A Thousand and One Nights Hibiscus Apple Pomegranate Tea

Sawsan Abu Farha travels to Egypt and falls in love with both the architecture and the wonderful classic hibiscus tea.
By Sawsan Abu Farha

We spent our vacation this year in Sharm el shaik , a city situated on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, in South Sinai, Egypt, on the coastal strip along the Red Sea. The city is most known for its crystal clear water,magnificent corals, exotic under water flora and rare fish. All you had to do was walk into the sea till the water was knee-deep and you would see an amazing array of colorful fish swimming right next to your feet. That alone was an experience worth the trip.

The part that had me mesmerised though was not the shores nor the fish, it was the city’s beautiful cultural heritage that was evident in the wood work and lanterns that were everywhere testifying to the great craftsmanship of the Egyptian people.

 

The minute you walk into the airport you feel like you left the real world and stepped into the world of a thousand and one nights.The airport is shaped like a bedouin tent.

 Everywhere you look hotels, cafes and restaurants display beautiful old arabic architecture.

A walk through the city’s old market will leave you dazzled with all the beautiful things on display.

There are 30 brands of mango in Egypt

There were baskets overflowing with herbs, dried hibiscus flowers  and something they call Habak, which is a herb that grows only in Sinai and they add it to tea. It smelled like a cross between thyme and rosemary and I couldn’t resist the temptation to buy some.

There were also pyramids of spices of every color and kind.

If you enter any of the cafes in the old market you’d see a fixed item on all the menus. Karkadeh or hibiscus tea  is a refreshing infusion of dried hibiscus flowers. It is tart, taste reminiscent of cranberries. They serve it hot or iced with rosewater or combined with a variety of fruits. I’m sharing two recipes I learnt there with you today.

Iced hibiscus apple pomegranate tea
Hibiscus tea
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
 
A flowery tart refreshing infusion tea
Author:
Recipe Type: Hot drink
Serves: 5
Ingredients
Hot hibiscus tea
  • 1 cup(45 grams) dried hibiscus flowers
  • 5 cups (12.5 dl) water
  • 5 tablespoons (63 grams) sugar (you can add more ,the level of sweetness is up to you)
Iced hibiscus apple pomegranate tea
  • 1 cup of hibiscus tea
  • ½ cup pomegranat syrup
  • 1 apple
  • 3 or 4 twigs of mint
Instructions
For the hot hibiscus tea
  1. In a pot add all the ingredients and bring them to a boil over medium heat
  2. Reduce the heat and allow to boil for 5 more minutes
For the iced tea
  1. In the blender or food processor blend all the ingredients untill smooth
  2. Refrigerate until cold, serve decorated with some mint
Hot hibiscua tea
Sawsan Abu Farha

Sawsan Abu Farha

Passionate food explorer Sawsan Abu Farha lives in Jordan and enjoys mixing east and west in her kitchen aiming to get the best of both worlds.Juggling work, motherhood, blogging and a passion for food and food photography, she shares her journey in her blog "Chef in disguise".

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2 Comments
  1. Greetings Sawsan Abu Farha,
    It was with great pleasure I stumbled across you site. My brother Meade was so ill with high blood pressure, we believe we were miraculously led to the Hibiscus plant of Egypt. To cut a long story short, we have been importing the Hibiscus from Egypt for over four years now, we name our product Egyptian Red. I am now doing a Facebook page and improving our website. Our recipe section is sadly lacking. Your iced tea recipe is fantastic. Would we be able to use this recipe with your name on it of course?
    I would love to know more about this plant as my sun spots are dropping off my skin and my hair is growing back. If you have more recipes from Egypt containing the Hibiscus Tea to share with us so everyone is able to use this amazing plant that has so many purposes and uses. I would love to hear from you Sawsan. I have heard there is a chewing gum form the Hibiscus, is that true?
    sincerely Melodee

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