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Monday, 18 February 2013

Hibiscus Tea ( My own recipe )



My garden is devoid of any red hibiscus plants, so be forewarned that I am left only with  the option of using the beautiful pink and dark pink varieties of hibiscus flowers for my Hibiscus tea. Yep, you guessed right! I use fresh hibiscus flowers in my tea. 

In fact, my tea could also be called as a hibiscus ginger tea or hibiscus lemon grass tea, or even hibiscus herbal tea. As you might already know, all the ingredients that I mentioned so far are beneficial to human health. You just have to “Google” the specific benefits! 

I am a huge supporter of natural healing and wellness.  It is by habit, that I keep exploring and researching about many different plants. Lately, I am enlightened by the knowledge (although I was initially baffled by the discovery) that, I live “surrounded” by plants that are healthful or medicinal in nature! 

I also learned that many Ayurvedic Medicines are prepared with many of the everyday plants that are found in India. Naturally, I decided to use some of these plants to my advantage. And so, with a little experimentation, my evening herbal tea was born!

Preparation Time: 10 to 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1)  Hibiscus flowers – about 4 to 5
2) Dried Lemon Grass – 1 ½ table spoon (If fresh, use 2 thick base stems that are 3 inches long)
3) Ginger (Skin removed) – 1 inch cube approximately, cut into thin slices (do not julienne)  
4)  Fresh Mint – 2 or 3 sprigs (*1)
5)  Water – 1 ½ cups or less (10-12 oz.)
6) Honey – 3 table spoons or less, depending on the sweetness preferred

Method:

Pour the water in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. 


It is OK to just combine everything together and then boil as well..

Add all of the above ingredients, except honey.


I use 3/4 cup of Indian Basil since the flavor is not so intense as the Thai variety!
Let it boil for 5-8 minutes in medium heat, or until the flowers turn pale in color (*2).

Take the tea off the stove, let stand for about 3 minutes. 

Different kinds of tea strainers. The one on the left is ideal for straining traditional Indian tea

Pour the tea through a tea strainer into a cup.



A warm cup of Hibiscus Tea

Now, add the honey and stir well. If you prefer a tea that is sweeter, try adding a half teaspoonful of natural sugar.
Look at the beautiful color!
Your splendid and extremely healthy herbal tea is ready!


I love the slight tartness the hibiscus flowers and the lemon grass add to the tea, and the beautiful maroon color that eventually translates into the tea. 

The hibiscus plant is greatly used in Ayurveda and its flowers are believed to have the beneficial properties for lowering cholesterol levels in the body. 

I remember from my childhood, my mother  would make us scrub the hibiscus leaves and some stems on a rock to create a concoction to be used as shampoo for our hair. This was an organic shampoo for our hair care needs. We were a family who had thick black hair, my mother was known as “the girl with hair” when she was growing up, as her hair when let loose, would almost reach her calves. In fact it still does reach up to her knees!!!

Lemongrass is known for its ability to relax the mind and it is supposed to be very good for digestion. 

In recent times, the goodness of ginger root has also been universally accepted!


(*1) I have Thai basil and Indian Basil in my garden which I sometimes add (about 6 to 7 leaves Thai Basil or 4-5 sprigs of Indian Basil); but, if you are someone who gets overwhelmed with too many flavors, it is better not to use it.
(*2) You could experiment with the quantity of water and the time taken for the flowers to completely run out of color since the amount of heat varies with respect to the make/technology of your stove. In the end, you should be left with about 8oz of tea after all the evaporation and draining out through the tea strainer is done.


I hope you enjoy your hibiscus tea! 


And since I will be curious about your thoughts, please send me your comments/feedback as well!

7 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. There was a program few days back in "doordarshan" malayalam about "chembarathi" (hibiscus).. it showed different varieties of the plant and it really amazed me :).. Its used in lot of Ayurvedic medicines..

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    1. I believe that all the parts of the plant is used in Ayurveda.

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  3. gr8 tea concoction. I m gonna try it...if u need the red ones i have them in my garden.:)

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  4. This is something new to me. We have hibiscus as also lemon grass at home. Shall try.

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    1. It wouldn't hurt if you boil it longer adding a little more water. Let me know if you liked it!

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