quick dessert, roselle bud granita

roselle bud granita

An old friend from London came over for dinner at the weekend. I had cooked my weekly batch of chicken curry and with Sydney warming up for the summer, I was inspired to make Shwedaung salad: coconut chicken curry, noodles, shredded white cabbage, raw shallots and fresh coriander. It was a perfect supper teamed with a good bottle of red.

Earlier in the day I thumbed through my cookbooks looking for something easy to make for dessert. It was one of those last minute dinner plans and I was not prepared for rustling up something special to end the meal. I had to settle for a dessert made from whatever lay in the cupboards.

Christopher had bought some roselle buds, dried dark red flowers of the roselle plants, from the Thai supermarket last week. We love drinking this – made with hot water and a touch of honey to balance the sharpness of the roselle. I think it is rather similarly to the fruity sourness of tamarind. So here was an idea.

I boiled a generous handful of dried roselle buds in enough water to serve three people. Stirred in some honey making it sweeter than normally (when frozen it will not be so sweet) and a pinch of salt to bring out the flavour. Then poured the liquid through a fine sieve into a plastic container. It was left in the freezer, occasionally stirred with a folk to break up the ice crystals until it was served in a glass.

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  1. amy on November 10, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    I must try your recipe. I have a bunch of Roselle buds long forgotten in the cupboard. These were sent to me from a niece in Burma,via another niece in Taiwan! Thank.

  2. Cho on November 16, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    Definitely worth a try as it takes very little effort to make. Also just found out while looking around to see where you can buy roselle buds that it has health-benefits too.

  3. Amy on December 29, 2008 at 11:55 am

    I made roselle bud granite according to your recipe. It was easy to make and refreshing to eat.

  4. Thin2 on January 2, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    I don’t remember seeing these buds used in drinks in Yangon when i was growing up. It does look good though. Red is my favorite color. Do you think Chinese cuisine may use these? If not, I don’t think I can find them here in our Asian grocery stores.

    • Cho on January 3, 2009 at 5:06 am

      Hi Thin Thin
      I think roselle buds are more common in Thailand – they drink it cold. You should be able to find it in an Asian grocery if they have Thai ingredients.

      – Cho

  5. heidi leon on January 27, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Are roselle buds the same as flor de jamaica? It looks like a lot, and how you describe it (with a sourness flavor) reminds me so!

    However if so, in Mexico we drink flor de jamaica agua fresca (cooler) practically everyday (cold!!)…mmm…..or ice popsicles!!!…brilliant….

    I will give my right hand for a bag of jamaica flor….!!

    greetings from Shanghai!


    • Cho on January 27, 2009 at 11:55 pm

      Hi heidi
      I had a quick search on google, yes flor de jamaica is the same as roselle! If you’re in Shanghai, you might be able to find it in Thai supermarkets.
      – Cho

  6. Kellie Allen on May 28, 2009 at 6:10 am

    Hi everyone,
    I live in Beijing. You can go to most of the stores which sell teas to buy dried roselle calyces. They called roselle “mei gui qie” in China. China export the most of the roselle to the world. Hope this will be helpful.