If there be thorns, there shall be roses.
When we first made our journey from India to Canada, packed in our suitcases among our humble belongings was a small treasure trove of what always seemed to my younger self as magical potions and such. Having grown up in India, my parents were well versed in homemade ayurvedic remedies. We brought with us such things as eucalyptus (nilgiri) oil, sandalwood oil, churna and rose water to name a few.Every so often, my mother would lay out these things on the table in search of a particular remedy. Each time, I would carefully open the small bottle of rose water, take a whiff, and then just as carefully, close it. In ayurvedic medicine, rose water is used to heal canker sores inside the mouth (among other uses) and since I had been unlucky (or perhaps lucky) enough to have had a few, I knew exactly how wonderful rose water was. Knowing that a dose of rose water was coming my way made the pain of canker sores bearable.
But we had to limit our use of rose water to medicinal purposes as we only had that one bottle and didn’t think we could purchase more in Canada. I grew up hearing all about the wonderful culinary uses of rose water but delights such as rose lassi and falooda remained elusive for much of my childhood.Fast forward to present day, rose water can be easily found not only at ethnic shops but large food chains as well. Rose water has many benefits. But for me, it’s the taste and scent it brings to culinary uses that is most wonderful. Rose lassi is a sweet lassi, super delicious and very refreshing. It makes a perfect accompaniment to a spicy meal. Most rose lassi recipes use rose syrup. This adds a lovely pink hue, as well as rose flavouring. Since I rarely make rose syrup, I simply only use rose water for flavouring.
- 150 g yogurt
- 1/2 cup ice cold water
- 1 tbsp (or to taste) honey or maple syrup or sweetener of your choice
- 1 tsp rose water
- Combine yogurt, water, sweetener and rose water and vigorously whisk together using a wooden whisk (traditional method) or use an immersion blender (my method) until frothy. Alternatively, you can also place all the ingredients in a jar with a cap and shake it vigorously.
- Serve. Traditionally, it is garnished with fresh rose petals (culinary grade) or finely chopped pistachios.