Make your own rose water or oil at home with this three-ingredient method.
You also can make herb extracts using this technique. Rose water, herb water and oils are easy to make and just take a bit of time and patience. You will need a lot of ice for this project, so plan ahead.
- Clean rose petals or herbs (grown without pesticides)
Place a heavy glass ramekin into a deep stockpot. Fill the ramekin 3/4 full with water to weigh it down.
Place rose petals or herbs around the exterior of the ramekin in the bottom of the pot and cover with water halfway up the side of the ramekin.
Place a shallow soup bowl on top of the ramekin. Bring the water and rose petals to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer.
Place a stainless steel bowl on top of the stockpot. It should be large enough to seal the pot, but shallow enough so that its bottom is above the top level of the soup bowl. Fill the top bowl with ice.
Simmer the mixture 3 to 4 hours, depending on the amount. As the mixture boils, the heat rises and hits the cold bowl, causing it to condense and drip down into the inner bowl. Replace ice as needed as it melts.
When done, the shallow soup bowl will contain the rose water (or herb water). It will have a layer of rose oil (or herb oil) that is the essential oil or extract. The oil may be separated from the water.
How Is Rose Water Used in Cooking?
Rose water is a popular Middle Eastern cooking ingredient and can be found in candy like Turkish Delight, baklava, yogurts, custards, lemonade, tea, cakes, cookies, and more.
One of the most important producers of rose water and rose oil is the Bulgarian Rose Valley.
Is Rose Oil Used in Cooking?
In general, purchased rose oil is not considered food-grade safe. You don't know if it was processed with chemicals, metal contaminants or other allergens. Typically, rose oil is used for perfumes and beauty products.
If you created the rose oil yourself, then it should be safe to consume.
Recipes Using Rose Water
Rice Pudding with Rose Water Recipe: Just 2 tablespoons of rose water are enough to transform an ordinary rice pudding into something really special.
Rose Water Pistachio Hamantaschen Recipe: This Sephardic recipe for Purim cookies combines two Persian Jewish favorites -- rose water and pistachios. If you don't want to make your own rose water, Nielsen-Massey sells a kosher-certified one.