Roselle or Assam Sursur

A member of the Hibiscus family, the fruit of Roselle (Hibiscus Sabdarifa)  or Assam Sursur, can be boiled to make a red drink also known as “ribena”. I’ve taken a photo of roselle in wine glass.

When I first saw a picture of the Roselle or Assam Sursur in a Malaysian book on herbs, the fruit reminded me of a crown. Queen Esther’s crown. I’ve never seen it before. Then the law of attraction struck, and I saw it everywhere.  I saw it at the market, and bought one.  Then Hort Park grew it as well, and Wilson referred me to the Chinese medicine shop to buy it and boil it into a drink. Rich in Vit C.洛神花.

According to the label on the package, its benefits include:

  • Anti-aging.
  • Removes cellulite for ladies (too good to be true).
  • Clears urinary tract, aids digestion, improves blood circulation. (Anything that looks red is supposed to aid blood circulation. Haha.)

Remove seed, boil calyx for 15 mins in water to make a drink. But if you buy it from the Chinese medical hall in Chinatown (its so common, about $2 for a 150g), the seed has been removed.  Remember, a little goes a long way. The Chinese drink it like a flower tea, not different from the rose bud tea.  The label says it was grown in Fujian.

Or simply slice the fresh calyx and put in your salad. The juice can be mixed with agar agar and made into a jelly.  Remaining flesh from calyx, puree into a jam.  Add sugar, if you like it sweet.

Or drink it as a tisane, like chamomile, just before you go to bed. Sweet dreams.  (It tastes similar to the Hibiscus tea they serve in Egypt.)

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