Plant It Forward

Roselle and Eggplant

Roselle and Eggplant

This recipe is from the family of Farmer Christine Kengue, whch was shared with CulinaryCorps chefs during our 2017 Farmer Appreciation Dinner. Widely used throughout Africa and Asia, roselle’s unique flavor can best be described as Sour Patch Kids in vegetable form. A species of the hibiscus plant, its green leaves, woody stems, and bright-red flowers add a sour twang to stews, stocks, soups, and beverages. Here it pairs well with cooked eggplant, brightening the dish much like adding lemon. If roselle is not available at the moment, it’s less sour cousin, sorrel, can be used instead though you may want to have a lemon on hand to amp up the sour factor.

Ingredients

  • 2 large bunches roselle
  • 4 pounds eggplant
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-4 cubes Maggi
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Wash and dry the roselle then separate leaves from flowers and stem. Reserve leaves. Set aside flowers and stems for another dish.
  2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Blanch roselle leaves for 2 minutes, remove and rinse under cold water. The leaves will turn from green to black. Squeeze leaves dry and set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Peel the eggplant and cut into ½-inch cubes. Boil eggplant until very soft, about 8-10 minutes. Drain well, set aside.
  4. In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add chopped onions and cook until translucent, 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add the roselle and eggplant to the pan along with the crumbled Maggi cubes and ¼ cup water. Stir well to combine. Simmer lightly, uncovered, until most of the water has evaporated and the mixture is as thick as mashed potatoes, about 20-25 minutes. Before serving, season with pepper and salt to taste.

Notes

This dish is traditionally served as a accompaniment to fried fish but can also be dished over rice or boiled and mashed plantains. It also tastes even better the next morning.

http://plant-it-forward.org/roselle-and-eggplant/

Roselle Syrup

Roselle Syrup

Roselle pods (or calyxes) are the petals around the pod. Peel those off and discard the center pod/seed. Use these leaves for this recipe. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roselle_(plant)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh roselle pod leaves
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 2 ½ cups sugar

Instructions

  1. Mix the water and the sugar in a medium pot. Add the Roselle flowers. Let it boil for 20 minutes over medium heat.
  2. Remove the roselle flowers with a slotted spoon, and let the syrup boil for 40 minutes longer over medium heat. Stir it every once in a while to prevent it from sticking and watch that the temperature isn’t too high. Let it simmer with a light boil.
  3. Check for the consistency, dip a spoon in it and it should lightly cover it.
  4. Pass it through a sieve and then bottle it up, and let it cool before putting in the refrigerator.
http://plant-it-forward.org/roselle-syrup/