Edible Hibiscus Curry

FullSizeRender_2 It’s been a while. I know. I started my own website so I could streamline all my food rants and share some more personally on  life, farming, children, living on Kauai, all within the context of food both local and not. I also took a 6 week trip to Maine, my stomping grounds, and while using a lot of yummy locally grown food from the area, it really didn’t apply to this website, so we’ll just say I’ve been pulled in a different direction.

But back to Malama Kauai! One of the biggest projects I decided to undertake upon my return was targeting an intentional hibiscus hedge that had gotten out of hand. Have you ever planted edible hibiscus, seen it, eaten it? It’s crazy! It’s nuts! It’s real food real fast and really versatile. And in my case, the best thing about edible hibiscus is if you do need to take it out, the branches, stocks and stump of the bush take minimal effort to unearth (it’s just the guinea grass that might grow between it that’s a bear to deal with). Okay, I lied, the best thing about edible hibiscus leaf is if your garden is looking wimpy or you’re in need of an alternative to all the other greens you’ve been eating and getting tired of, this green is your super hero – and doubles as a wrap if you ever wanted an alternative to flour/corn tortillas (and makes a bundle much better in my opinion). If you need proof, come by, I’ll give you a cutting, you can plant it at home and see the magic unfold.

I decided to make this curry because I was going for something nourishing, spicy and filling. My garden had been put to rest while I was away so this dish was one of my integration meals. After some intense days on the farm I needed the land to feed me whether it came from the garden or not. It came down to whatever I had on hand, this monster bush of hibiscus along with ginger, turmeric, red onion, garlic, coconut milk and a nice fresh red cabbage sauerkraut to top it all off. It was perfect.

Here’s what I had: images

  1. 1 nub of ginger
  2. 1 finger of turmeric
  3. 1/2 red onion
  4. 2 cloves of garlic
  5. Coconut Oil – enough to saute, ~ 2 Tbsp
  6. about 15-20 leaves of hibiscus, roughly chopped
  7. 1 can of full fat coconut milk
  8. salt and pepper

And here’s what I did:

  • I took the first 4 ingredients and minced them in the Cuisinart.
  • Saute the mixture in coconut oil on a well heated cast iron pan (or what you have).
  • Add the hibiscus leaves, one batch at a time, covering if need to get them wilted.
  • Once all the leaves are in the pan, add coconut milk and fill the can about half full with water and add that as well.

Season as you like with salt and pepper and serve hot. I topped mine with sauerkraut, but steamed basmati or roasted potatoes would probably be nice!