tablespoons
- Honey – 3 tablespoons
- Fennel seeds – 2 tablespoons
Before beginning, clean and dry the petals thoroughly by following Step 1 and Step 2 in Method 1. Then, proceed with the steps described below.
Step 1. Crush the petals and place them in a skillet
- Use your fingers to gently crush 2 cups of rose petals as you place them in a skillet.
- Turn the heat on low, and place the skillet on the stove.
Step 2. Add fennel seeds and sugar
- Add 4 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of fennel seeds to the petals.
- Stir them in well using a spatula.
Step 3. Add honey
- Add 3 tablespoons of honey to the mixture and stir it again.
Step 4. Let it cook
- Continue simmering the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Your rose petal jam is ready to be eaten. Refrigerate the remaining mixture in an airtight jar and enjoy it for up to 6 months.
- You can make a larger quantity of rose petal jam, as it is not easily perishable and will last for up to 6 months when stored properly. Use the ingredients in the same proportions, seal it in an airtight jar and keep it in the refrigerator.
- This jam can be used as a mouth freshener and is very good for digestion. Many people consume it after a meal.
- You can add powdered cinnamon or cloves to it for additional flavor.
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