Rose petals are very common in South Asian, Middle Eastern, and Iranian cuisines. One can easily extract rose water from the edible rose petals use it to incorporate subtle floral hints in various sweet and savory dishes. Additionally, they have also been used to give new twists to a variety of British desserts.
History of rose petals
Edible rose petals were originally used in ancient Egypt, but it is believed that rose plants were first found in Asia. The Chinese seem to have cultivated rose plants almost 5,000 years ago. The petals were also popular in Greece and Rome, with rose oil being used as a perfume for wealthy Romans as well as in medicinal form. Romans also considered the addition of rose petals to wine instrumental to prevention of drunkenness.
Persian cuisine has made of rose petals for over 3,000 years. Along with various Persian staples, rose petals were adopted across the Middle East after the Arabs conquered Persia. Eventually, its uses have been found in Chinese and Indian cuisines as well.
Various health benefits
Rose petals are not used just for the addition of flavor, but for nutrition as well. They can increase quantities of the following nutrients in your diet:
- Minerals– Potassium and calcium are commonly found in rose petals
- Vitamins– The vitamins E, D, and A are present in rose petals. Along with this, B vitamins such as B3 are also present.
- Antioxidants– Important antioxidants such as quercetin and myrcene are present. Even vitamin C, which has several beneficial antioxidants, is a part of rose petals.
- Traditional medicines– Rose petals are valuable traditional medicines for:
- Heavy periods and menstrual pain
- Respiratory problems such as bronchitis
- Strengthen the immune system
Dried rose petals are suitable for lending delightful fragrances to satin sachets and potpourri. They can also be used for creating romantic confetti at weddings and for adding color to interior decorations. The petals can easily be stored in glass jars for long periods of time, although care needs to be taken to prevent insects from getting in. Also make sure they are not stored in direct sunlight.
Rose petals can also be added to cocktails, refreshing rosewater, or to a festive rose punch. ‘Potli masala’, used to prepare a number of several Hyderabadi dishes, makes use of rose petals.
Demonstrate your creativity
You can demonstrate your culinary prowess by using rose petals in the following ways:
- Rose tea- Dry rose petals can be steeped in hot water to prepare a delightful rose tea
- Rose butter-Here you need to chop rose petals and incorporate them into softened butter. The butter should be packed into a ramekin and then chilled before serving. This butter is perfect for crackers, biscuits, crackers, and fruity muffins.
- Use in granola-Add dry rose petals into a sweet granola mix that consists of apricots, honey, and dried cranberries. Pair it with yogurt and turn it into a healthy snack.
- Rose water-Make use of rose infused water for lending rose flavor to sponge cakes, custards, and a number of baked goods