'You eat with your eyes first', admittedly we all do.
It was a Ruby Red drink, with a slice of lemon on the side and a two-leaf spearmint floating at the top and ice cubes soaked in this rich color. It looked so perfect.
Does this tickle your taste buds enough?
Well, if they do, we're ready to share the secret recipe for this drink.
The main ingredient of this drink is the Hibiscus Flower, particularly the Roselle species of the Hibiscus family.
But before I spill out the recipe to you, let me tell you something about this beautiful flower.
Hibiscus is also called 'Jajew' in Khasi. It is mainly harvested in the months of November and December. It has ruby red coloured flowers and gives a sour and fruity taste. Both the leaves and the flowers are edible and it is one of the indigenous food of Meghalaya.
Did you know Hibiscus is also popular around the world?
Around the World With Hibiscus
- Let me begin with the beautiful and exotic Malaysia! When Malaysia received its freedom, it was in need of a flower that would symbolize its identity. The Hibiscus was chosen among 7 other flowers, after careful consideration. They chose the Hibiscus Flower because of its big beautiful red petals. It also blooms throughout the year without much attention needed.
- If you have just landed in The Hawaiian Islands, because you are a guest, they will greet you with a bright yellow colored Hibiscus. Why? The Hawaiians have adopted the Yellow Hibiscus as their State Flower. In Hawaiian culture, Hibiscus is a symbol of old royalty and communicates power and respect. It’s commonly given to visitors, state officials and tourist.
- Ever heard of Agua de Jamaica? It is similar to the iced tea recipe I will share. In Latin America, they consume abundant amounts of Agua de Jamaica. This drink is known by many names, Thai school children drink "grajaeb".
- Karkadé in Africa and is especially popular in North and Central Africa.
- The Panamanian's drink their hibiscus tea mixed with cinnamon and nutmeg and call it "saril".
- To the people of the Caribbean, hibiscus tea is known as Sorrel.
- The Italian’s drink hibiscus tea as a hot tea and call it "carcadè".
- In India, Hibiscus is used for worship and hair colouring.
- And in our part of world, Meghalaya, it is one of the indigenous food of the Bhoi tribe. It is cooked along with dry fish. Makes a perfect combo with fatty food such as pork. The locals also used it to make delicious pickles out of it. Apart from cooking, they also used the flowers as a mordant for making natural dyes! The Garo tribe called it 'galda' which they prepared by boiling it with pork, fish or chicken.
If you have some hibiscus flowers, you will need to dry and powder them. Store them in containers and you can use it for different purposes.
As promised, let me share our Zizira recipe you.
Simple Hibiscus Iced Tea Recipe
- 2 spoons Roselle powder
- 2 cups Water
- 1/4 cup Honey (if required)
- 1 tablespoon fresh Lime Juice
- Mint and sliced lemon to garnish.
- Take two cups of water and add the hibiscus powder, stir it well.
- Mix in the honey and lime juice till completely combined.
- Strain the tea before you pour it into a glass.
- This is an iced tea recipe; you can chill it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or just add some ice cubes. Either way it tastes delicious!
- Next Step simply Enjoy this refreshing drink like all the people around the world do.
So now that you have the recipe, let me tell you that it comes with a lot of health benefits
- Hibiscus is rich in vitamin C and Antioxidants
- Amongst many benefits, hibiscus is known to help reduce blood pressure and other liver diseases.
- It also promotes weight loss, increase iron and hair growth.
Hibiscus may affect estrogen levels, when taken in excess amounts. It is also not meant for people with low blood pressure.
Do consult your physician if you have any doubts.
Have you ever tasted hibiscus before?
Tell me about it in the comments below.