Rosella Wild Hibiscus Flowers 270g (8 Flowers)
Rosella, or hibiscus sabdariffa, is a flowering plant that grows mostly in West Africa. The flowers can grow up to 10cm in diameter and have pale petals with a red spot at the base of each. After spreading around Asia and the West Indies throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, the hibiscus plant has become a popular part of a range of different cuisines.
It is known by many different names throughout the world including pundi palle in southwestern India, amile in Bangladesh, and okhreo in Ethiopia. Some languages have different words for the seeds and the hard outer capsule.
You can eat the flowers right from the plant if you have access to one, but there are many ways of preparing the various parts of a hibiscus flower, some of which are regional but many of which are globally popular.
These hibiscus flowers in syrup have become a delicacy all over the world as they are prized for their delicious flavour and striking appearance. They can be dropped into a glass of fizz to create a dramatic effect: the bubbles cause the petals to slowly opening, giving the impression of a flower blooming in the glass.
The syrup itself can be used to make a range of delicious drinks, from cocktails and mocktails to simply mixing it with sparkling water for a refreshing treat. Hibiscus syrup can be drizzled over desserts, add a touch of class to an ice cream sundae, or just be used to sweeten up a fruity sauce.
Hibiscus in world cuisines
In some areas of eastern India, the red petals of the hibiscus are used to make a special sweet and sour chutney or relish. In western India, the locals make a dish from the leaves of the hibiscus plant mixed with garlic, salt and chillies to make a chutney. They also use the leaves to make a bhaji which they eat for breakfast. The tough outer skin of the hibiscus flower is often found in the United States and Germany where it is processed and used as a food colouring.
Southern Indian cuisine uses hibiscus in lots of recipes, such as steaming the leaves with lentils to make a dhal, or frying them with spices to make a hot pickle. In north-eastern India, hibiscus is treated like any other vegetable and the flowers are served with a variety of different meals. Hibiscus is often served boiled with dried fish and it is so popular that most households have a hibiscus plant to feed their appetite for the leaves and flowers.
Hibiscus is a staple vegetable of the Burmese diet and some of the most popular dishes in the region feature hibiscus. In some areas, leaves are collected once the monsoon season has ended, then they are dried and crushed into powder to make into a rice stew known as galda gisi pura.
The health benefits of hibiscus
From the Philippines to Vietnam, Thailand to Timbuktu, there are thousands of recipes featuring hibiscus flowers, leaves and seed pods. They are thought to have several health benefits as well as folk stories telling of the magical properties the spotted petals might have.
Hibiscus has been referenced in folklore and medicine for hundreds of years as it is thought to be a diuretic and mild laxative. In Hawaii, people eat raw hibiscus in order to help their digestive system.
These hibiscus flowers in syrup are vegan and vegetarian, so they are a suitable addition to any dish or drink that you want to really stand out. You can give anything a touch of glamour by adding a hibiscus flower, from a cocktail to a cheesecake.