Rosellas are one of those delightful plants you need only plant once. You're bound to miss some of the fruit and it's such a prolific, hardy plant that it happily self-seeds every year. I've only planted it once since moving here 4 years ago, and since then it has appeared every summer all by itself. This is an annual warm season hibiscus. Green Harvest has some good information about them here if you'd like to learn more.
I usually pick the young leaves for salads and make some jam with the fruit. This season, however, I decided to try making a cordial with the fruit. Some people describe the flavour of rosellas as lemony. It's flavour is completely unique, and whilst it has a slight tang I wouldn't call the fruit lemony, but the leaves are.
I enjoy the flavour of the fruit, and it turns out it makes a great cordial. It's beautiful to look at and makes a delicious, thirst-quenching summer drink.
I've written this recipe with no specific quantities. I don't know how many rosellas you'll be using at a time so I thought the format I have chosen would be easiest, rather than you having to double or halve the recipe to suit your needs.
Give it a go and let me know what you think.
Rosella Cordial Recipe
You need two ingredients for this cordial. Ripe rosellas, picked when the pod in the middle is green, and rapadura. You'll need 50g of rapadura to every 150g of petals.
1. Peel the petals off the pods. Discard the pods, and rinse the petals if necessary. Weigh your petals now so that you know how much rapadura to add in step 3. You need 50g of rapadura for every 150g of petals.
2. Put the petals into a saucepan and add some water. You need to add a decent amount so that your petals don't burn, and also to add volume as this will be your cordial. If you add too much your cordial will be lacking in flavour though. I had 150g of petals and added 500mls of water. Put over medium-high heat. As it starts to simmer, reduce to low heat so that it just bubbles away gently.
3. After about 15 minutes of cooking you'll notice your petals have suddenly gelled down. Now add the rapadura. Stir well to dissolve.
4. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally until the cordial has reduced and developed a nice depth of flavour, approximately 20-30 minutes.
5. When you're happy with the flavour, remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly before blending with a stick blender to remove any last petal fragments. Bottle and store in the fridge.
To serve, fill half a glass with chilled cordial and top the rest with soda water. Add an ice cube and enjoy.
PS I've now added a Recipes index - you'll find it in the top bar. All the recipes are linked there, to save you having to scroll through every post when you click on the recipes tag. x
Follow Subscribe to Say! Little Hen via Email and never miss a post again