Turkish Vegan Treats and Rose Water

Today I discovered a recipe on-line for vegan no-bake pistachio-based energy balls infused with the delicate essence of rose water that sound exotically Turkish: .

Dried fruits and nuts, Istanbul, Turkey

Dried fruits and nuts, Istanbul, Turkey

Having visited Istanbul this past year and indulged in a variety of Turkish delights (the edible kind as well as the joys of a sumptuous Turkish bath from which we emerged sprinkled in fragrant rose water ourselves), this recipe brings back all of those travel memories en force.

Vibrant with green-flecked and distinctly-delicious pistachios and sesame seeds, given body via rolled oats and sweetness through agave, and dazzled into exotic excitement by a sprinkling of rosewater, these no-bake (high raw) pistachio rosewater bites are perfect for those moments where you want something sweet yet healthy, easy to make yet complex in flavour, and just a tad little tiny bit addictive. (www.WayfaringChocolate.com)

The recipe is published on the Wayfaring Chocolate blog at Pistachio Rosewater No-Bake Vegan Heavenly Bites.

When I make these, which look so much like the decadently sweet Turkish Delight candies in Istanbul, I’ll definitely take up the suggestion to add fresh cardamom spice for an extra touch of Turkish flavor.

Rose and Bosphorus Bridge

A rose under the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul

One challenge in making this recipe here in Mexico is finding food grade rose water. Here, rose water is not used in cooking but is used as a skin moisturizer
and freshener, so most rose water products are for external use only.

Fortunately, making homemade rose water is not a hard task, as long as you can get hold of fragrant and organic rose petals. En Guete! blog, by Kako, gives us (in Spanish) a straightforward and easy recipe for homemade rose water, which I’ve translated into English:

Rose Water Ingredients

4 large, organic red roses
1 glass jar, 1 liter capacity, sterilized
3 cups boiling water
1 small rose water storage bottle

Remove petals from the roses and place in the large jar. Pour the boiling water over top. Cover and allow to macerate overnight. The following day, strain out the petals and store the rose water in the fridge for up to four days.

(translated from “Agua de Rosas y Mermelada de Rosas,” http://kako-enguete.blogspot.mx/2009/06/agua-de-rosas-y-mermelada-de-rosas.html)

That same page also has a wonderful-looking recipe for Rose Petal Marmalade made from the above homemade rose water with a few rose petals added.

An alternative and somewhat more complicated method of making high-quality rose water through a home distilling process can be found here: How to make your own rose water, from Care2.com.