Gongura chutney: Roselle chutney

By Ratna,


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.

Inside  Scoop;

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.


4 thoughts on “Gongura chutney: Roselle chutney

  1. Ratna! wow! Flor de Jamaica! I’ve enjoyed it as herbal infusion but this is unique to me. Thanks so much this recipe. I can see that you’ve found a few little treasures in Spain 🙂 Have a great week! xo

    • You bet Elizabeth. I just love to hang out in the local farmer’s market and try out either new things or look for old things that I have memories from. A true blue food blogger in making wouldn’t you agree? Ha Ha!

  2. Ratna this chutney looks amazing. I have never heard of Roselle calyces before. So interesting, and your images look fantastic. I wonder whether we can find them in our many Indian shops here in Durban. I am definitely going to research this. Great post xxx

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