Gulkand (Rose Petal Jam) Ice Cream

Gulkand Icecream

Verma was our live-in house help for all our childhood and probably for all my teenage life. My mother would tell us that he came to live with us when I was 6 months old and was there until I left for college. We would call him Ganga. Ganga is a part of many of mine and my brother’s childhood memories. One of them definitely has to be him picking up a tall stainless steel flask every evening. He would take out his bicycle (or bike as you may call) that my Papa bought for him, would have my brother sit in front, me in the back on top of the carrier and all of us would ride up to the local dairy a couple kilometers from our place. He would hold both of our hands, patiently answering all our stupid questions while waiting in line for our turn. Sometimes the guy who owned that dairy and other times times his wife would milk the cows in front of us. We would get a liter or two, as mummy would have directed Ganga to do and then head back home. We come back home and very soon two glasses of steaming hot milk mixed with a little sugar would be in front of us two. My brother was a milk lover and he would finish his share up in a single breath, me, not so much! “Drink it bhaiya, its good for you”, Ganga would say. Not convincing enough for me. “If you do I might let you ride my bicycle”, he would promise. And I would hold my breath and take biggest gulps as I could and finish the milk.

Rose petal jam icecream

I just never liked the smell of that milk. The smell of warm, organic cream topped milk. Fresh milk from grass fed cows living free out in the farm. That was almost as good as it can get. Now I wish I wouldn’t have held my breath back then and would have appreciated what I had, because today when I go out looking for milk for my daughter I search for that aroma.Then after looking for it for six years here in the US, some 6 months back I finally found a milk which smelled and tasted if not the same, but very close to that milk.


I discovered Straus milk at one of my local grocer’s. I ended up buying Straus milk that day because the store had run out of the brand that I would usually buy. In the whole dairy section that milk stood out because it was in glass bottles. I thought of giving it a try mostly because I did not want to drive around looking for my usual brand and I have to say that after that I never went back to my “usual” brand again. Straus Family Creamery is a family owned organic dairy farm located in the north of San Francisco. I did a fair share of research on the company and their believes and practices made me trust them and their product. I will not lecture you on what they are and who they are (you can learn so by visiting their website) but if you do believe in organic and sustainable practices then you might want to check them out.


Recently people at Straus found out about my love for their products and asked if I would be willing to develop or share some recipes for them. I happily agreed! I found this as a great opportunity to pull out the ice cream maker that sadly sat in my storage throughout summer and thought of trying this recipe for ice cream… Gulkand (rose petal jam) ice cream.


Rose petal jam or gulkand is a sweet preserve that I believe originated from Pakistan and is very popular in North of India. Wild rose petals are layered with sugar and placed in air tight containers and left in sunlight for a few weeks, being stirred after every few days until it turns into a thick and chunky jam like preserve. Its used for many Ayurvedic purposes but very commonly used as a mouth freshener wrapped in paan (betel leaf). I stirred it into an ice cream and a magic happened! It turned into one of the most addictive ice creams I have ever eaten. I taste tested it with a couple blogger friends of mine as well and I hope think they agreed. So lets get to the recipe.

2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 large egg yolks
5 tablespoons gulkand (rose petal jam)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp rose water (optional)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds

Heat milk and cream in a saucepan for a few minutes just below the boiling point. Set aside.
Whisk together egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract until its smooth.
Now whisk in the mixture into the mixture of milk and cream stirring continuously so that the eggs don’t scramble.
Turn the heat to low and keep whisking until the mixture thickens.
Turn off the heat and whisk in gulkand and rose water if using. Let it sit for 15- 20 minutes and then transfer it into the refrigerator until it cools completely.
After a couple hours pour the mixture into an ice cream maker (if using) and follow the instructions of the manufacturer. Add almonds close to the last 5 minutes when ice cream is almost done.
If you do not have an ice cream maker pour the batter into a flat 2-3 inches tall dish. Freeze the mixture in your freezer. Keep an eye and after a few hours just before the ice cream is hard, take it out, blend it in your blender and freezer again. Repeat the process again and this time mix almonds before freezing. This process might be a little longer than using an ice cream maker but results are very much the same.



  1. Hello,
    We love your recipes, especially when its on Gulkand.
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    VentairIndia Team

  2. Hi,i am manufacturer of rose petels jam.i am doing this business for the last 15 years.i have my own factory of rose petel jam in u.p. India.i am selling it in retails and whole sell price.if any body is intrested they can send inquiry and order on this mail id (

  3. Hi,i am manufacturer of rose petals jem.i am doing this business for the last 15 years.i have my own factory of rose petals jem in u.p. India.i am selling it in retails and whole sell price.if any body is intrested they can send inquiry and order on this mail id (

  4. Prerna tell me you made this just for me!! It looks and sounds sooo delicious! I am a big straus milk lover too! Found it here at the farmers market and love their yogurt shakes too!

  5. How makes Gulkand every year from the red wild roses from our garden. Must say this is real innovative & yummy use of Gulkand, Prerna. Waiting to call mom and tell her about this recipe :)Hope to get it the next time I visit her. ( lazy to make Gulkand myself)

  6. My friend, what a gorgeous post (both the writing and the photos) and a brilliant idea! Now, you’ve me craving some of this ice cream, and some paan filled with gulkand.

  7. Love your post and the gorgeous pictures. I really want to try this one out, but I have no idea where to get gulkand in Toronto. I used to love it as a kid, but since I moved here haven’t had a chance to eat it. I think I’m going to have to visit those Indian stores again!

  8. Thanks everyone :-)
    Kulsum- You have to admit, great minds think alike!
    Kankana- Jaldi aa ja wapas, I will have some waiting for ya :-)
    Shri- Yes, initial when you por in the liquid and blades start churning petals get stuck to them. Once ice cream gets to a slightly thicker consistency turn the ice cream maker off, clean the blades and start again. It will work fine.
    Priyanka- Welcome to Indian Simmer! Don’t worry we’ll turn you into an ice cream fan very soon :-)
    Steph, Xiaolu- Girlfriends thanks for being my guinea pigs :-)
    Sabera- Aren’t you a sweetheart!
    Soma, Spandana, Pavithra- I found it at my local Indian store. Couldn’t find wild rose petals to try making it myself.
    And for those who have never tried a rose petal jam, change that right away because you are missing on some goodness in life :-)

  9. Divine combo and love gulkand a lot lot.. that too mom made fresh one yumm and now the icecream..oh my way to tempted. By the way where did u manage to get the petals?

  10. love this recipe ! can’t wait to try it 😀 always enjoy reading your stories. was wondering what to do with that bottle of gulkhand which has been lying around. i love gulkhand in sweet paan :-)have a great week ahead !

  11. What an unsual but exciting flavour. I must admit I’ve never heard of gulkand but it does sound intriguing. I think some pistachios would go great with this! And it’s so true abt foods from our childhoods- I used to do the same with eggs! Now I crave organic eggs!

  12. Good recipe. I have one without eggs and it works too. Did you have any snags with the ice-cream maker, after the addition of Gulkand paste?

  13. So, now you shouldn’t complain why your lil A doesn’t like milk 😉
    This surely sounds like a kind of ice cream I would like to try sometime and that milk product you suggested.. i gotta give a try to that too!