Rose Petal Preserve 'Gulkand' from India
Gulkand and Gulab Jam & Sharbat
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‘Gulkand’ is a type of rose petal jam that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Once ready, it will last for years. It is said that older the Gulkand, better it is for you.
Our father used to make it from wild rose petals he grew in his garden and fresh sugar he made in his factory (he was a sugar chemist). We remember being given Gulkand as children, a spoonful each morning, throughout the summer, sometimes with warm milk. It has cooling properties, it is an antioxidant, a tonic, a mild laxative, and good for memory and eyesight. Wild roses are better for making it, because cultured ones do not have enough essential oils and thus lack flavour. Use either dark red or small pink roses. Make sure no insecticides have been used and the petals are washed very well in order to get rid of dust and insects.
Gulkand is often added to ‘pan’, a betel leaf mouth freshener very popular in Northern India. You can add it to India desserts like Phirni, Rice Pudding, Semolina Milk Pudding and Vermicelli Milk Pudding.
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