This recipe is my entry for the Spice is Right III, a spice-oriented food blogging event hosted by Barbara of Tigers and Strawberries. The theme this time around is "The Perfumed Garden", where the challenge is to combine edible flowers with spices in a recipe. I was thrilled when I learned about the theme, because I just returned from India with a large bag of some Gulkand or Rose Jam. This is nothing but fresh rose petals mixed with sugar and allowed to "cook" under the blazing tropical sun yielding a dark red, thick, gooey rose-scented jam.
I love eating a spoonful of gulkand occasionally as a little pick-me-up; it is also used as a sweet filling in some Indian dessert recipes. This time around, I decided to use it in a kulfi. The pairing of rose and cardamom ends up being subtle and dreamy, a perfect end to a meal. For the kulfi base, I modified this recipe from BBC food. Gulkand is so sweet that the kulfi does not need another sweetener like sugar or condensed milk.
Serves 4-5, Preparation Time: 10 minutes (not including freezing time)
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
1 small carton (half pint) heavy cream
2-3 tbsp gulkand (rose jam) (or more to taste)
2 tbsp milk
1 heaped tsp cornflour
1 tsp cardamom powder
1. Stir in the cornflour into the milk and set aside.
2. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the evaporated milk until it is almost boiling.
3. Add the cornflour-milk mixture and the heavy cream and boil for a minute (to cook the cornflour).
4. Take off the heat, allow it to cool almost to room temperature, then stir in the cardamom and gulkand.
5. Pour into a container and set in the freezer. Mix up the kulfi every 2 hours to break any ice crystals. It should set in 8-10 hours at the most.
6. Serve small scoops of the kulfi with extra gulkand on the side if desired.
I was absolutely thrilled with the result! It was so subtle and aromatic, a real treat for the taste-buds. I know I will be making this recipe again and again (till the precious gulkand lasts, anyway)! Next time, I might tweak the recipe a little bit:
1. A few drops of beet juice might add a lovely rosy hue.
2. A couple of drops of rose essence might add more rose flavor (although I like the subtle taste just as well).
3. I think toasted crushed almonds would work really well in this recipe and add an extra flavor dimension.
If you happen to live in the NYC area, don't forget that June is Rose Month at the New York Botanical Gardens. I was just there last week and the roses are breath-takingly gorgeous! My favorite rose there: "Gourmet Popcorn"
Thanks for hosting, Barbara! I loved participating in this event.