comments 33

Rose, Milk and Honey Agar-Agar


rosewater jelly 3

Enjoying the beautiful sights, smells and sounds Spring-time brings? I’ve been admiring the swift emergence of cherry blossoms, marigolds and daffodils scattered about everywhere I look. I’ve been detecting the scent of invigorating freshly cut grass through the gentle breeze, and waking up to birdsongs. Okay, I admit that the birdsongs can get really annoying when I’m recovering from a long night of studying and writing, or worrying about studying and writing.

rosewater jelly

I love cooking with flowers and this has to be one of the easiest flower desserts ever. Layers of rosewater and milk and honey are set together with agar-agar concealing real rose petals. Striking and delicious you say? Agar-Agar is a flavourless product derived from seaweed and is usually used in Japanese kanten. It sets much firmer than your average vegetarian gelling agent (such as vegetarian gelatine), and thus has a denser texture. Spring is the perfect season to experiment with floral cuisine, so keep your eyes peeled for any edible flowers you can cook up a storm with (obviously not a real storm. Why ruin this perfect weather?)


Makes 4 servings

For Layer 1
1 cup milk
1 tbsp clear honey
1 tsp agar-agar powder

For Layer 2
1 cup water
1 ½ tsp rosewater
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp agar-agar powder
Pink food colour- optional

For Layer 3
1 cup milk
1 tbsp clear honey
1 tsp agar-agar powder

For Layer 4
1 cup water
1 ½ tsp rosewater
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp agar-agar powder
Pink food colour- optional

Rose petals (untreated, and washed) for scattering- optional

Note: I made the individual layers one at a time because each layer must lightly set in order to top it with the liquid for another layer. Feel free to scatter rose petals in between the layers as you go.


1. Combine the ingredients for the first (milk) layer while the milk is cold, and then gently heat until the milk is just under boiling point. Remove from the heat and pour into your serving dish, glass or cup. Allow to set and proceed with the second layer.

2. Combine the ingredients for the second (rosewater) layer while the water is cold, and then heat it until it is just under boiling point. Pour this mixture over the first (milk) layer and again, allow it to set.

3. Repeat step 1 for the third (milk layer).

4. Repeat step 2 for the fourth (rosewater layer).

rosewater jelly 4

Of course, you can build up more layers, smaller layers, bigger layers and layers of assorted colours according to how much time you have and how pretty you want it to be. Also, using different flowers would also be great. Next time I do this I hope to try it with violets (minus the honey because violets have a powerful flavour, as does honey); I think the colours would be extraordinary and the flavour, well… I’ll let you be the judge of that.

I hope to be back blogging more often and regularly by June. Apologies, I’m sure you know that studying is so important and so very straining! I’ve hardly been finding time to eat, let alone cook. How sad does that sound?

If you like cooking with flowers, Mathea of Peas Love Carrots is doing a wonderful series of flower-fuelled dishes at the moment. Check it out here.

Enjoy your springy Spring-time agar-agar jellies!

rosewater jelly 2




Filed under: Desserts


Food photographer, digital producer and dreamer of all things delicious. This blog on Indian and East African vegetarian food is my place of reflection and retreat.


  1. T. The Destructor says

    You had me at Rose, Milk and Honey…Anything else could have followed and I would have liked it. But these, look gorgeous, with a captial "G". So beautiful you almost hate to eat them…almost.

  2. Nithya says

    Sanjana… this is awesome.. I am loving the sight of it.. Looks fantastic and badly tempting.. :) Wish I could taste it right away. will give it a try for sure. The colors and clicks are amazing :)

  3. My Experiments with Food says

    Wow! Sanjana – I have never cooked with Agar Agar. This is just too gorgeous.
    Bookmarked for sure. I must just make a note to procure the key ingredient from the local grocer. Rose petals seem difficult since I donot have a garden.
    All the best for your studies.

  4. Jay says

    Hy Sanju,

    woooow! lovely fab clicks…grand feast to eyes..will definitely be a must try for me.

  5. Valen says

    This looks delicious. I just recently started to have some good luck with agar. I can only find the flakes and I think that is part of my problems. Its expensive as well. I don't like how I have to add like 1/2c flakes to get something to thicken, I read that it takes 3T of flakes to thicken 1c liquid, crazy!

  6. Mr. P says

    Love it! Such a pretty dessert. Are you going to blog the violet one too? :)

  7. Trix says

    So pretty – who wouldn't want a pink dessert? I'm glad that you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, dissertation-wise! I'm sure it's brilliant!

  8. What a great idea Sanju!!! we always use agar-ager during ramadan but it's usually a one layer and plain white in color… I am very impressed with your creativity.. keep it up!!!

  9. bunkycooks says

    What a beautiful dessert…I just want to look at the pictures!

  10. Lazaro Cooks! says

    Saw your profile on Silvia's page. Glad I checked out your fantastic blog. Look forward to following you here. Magnificent rose dessert. Wonderful creativity and amazing presentation.

    First trip to your blog and I am very impressed. Does not happen often to me. Cheers!

  11. Ushnish Ghosh says

    Dear sanjana
    How are you? I feel good you liked the Roman holidays..I have to see what all great dishes you have posted…
    This one I will pester SOMEONE to make for me when I am back home this sunday. You have proved one thing, i.e. High ended cooking and high ended studies can go together..which most students , or even most people dont believe..
    have a nice mid-week

  12. Milli. says

    Milli says,

    "NOW this IS my kinda dessert!"
    YU-UPP! :P Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmy

  13. cmiranda says

    Beautiful presentation.I received a seaweed cookbook a few weeks back and was looking for more recipes that use agar-agar.The search is over.

  14. lostpastremembered says

    I am still trying to get comfortable with this agar agar stuff.. looks like you have it down in spades!!! Beautiful dish with such great colors!

  15. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets says

    It always delights me to see desserts made with flowers, but I've never been quite sure where to obtain edible ones. I suppose the farmers market would be a good place to start.

  16. Fathima says

    these look awesome… love the color… bookmarking these..

  17. The Housewife says

    This is gorgeous! Almost too pretty to eat but the.. that's never stopped me before! Great recipe.. I'm going to make this for one of my get- togethers next time!

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