Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Recipe: Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus Tea
  a delicious and 'magical' tea made from the petals of the tropical red hibiscus.
I first had hibiscus tea in Bali, but it is a tradition in many cultures.  I was watching Jamie Oliver's American Roadtrip and he was with a Mexican chef that gave him hibiscus tea.  Jamie got a wondrous look on his face and said something like "I don't believe it - the last time I tasted this was when my grandmother gave it to me when I was a kid and I've been searching to put a name to that taste ever since".

The flowers you use for this are the kind you wear behind your ear, in tropical climes, to let the opposite sex know whether you are available or not.  Don't ask me which way is which.  That's probably why I have been with the same bloke since I was 17 - the whole dating game defeats me.  I can't even work out the flower behind the ear thing.
6 hibiscus flowers
1 1/2 litres boiled water
1 heaped tbs caster sugar
Juice of one lemon

1. Strip the petals and discard the rest of the flower.
2. Put in a jug with the sugar and a little cold water (to prevent it cracking when you add the hot water)
3. Add the boiled water - it will turn a sludgy purple colour.  Steep for one hour.
4. This is where the magic happens.  Remove the petals and as you add the lemon juice the liquid clears and turns a beautiful 'sunset' colour.  Children love doing this!

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