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Rose petal kulfi

There’s something about rose petals starting to fall that compels you to seize hold of the fleeting season. And what better way to capture the essence of summer than to make use of them in this super-easy frozen dessert?

A rose petal kulfi lolly on a plate surrounded by dried rose petals
This exotic and heady kulfi captures the perfumes of summer and is very quick to make

Rose petals have an ancient history as a flavouring, being used by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, and remain a stand-out feature of both sweet and savoury Persian dishes to this day. They’re also a common ingredient in Arabian and Indian cuisines and are seen in classic confections such as Turkish delight and in the North African spice ras el hanout.

Their essence is typically extracted into water or oil but they can also be dried and used as a direct flavouring. The heavily scented varieties such as rosa rugosa and damask work well, along with other scented garden roses. Just make sure no pesticides have been used.

Kulfi is a centuries-old dessert that is essentially a denser and creamier version of ice cream. It is hugely popular across South East Asia, where the traditional selection of flavours includes cream, rose, cardamom, pistachio, mango and saffron. It was originally made by slowly evaporating sweetened milk by continuous boiling and stirring. This recipe is a much quicker and simpler version that uses condensed milk.

Ingredients (makes approx 6 lollies):

390g tin condensed milk

300ml double cream

2tbsp rosewater

2tbsp chopped dried rose petals

50g finely chopped pistachios or foraged nuts, eg hazelnuts (optional).


Rose petal kulfi mix

- Spoon the condensed milk into a bowl and fold in the rosewater and dried rose petals, plus the pistachios or nuts (if using).

- In another bowl, whisk the double cream until it forms soft peaks.

- Combine the two mixtures.

Rose petal kulfi in lolly molds

- Pour into lolly moulds, kulfi moulds or ramekins (makes approx 6).

- Freeze for min 8hrs.

Learn more about foraging roses or discover more about wild edibles and recipes on a foraging course

Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!


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