Wild rosella (Hibiscus sabdariffa), is an introduced species that typically grows in the most northern parts of Australia from Cairns in the east through to Broome in the west. When Rosella is in season and the fruits are plentiful we quickly utilize the bounty of fruits provided for making jellies, desserts and garnishes. They have a tart flavor with a raspberry/rhubarb/plum quality when used fresh and most importantly they retain this flavor when they are dried. This drying process means that you can use the fruit powder all year round not just when the fruits are in season. The powder works well in either sweet or savory dishes and can be combined with the dried Rosella sepal to vary the taste and texture of the dishes you are creating. The powder can be sprinkled on lamb, pork or game and we found it sensational sprinkled on steak. Use it in sauces, jams, sprinkled over ice cream and in pastries and as a natural food colouring. The young fresh leaves are great in a mixed salad, as are the chopped fruit (calyx). The older leaves make a superb curry (a common dish in SE Asia). The calyx has a myriad of uses; sun dried as a tea, made into a magnificent jam that puts strawberry in the shade, stewed and served with the morning muesli or used in tarts and puddings. A quick refreshing drink can be made by adding the powder (to your taste) into a glass of cold water and/or ice. Add some honey to taste if you find it too tart.
For more technical information go to the Safety Data Sheet SDS
Find enticing Rosella treats in our recipe page.