During Ramadan, while working in Oman, I learnt that even Hibiscus is an edible flower. Arabics and Egyptians make a drink with the dried flowers named Karkade (Kehr-kih-deh). Many hotels in Gulf feature this cheap yet delicious and flavourful drink in the hotel lobby as a complimentary beverage. You will see Arabs dressed in white sauntering with the red drink in the lobby to cool themselves.One can immediately notice the herbal tartness, almost cranberry-like flavor yet distinctive and uniquely Hibiscus. I’ve been hooked on to it ever since I have known the nutritional importance and have started loving the flavor. It is full of antioxidants (even more than green tea) and also lowers high blood pressure.
- Water 10 cups
- Dried hibiscus 1 cup
- Sugar 1/2 cup (optional)or replace with sugar-free)
- Mint leaves
- Ice cubes
- Boil water for a minute.
- Pour the dried flowers.
- Let it boil for 2-3 minutes and turn off the heat afterwards.
- Let the flowers steep in water for 10-15 minutes.
- Strain the water through fine mesh / Muslin cloth without stirring the sediments.
- If need be then double strain the water with double layer of muslin cloth.
- Mix the sugar thoroughly.
- Refrigerate it.
- Once cold, taste the drink. If need be, add water to dilute.Remember, that you can always add water, but you can’t really take the extra water away, so preferably start slow if you choose to dilute Karkadeh a little.
- Add ice cubes in a glass and pour the drink over it. Do keep in mind that when the ice will melt it will dilute the tea even further.
- Put a mint sprig on top as garnish, adding fresh mint leaves is also refreshing and accentuates the flavor.