Rose Recipes

Gulab Jamun (Indian Sweets) Recipe

Gulab Jamun (Indian Sweets)

03.26.10 by Jackie

Gulab jamun is my husband Lulu's favorite Indian dessert. The sweets are deep-fried balls of dough, bathed in rose (gulab) and cardamom syrup. The texture resembles the liquor syrup-saturated French cake Baba au Rhum.

I've just experienced making my own for the first time and it tasted pretty similar to the ones I've had in the past. I added a few saffron threads to impart a brighter yellow color to the syrup and I didn't add finely crushed pistachios as Lulu's great-aunt does, because of my little sister-in-law's nut allergy.

You can eat them cold, but our favorite way to enjoy gulab jamun is to warm them a bit before serving. It adds another dimension to the dish. Gulab jamun is a bit too rich to eat on a regular basis, but it's perfect for special occasions when you want something more exotic than cake.


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Sweet Lassi (Indian Yogurt Drink) Recipe

Sweet Lassi (Indian Yogurt Drink)

03.13.10 by Jackie

Lassi is an Indian yogurt drink. I often make it at home, but I've never quite been able to recreate the subtle tanginess of the drink. That is, until now. On our last trip to the local Indian restaurant, I asked the waitress about their preparation techniques, and she told me that they always add Bulgarian cultured buttermilk when making plain lassi. After that lunch, I stopped at the local Middle Eastern store, picked up a carton of buttermilk, and adjusted my recipe to her specifications. I've been making it this way ever since.

I use traditional Indian flavorings in my lassi, specifically elaichi ("cardamom" in Urdu) and rose water. My mother-in-law isn't a huge fan of rose flavoring, so I only added ¼ teaspoon of rose extract. You can add as much or as little as you'd like.


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Rose Cookies Recipe

Rose Cookies

12.19.09 by Jackie

I thought it would be nice to make a holiday cookie that captures the distinct flavor of rose. Rose, usually in the form of rose water, is often found in Indian and Middle Eastern desserts, but it's not commonly used in Western treats. For this dessert I used rose paste, because it adds a pleasing pink color to the cookies. I also added some rose to the cream filling as well.

I love making desserts like this for the holiday season because you can prepare several logs ahead of time and store them in the freezer for later use. That allows me to spend more time with visiting friends and family instead of being stuck in the kitchen.

In case anyone was wondering, I photographed the cookies with the reindeer because his expression reminded me of my little munchkin. The reindeer in the picture exactly mimics her expression when Lulu asks her his favorite question:

"How much do you love Lulu?" Lulu always asks.

"Thiiiiiiiiis much", our munchkin says and opens her arms, just as the reindeers does.


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Rooh Afza, Summer Drink of The East Recipe

Rooh Afza, Summer Drink of The East

10.02.09 by Jackie

I've featured sharbat (the South Asian equivalent of the Western chocolate milk for kids) in the past. The key ingredient in sharbat is a product called Rooh Afza, which is a syrup made of flower petals such as Gulab (Rose), coriander seeds, kewra and watermelon extract.  It literally translates to "that which tempts your soul".

Rooh Afza is fairly versatile and is used in many other drinks and desserts. One such recipe is similar to sharbat, but without the milk and nuts. I often make this drink when I need to cool off a bit. It's very refreshing and light.


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Mint and Chocolate Filled Rose Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Mint and Chocolate Filled Rose Thumbprint Cookies

08.15.09 by Jackie

Thumbprint cookies are similar to sablé cookies. They both have the texture of shortbread. The characteristic thumbprint shape is created by pressing down on the cookie with a spoon half-way through the baking process. A sweet filling is placed in the resulting cavity. The cookie itself has a mild sweetness that goes very well with the sweeter filling. The filling can be jam, preserves, caramel or even chocolate.

I chose a pink mint filling because of my little five-year-old sister-in-law. She came to me with the cutest request. She adores Cookie Monster, and often shares her cookies with the Cookie Monster doll we got her. Today, she came to me, hid her face with the stuffed animal and said in her best Cookie Monster impersonation, "Cookie Monster is hungry, I want pink cookies." My heart melted; I can't say no to my little munchkin.

All the girls gathered in the kitchen and pink cookies it was. I looked in the pantry and found several choices for a pink-colored cookie. Some pink-colored mint chocolate chips from Guittard, raspberry and strawberry extracts or rose paste. The girls voted and we went for a rose-flavored cookie dough with pink mint chocolate filling. Sunny, my 13-year-old eldest sister-in-law wanted to create some fun design in the filling, so we melted some bittersweet chocolate and vanilla chips as well. This has to be some fun designs.

We were all very happy with our unique cookies and needless to say, Cookie Monster also enjoyed our creation.

Cookie monster wants pink cookies


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