Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Rose milk for my Valentine
Lindor truffles and Rose milk-our sweet indulgences
Love is in the air and roses symbolize it perfectly. Any culinary creation with roses is romantic. We are celebrating this year with some rose milk.
Rose milk is a famous drink in South India. Most south Indian restaurants or hotels in the pre-cola era (which is less than a decade ago) served this and some still do. In the summer months (which is always!), it is a cool treat. The dark pink hued drink is almost as popular as 'filter coffee'. Alas, today in India, these good, cold drinks and juices have all been replaced with Fanta, Coke, Pepsi and even Mountain Dew.
I like to make the rose syrup at home or better yet, get my mom to make it whenever she visits us. There are commercial rose sherbet such as Roohafza and the like readily available at all Indian grocery stores. But these products have an aftertaste of chemicals and I believe they also contain 'kewra extract' that overpowers the rose flavor.
2 cups sugar
1.5 cups water
1 T lemon juice
1/4 cup rose water or 2 tsp rose extract
(Rose extract may contain artifical flavors. So use natural rose water, as far as possible).
4-6 drops of red food coloring or pomegranate juice
Stir together the sugar, water and lemon juice in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the syrup coats a cold spoon. You should be able to draw a line on the coated spoon. Add the pomegranate juice or food coloring and stir well. You should have a dark red color. Remove from the heat and stir in the rosewater or extract. Let the syrup cool completely and store in a clean Mason jar. This makes 2-3 cups of syrup.
To 8 oz milk, start with addition of 2 T of syrup and add more, for a stronger flavor or sweetness. Serve cold with lots of ice.
The food color may make you flinch. But the drink has to be literally rose-colored. Otherwise, it is not much fun, is it? I added only 2 drops of FDA approved red color since I wanted to introduce my daughter with this new flavor. So my version is quite light-colored. You can forego the color altogether, it is up to you or use Pom as a coloring agent.
Happy Valentines day, everyone!
Posted by Mika at 1:04 PM