The other day my mother brought home a plastic bag of roselle seedpods.  Roselle is a variety of hibiscus plant that grows in shrubs. It is characterized by the fleshy sepals surrounding its seedpods, which are candied or made into tea or juice. These roselle seedpods came from plants growing along University Avenue at the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman, Quezon City.  They were given to my mother by the gardener of the Campus Maintenance Office.


The sepals are removed from the seedpods. To make jam, combine a cup of sugar for every cup of sepals (1:1) and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes. The jam is a beautiful magenta-purple, and tastes tart and sweet, similar to dried cranberries.


Our 4 cups of sepals and 4 cups of sugar produced about six 200g jars’ worth of roselle jam.


You can also make iced tea from the sepals of the roselle. Roselle products are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. Roselle leaves are also used as a souring agent in sinigang.

My sister wants to try and make a homemade ink from it, but needs more research.