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5 rosy dishes that are better than a bouquet this Valentine's Day

India Today logo India Today 14-02-2017 Shreya Goswami

There's something so attractive and loving about roses that we tend to consider them as the Number One gift for our loved ones. And when it comes to Valentine's Day, there really isn't much else we explore apart from a bouquet of roses.

But aren't you a little tired of the same old gifting idea of roses-and-chocolate? If you have to gift food and a pretty, scented-something, then why not go for a mash-up of roses and food. And there's no dearth of the dishes you could actually rustle up with roses. They are easy, delicious, and they're definitely going to make your Valentine happy.

So give these five rosy dishes a try this Valentine's Day.

Kulfi

Rose kulfi is a must-have in spring season. Picture courtesy: Pinterest/standard.co.uk © India Today Rose kulfi is a must-have in spring season. Picture courtesy: Pinterest/standard.co.uk

It's almost spring time, and kulfis are quite a good choice to go with. The best bit is, they can be whipped up within a few hours at the most, including the freezing time. All you need then is a date to indulge in these scrumptious kulfis with your Valentine. You'll need: 1 can condensed milk; 1 litre milk; 150 gms sugar; 10 ml rose syrup; 15 gms rose petals.

Soak the petals in warm water for half an hour, then grind them to a coarse paste. Heat the milk in a thick-bottomed pan till it's reduced to half. Add the rose petal paste, sugar and condensed milk. Cook for another five minutes, then remove from the heat. Add the rose syrup, and fresh rose petals. Pour the mix into kulfi moulds, and freeze for a few hours. Unmould the rose kulfi, and serve it on a bed of fresh fruits and rose petals.

Also read: Feeling down in the dumps? 3 recipes to elevate your mood

Chikki

Rose chikki is a snack that you can carry anywhere. Picture courtesy: Instagram/jemtuitam © India Today Rose chikki is a snack that you can carry anywhere. Picture courtesy: Instagram/jemtuitam

Another dish that can be rustled up in record time, rose chikki is quite the delicacy. These nutty bars are also easy to carry, so your Valentine can enjoy them even after V Day is done with. You'll need: 1 cup peanuts, roasted and coarsely ground; 1 cup dried rose petals; 1/2 tsp rose syrup; 1 cup jaggery.

Mix the groundnuts and rose petals together, and spread them evenly on a greased tray. Heat the jaggery in a thick-bottomed pan. Keep stirring till it melts completely. Add the rose syrup, and cook for a few minutes more. Pour the jaggery on the groundnuts and rose petals. Even out the surface, and let it cool down completely. You can bash up or cut break the chikki into pieces after it sets completely.

Jam

This rose petal jam can be a treat every day. Picture courtesy: Pinterest/allotment2kitchen.blogspot.ca © India Today This rose petal jam can be a treat every day. Picture courtesy: Pinterest/allotment2kitchen.blogspot.ca

Contrary to what you might think, making jam is very easy. And once you put it in a jar, and seal it with a loving kiss, it will be ready to serve you and your Valentine for a long time. You'll need: 3 cups fresh rose petals; 2 cups sugar; 3 cups water; 5 tsp pectin; 3 tsp lemon juice.

Toss the rose petals, a cup of sugar, and lemon juice in a bowl till the petals are evenly coated. Let it rest for an hour. Boil water in a large pan, and stir in the sugar-coated petals. Add the remaining sugar, and stir occasionally till it's dissolved. Reduce the heat, and continue to boil the mix for 20 minutes. Stir in the pectin, and cook for a further five minutes. Pour the jam mix into mason jars, and let them cool down completely. Cover with a lid, and gift it to your Valentine.

Candied petals

Candied rose petals can replace popcorn. Picture courtesy: Pinterest/skinnysweetsandtreats © India Today Candied rose petals can replace popcorn. Picture courtesy: Pinterest/skinnysweetsandtreats

You won't need any popcorn to snack on while watching a movie on Valentine's Day, if you have these candied rose petals. They're so easy and yummy, that one has to wonder why food outlets at movie theatres don't serve them anyways. Here's what you'll need to rustle up some on your own at home: 3 tbsp rose syrup; 2 cups fresh rose petals; 1 cup granulated sugar; 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips.

Toss the rose petals with the syrup in a large bowl. Gradually add the sugar, and keep tossing till all the petals are evenly coated. Spread the petals on a tray, and let them dry completely. Heat the chocolate chips in a thick-bottomed pan till they dissolve and form a smooth sauce. Gently dip a part of the candied petals in chocolate, and let them rest till they set and stiffen slightly. Serve this sugary snack in a popcorn bowl, and indulge in a laid-back evening.

Also read: This sakarkand (sweet potato) rabdi recipe will help you welcome spring in style

Gulkand

Gulkand is a traditional Indian rose recipe. Picture courtesy: Pinterest/mycreativeflavours.com © India Today Gulkand is a traditional Indian rose recipe. Picture courtesy: Pinterest/mycreativeflavours.com

If there's one rosy Indian dish that goes as well with other dishes as pickles do with paranthas, it's gulkand. This traditional rose preserve is a must-have for those who want to make every dish sing a sweet, rosy tune. And what better gift can there possibly be for Valentine's Day? Of course, gulkand usually takes seven to ten days to get made, unless you take some unorthodox shortcuts. You'll need: 2 cups rose petals; 2 cups sugar; 1 tbsp cardamom powder; 3 drops rose syrup.

Wash, dry, and chop the rose petals. Transfer them to a very large bowl. Gently rub in the sugar with the rose petals with clean, dry hands. Let it rest for half an hour. Transfer the petals into a thick-bottomed pan, add the cardamom and rose syrup, and mix. Put the pan on a very low flame, and cook with a lid on for 10 minutes. If you cook any longer than that, you'll lose the rosy flavour. The heat is going to just help the process cut short on time. Let the gulkand mix cool down completely, then transfer it into mason jars. Seal the jars, and let them rest for a day. The longer you keep these jars sealed, the better the preserve will taste.

These rosy dishes can help you celebrate Valentine's Day in a unique way. So go buy some roses, but don't put them in a bouquet. That's done to death. Cook with the roses, and you'll have a rosy and delicious Valentine's Day!

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