This is two recipes, actually - one for the rose petal masala mix, which you can keep as you would any spice mix (that's to say dry, in a dark place and airtight) - I got a pretty big tin's worth, as you can see from the photo below. As well as being great in curry - obviously - it makes a good rub for meat or fish, and a tasty topping for roasted veg or potato wedges.
It seemed rude/silly not to show you how to use your newly-created spice mix in a curry, so I've included the recipe I used for my tea last night as a suggestion. The rose petals, rose water, and honey lend a certain sweetness which I love - there's a nice kick from the chillies and other spices, though, so heat-fiends needn't turn away now. But you know how to make curry, so add, take away, substitute whatever you like. I must insist on the rose petal garnish, though. It's just so damn PRETTY.
Rose Petal Masala (serves 4-6)
You will need:
For the rose petal masala mix (makes loads)
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp pink peppercorns
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- The seeds from around 25 cardamom pods (you should end up with about 1 tsp of seeds)
- 10 whole cloves
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp ground mace
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- Generous pinch of sea salt
- 5 tbsp dried rose petals (the edible kind)
For the curry
- A glug of oil for frying
- 3 tbsp of rose petal masala mix
- 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
- ½-1 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 750g chicken or turkey breast
- 1 or 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes (I used 2, but use 1 if you want a creamier curry)
- 1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
- 1 butternut squash, deseeded, peeled, and chopped into 1-2in chunks
- 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
- 1-2 tsp lemon juice (bottled is fine)
- 1 tbsp rose water
- 1 tsp runny honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A handful of flaked toasted almonds
- More rose petals (again, edible ones, please - chemical poisoning isn't a great end to V-Day, unless you're in the mood for revenge)
- Coriander (optional)
- Make the rose petal masala mix by grinding all the ingredients except for the rose petals, until you have a fine blend (you can do this by hand - using a pestle and mortar - or in a spice grinder. Actually, I used a blender-on-a-stick in a tall plastic measuring jug, and it worked perfectly). Add the rose petals (crushed up if they're intact) and stir well. Store in an airtight container.
- To make the curry, heat the oil and fry off the 3 tablespoons of masala mix for about a minute, stirring all the while. Add the onions, chilli flakes, and garlic and fry until soft.
- Throw in the meat and, once it's browned, add the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer then pour in the coconut milk, followed by the squash and chickpeas.
- Stir well and simmer for about an hour, until the liquid has reduced. Once the sauce has thickened, add the lemon juice, rose water, honey, and salt and pepper. Taste, and add more masala mix, rose water, or honey until you're happy.
- Serve with rice or naan (peshwari goes particularly well here), and sprinkle with almonds, rose petals, and a little coriander if you fancy it.