Valentine’s Week: 5 Desi Rose-Desserts To Celebrate Rose Day With Your Special Someone
Image Credit: From barfis to halwa, paint everything pink today! Source: World of Sweets/Facebook

Beginning today, you might start noticing that love is in the air. Or maybe, the billboards, messages and social media posts might make you feel that way. You ask why? Because it’s Valentine’s week. The week-long festival that started as a religious ceremony has become an integral part of pop culture today. From February 7 to 13, each day signifies a certain emotion and essence, which finally consolidates on February 14, which is celebrated as Valentine’s Day. You must have come across things like kiss day, chocolate day, hug day, propose day etc. and today we commence the celebrations with rose day. Have you planned anything for your special someone yet?  

It is believed that Valentine’s Day started off as a religious tradition, also known as Lupercalia festival. The Romans celebrated the festive days with a lot of pomp and show. One of the significant rituals of this festival was that men would pick out names of women from a box and confess their love for them. This resulted in some sort of matchmaking which seldom resulted in marriage. This festival was later converted into a commemoration of Saint Valentine, who died in February in 270 AD. He was a pioneer of love during that era when Christian men weren’t allowed to get married under the then Roman emperor. His efforts in bringing lovers together and celebrating romance came to be associated with the Lupercalia festival and it was named after him.  

Fascinating, right? On Rose Day, people generally offer a rose to their loved one as a gesture of expressing their feelings. Moreover, the colour of the rose determines the emotion, say a yellow rose for instance, signifies friendship, whereas a red one reflects love. This Valentine’s Day, don’t just limit yourself to the beautiful roses. There are some aromatic rose-flavoured desserts that you can bring in to surprise your special someone today.  

Cherish the sweetness of your bond with these Indian rose-flavoured sweetmeats this Rose Day.  

1.   Rose Malai Jamun  

It is quite hard to resist a hot bowl of gulab jamun already and we’re telling you that we can take it a notch higher too. The fragrant rose syrup (rooh afza) plays its part by dipping freshly-made gulab jamuns in it. The syrup is mixed with condensed milk and rose essence. Chopped nuts are added to it and the gulab jamuns are thrown in the pool of milk. Sprinkle some saffron strands for additional flavour and bring a smile on your dear one’s face.  

2.   Rose Coconut Barfi  

Barfi, for the uninitiated, is an Indian sweetmeat made from milk and often comes square-shaped. Dried grated coconut is used for forming the core of the barfi while the flavours and sweetness comes from the use of fresh and dry rose petals. These not only enhance the taste of the barfi, but also give it a mild pink colour that is significant for love.  

3.   Honey Rosy Rabri Falooda  

Rabri falooda is yet another desi sweet dish which is a classic. Falooda is made from vermicelli while rabri is a creamy formation of sweetened condensed milk. These two are paired together in a glass and spruced up with things like chopped walnuts and pistachios. The honey-sweetened dessert is layered with vanilla ice cream, some fresh fruits and crushed ice. It is finished off with a drizzle of rose syrup and a garnish of nuts.  

4.   Rose Laddoo  

Laddoos and barfis are the mainstay of Indian sweets. Sweet, spherical balls of a variety of flavours are rolled up by hand and served as ladoos. Besan, boondi or coconut, your laddoos could be just about anything. However, since it is rose day, why not give a rose laddoo to the one you admire. Made with desiccated coconut, the ladoos are stuffed with tutti-fruity and dry fruits. Fresh rose petals are used for the aroma and colour.  

5.   Gulab Sheera  

Known as halwa in many households, the sheera is a thick, Indian flour pudding that is made with atta or sooji generally. In this recipe, we give the regular sooji halwa a gulabi twist. Not only does the light-pink coloured halwa look beautiful, it tastes really well too.