Thursday, November 8, 2012

A sip of Hibiscus


~ Give me Red ~
(A sip of Hibiscus !!) 

The local vegetable market filled with an array of colorful fresh 
vegetables and dew drenched fruits has its own magical charm. 
Vibrant greens, shiny yellow, lustrous reds, velvety purples, rich 
chrome..... nature's color palette seems to be unending. 
Lost in the colorful world of vegetables at the veggie market
 yesterday , my eyes came across a tiny basket of of beautiful red 
flowers - truly much more captivating than the aromatic ones that 
beautifully adorn a florist's shop. During the short span while I 
selected the unblemished ones n  paid, I tried to grasp the farmer's 
knowledge about these enchanting blooms . Called kundri or 
sun kukray in the local dialect , he told me these are perfect for 
making tangy chutneys ( dips).


All I knew was its local name and my tongue's verdict on its sour petals 
but that was not enough to search some fruitful result on Google. 
The calyx has some hibiscus like sticky stuff n I just typed in 
wild hibiscus - lo behold it opened up to a new world - so many 
pics, recipes , uses , cocktails, salads, syrups ah the list was endless.
With just a few flowers in hand I decided to play with this Wild hibiscus, 
Jamaican Sorrel or roselle. If it works with dried petals , it should
 work with fresh too and I headed to the kitchen.


Hibiscus tea with its sour taste is great to serve hot or cold . 
Just a pot of water , some sugar and a  star anise is all 
thats needed to brew up this concoction.



Remove the red petals from the flower n simmer in a pot of 
water with some sugar and star anise for 12- 15 mins .
Strain and  enjoy. 



 Cool  breeze and a cup of warm tea with a loved one is perfect morning 
retreat . 

Hibiscus Tea 


Ingredients 
1 cup fresh wild Hibiscus petals , 4 cups water, 4 tsp sugar ( adjust
 as per liking) , 1 star anise ( opt) , lemon slices for garnishing .
Method
Place water in a large saucepan , add in petals , sugar and star anise. 
simmer for 12- 13 mins till the water turns red. Strain , garnish 
with a slice of lime n serve. 



Iced Hibiscus tea 

We relished some of the hot tea while refrigerated rest to relish as a
 cool beverage. Some chilled hibiscus tea and  lots of ice is all thats needed 
to transform a hot tea to cool and refreshing Agua de Flor de Jamaica . 
 My family went gaga over this ruby red delight . 



The leaves of the Jamaican sorrel plant are also tart n
are widely used as a souring agent for preparing pickles n curries . I 
wish i could get some of those too :) :) 



Agua de Jamaica


Ingredients 
1 cup fresh wild Hibiscus petals , 4 cups water, 6 tsp sugar ( adjust
 as per liking) , 1 star anise ( opt) , lemon slices for garnishing .

Method
Place water in a large saucepan , add in petals , sugar n star anise. 
simmer for 12- 13 mins till the water turns red. Strain , chill and 
serve with ice or tonic / soda water. 




10 comments:

  1. Hi Smita we call them "Gongura" in telugu and those little buds are used for making Rosella Jam and it tastes yummy. That leaf is very famous in andhra pradesh. we make dal and pickle out of those leaves.

    chinna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, I know what you are talking about, Chinna. I fell in love with Gongura-chutney while I was in Bangalore for a time. Makes my mouth water even now...

      Thanks Smita, for bringing back fond memories to mind.

      ~Varada
      http://VaradaSharma.com

      Delete
    2. Have never tasted Gongura chutney but I'm much aware of the ready made Gongura pickle thats readily available in Priya brand.

      Delete
  2. What beautiful pictures. These are Gongura buds, I have never tasted the flowers but the leaves are yummy in pachadi and sambar. Does the tea has a tart flavor?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The tea has a lovely tart flavor , once paired with a bit of sugar it tastes wonderful . Thanks for liking the pics Sangeeta.

      Delete
  3. Truly inspiring post with gorgeous pictures! I knew Hibiscus was edible but I haven't seen any recipes with it but now seeing your tempting pictures I want to test this. Love the lighting and tone of the pictures. The second and last pictures are really beautiful and captivating.

    ReplyDelete
  4. wow, love that color. Beautiful photographs. Now I will have to go search for Hibiscus in my area.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was looking to find answers on this particular topic on Google since long time.. Then i find your blog....and
    You have proven that you are qualified
    to write on this topic. The facts that you
    mention and the knowledge and
    understanding
    of these things clearly reveal that you have a lot of experience.
    Thanks for sharing
    Best Of Tricks

    ReplyDelete
  6. awesome.. thanks for this. will try it out. :)
    P.S. Lovely pics too.

    ReplyDelete

Questions?? Comments !! Its a pleasure to hear from you :) :)

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