I had posted a contest, to indentify the posted picture. Received few responses, some guesses and some frustrations.
The winner of this contest was Preeti Thakur. She has been my good friend and a good food opinion maker for me. She lives in canada and has a amazing flair for food tasting, not sure about cooking food? Her answer was Dried hibiscus. It is true. They are Jamaican kind.
Preeti Thakur is the face of the week for " indianfoodbaazar.com". Thumbs up girl.
It is a dried petal of a hibiscus flower. This variety is deep red in color. Where I grew up in mumbai, we had neighbors grow them in their little veranda(patio). Then i did not knew much about it. Didn't realize it was edible or had it's multi purpose.
I happen to stumble upon at latin American store Cardenas in las vegas. I saw the store have variety of drinks to offfer from fresh fruit juices, to smoothies, blends, fruit vegetable drink, horchatas and hibiscus drink.
I tried a sample and was carried away. It was irresistible. The tangy, sour taste. I dare not ask the ladies there. But I have tried to replicate that in my own Indian desi style
1 cup dried hibiscus( soak overnight in boiling water)
2 cups boiling water
10/12 mint leaves
2/3 leaves basil(tulsi)
1/2 cup light sugar/ agave/monk
1 tblsp lime juice
1/4 tsp himalayan salt(kala namak)
Note: soaking hibiscus releases all that flavor and color from the flower and makes it more potent.
In a motar pestle crush mint leaves, basil leaves and sugar and salt.
In a big pot, add the sugar herb mixture, add lime juice and hibiscus mix. Mix well all ingredients together. This will be strong liquid. Got to dilute, by adding more water. Add 2- 3 more cups. Refigerate to chill or serve on the rocks,by adding ice cubes to your favorite glass drink.
Cheers! Swatantra diwas mubarak ho mere Bharat wasiyo. Basatwa salgira for India's independence.