It’s been snowing steady for the last couple of days. The Spruce branches bent under the weight of fresh snow, the snow covering the road signs, drive ways and roof shingles. It doesn’t matter if its spring on calendar soon, this is the Prairies. We don’t part with the parkas, boots or shovels so soon.
…The Barbara Cartland romantic novel had seen better days. Circulating between us high school teenagers, with pages having particularly juicy bits dog eared for repeated referrals. The raw calyces of Roselle tucked inside our cheeks we had the time of our life.
That was many many summers ago. With no internet, facebook or other modern day devices, reading and fantasising from romantic novels took a major part of our evenings.
Roselle ( Hibiscus Sabdariffa ) grew wild back home in India. The bright red, fleshy calyces were tangy and chewy. Dipped in a bit of chaat masala, one bite into it would reflexly squint the eye, pucker the lips followed by a mouthful of juices…
Imagine my surprise when I spotted these candied version of Roselle calyces in a supermarket in Spain. I had to have a packet no matter what.
Today I made them into a chutney. The calyces were candied, hence needed very little sweetener.
I served the chutney with some savoury pancakes.
There may be snow outside, but every bite into this chutney took me halfway across the world to a beautiful summer evening. I can even hear the nonstop, meaningless giggles of some carefree teenage girls…
Do you have a story of food that brings back memories from the past? I’d love to hear from you. Leave me a comment below. Thanks.
Roselle calyces cut in small pieces 3 cups
Jaggery 1 Tbsp
Mustard seeds 1/4 tsp
Canola oil 1 tsp
Lime juice 1 tsp
Grated ginger 1 inch piece
Salt To taste
Water 1 cup
Heat the oil in a sauce pan on high heat. Add the mustard seeds, as soon as they start to pop, add the water and jaggery. Bring it to a boil. Throw in the calyx pieces, salt. Bring the heat down to medium and stir intermittently. Add the grated ginger. Cook till the Roselle is soft and the water is almost gone.
Squeeze in the lemon juice.
Enjoy with any Parantha ( Indian flat bread ). It can be used as a dip or even as a topping on sandwiches.
I haven’t seen these in any local markets.
Dried organic red Roselle is available in Amazon.com
Here’s a link to Wiki about Roselle.