Rose Petal Ice Cream

by | Mar 10, 2008 | 22 comments

Rose Petal Ice Cream
[Note : I have decided to submit this entry to my first ever Weekend Herb Blogging hosted this week by Kel at Green Olive Tree. Thank you White On Rice Couple for directing me there and suggesting I enter!! Here goes ... ]
Roses grow in abundance in India. The concept of using fresh roses in cooking is probably as ancient as Indian cooking itself. A favourite ingredient to spike delicate desserts for the Rajahs and Maharajahs, rose; its aroma and flavour were explored by the Ayurvedics and Naturalists to concoct everything from plain rosewater for skin remedies to the fragrant "gulkand" [rose petal jam] to be used for stomach ailments. The fragrance of rose is unlike anything you will ever smell, it lifts you up and fills you with visions of beauty and etherealism.
When my summer garden exploded in roses this year, I started toying with the idea of using it to cook something unique. I gave rose jam a miss since I have plenty of that stocked in my fridge [and you should try it at your health store next time because it works miracles for your skin]. Dessert!! I thought. But what? Every single dessert idea that popped into my head would need infusing with rosewater or making rose syrup. These sounded very superficial, tried and tested numerous times before. What i was looking for was more guttural, not just skimming the rose plant but exploiting the very essence of it ... its petals! Now what could I do with rose petals that would be totally fantastic?? Kulfi [a creamy, milk based Indian ice cream chockful of chopped nuts, delicately flavoured with saffron with a hint of rose], my mind suggested. No! admonished my heart. We want more flavour, we want more texture! Rose Petal Ice Cream would be perfect then, i decided. No artificial essences, no whiffs of fragrance. Just an abundance of pure rose petals through and through. So I went to my garden and plucked two of the rosiest blossoms, one red and one baby pink. Then taking care so as to not destroy the stamens, I sat and began an exercise of "He loves me! He loves me not!" [well not really, but it felt like it when I was gently pulling out the petals]. Once the petals were plucked, I gathered the ingredients I would need. Within half an hour the ice cream mix was ready and cooling in the fridge. Later that evening I churned it in the ice cream maker and froze it for several hours. At night, just a day after the roses began their journey to the ice cream maker, we had the most delicious ice cream that wove an exotic web between our senses, tantalizing us with the beautiful creamy and grainy texture of crushed nuts and the loving aftertaste of endless tiny crushed petal pieces.
Roses Milk Masala


[Makes 1 litre | Preparation Time 25 mins | Cooking Time 20 mins | Chilling Time 6-8 hours]
1 cup fresh rose petals
3 cups full cream milk
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup pouring cream
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp milk masala
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 tsp grated orange rind
Bring milk, cream, condensed milk, sugar and rose petals to a boil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add ground cardamom and milk masala. Blend with a hand blender. Mix well and set aside to cool in the fridge for 1 hour. Add orange zest and churn in an ice cream maker following the manufacturer's instructions. Alternatively cover with cling film and freeze in the freezer for 6-8hours. Garnish with fresh rose petals before serving. I use the Everest brand for milk masala which is available in most Indian grocery stores. If you don't have milk masala at hand, try making it at home with 1tbsp slivered almonds, 1 tbsp pistachios, 1 tbsp unsalted cashew nuts, 1/4 tsp cardamom seeds and 7-8 strands of saffron. Assemble all ingredients in a mortar and pestle. Grind them well till the mixture reaches a couscous like coarseness.

Find More Recipes By CategoryDessert Vegetarian



I love creating easy, vibrant, fresh, everyday recipes and taking gorgeous photos of the food I cook. I have been blogging for 15 years and I have also written a book with over 100 new recipes. If you make a recipe from the blog, Tag @cookrepublic on Instagram. I would love to see!


  1. Jourdie

    Hi Sneh!

    I stumbled onto Cook Republic whilst looking for a good rose flavored recipe, and I am totally enamored. I can't believe it's taken me this long to find you! I really appreciate the mix of healthy, sumptuous, ethnic and simply exciting recipes and your lovely aesthetic. So glad to have discovered your work and thrilled to be able to read along!

  2. Bea

    I had the opportunity to taste Rose Milkshake in one of the Indian restaurants here in the Philippines, and it was one of the unique tastes I've ever had.

    And now you've posted one for a rose ice cream dessert, I would probably have to try making it (or getting a hold of one) as soon as possible.

    Kudos on the creative approach to this "unknown" ingredient!

  3. Andrea

    I cant even begin to explain how much i adore this ice cream...should one adore food?? lol

  4. Jyothsna

    I reached here thru google and I'm glad I did! What a lovely recipe for me to try. Right now I have just one very fragrant rose and can't wait for more to bloom to make this icecream!

  5. Rose

    sounds good!
    How can anyone be so creative?? =]
    I'll have to try it!!


  6. shweta

    thank you sneh.. m gonna try this asap. hope my dad will be pleased.. 🙂

  7. shweta

    hey sneh...! i just want to knoe about the milk masala. what is it? what does it made up of? is it milk powder mixed with dry fruits or what?

    • Gel

      Shweta, I use milk masala by the Everest brand. My mum has also made some at home for me. If you don't have access to milk masala, you can make some at home but grinding a handful of pistachios, almonds, cashewnuts, saffron strands, cardamom seeds, a peppercorn or two and 2-3 tbsp of milk powder. 🙂

  8. Katharyne

    This looks so good, can't wait to try it
    I am going to add a link on my page so others can enjoy
    .-= Katharyne´s last blog ..backpack suncatchers =-.

  9. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    I love the sound of this ice cream! I love rose flavoured anything but the idea of using milk masala in the ice cream 🙂

  10. raquel

    can this be made with dried roses? I did a foodbuzz 24,24,24 on Cooking with Edible Flowers and I have left over dried rose petals. Your recipe sounds perfect for the summer and for my "experiments"! thanks for sharing!!

  11. anna

    That sounds and looks amazing! I love rose in just about anything. I'm going to have to try this.

  12. Aleckto

    Since we spray our roses with insecticide (Japanese beetles are a scourge), they wouldn't be good to stick in food. Do you know if florists treat their roses?

  13. Rico

    I am so impressed really am so deliciously prepared what a great recipe. cheers 4 sharing

  14. Joie de vivre

    Oh this is GORGEOUS!

  15. Simi

    We call this Kulfi icecream in India...

  16. Robert-Gilles Martineau

    Well done, mate/gal! LOL
    Almost the same colour as your hair!

  17. Colleen Brown

    My Aunty in Australia makes rose petal jam but I've never had it in icecream... yum!! 🙂

  18. cats in the bag

    gosh. how fab. unfortunately i can only get hold of dried rose petals. can you tell me how much i wouls need in place of your fresh ones?

  19. Kalyn

    What a gorgeous photo of the ice cream and such an interesting post. When I decided to include flowers for Weekend Herb Blogging, this was just the sort of post I was hoping to get. Great entry!

  20. Green Olive Tree

    Wow, I agree with White on Rice Couple this is too whimsical.. thanks for sharing this beautiful piece with the WHB crowd.

  21. White On Rice Couple

    This is too beautiful and unique to go un-noticed. Have you thought about submitting it to Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging Event? It's so delicate and ...romantic. Sigh.


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