Great food, travel, good natural health and music are some of my biggest life passions.
Rosella jam is possibly one of the best tasting jams I have ever tried. Rosella fruit comes from the rosella plant, or Hibiscus sabdariffa. I stumbled across this beautiful fruit this past weekend while walking around the local markets. Immediately I was drawn to the beautiful flower shape and knew instantly I had to take some of these babies home with me.
Upon filling my bag, the owner of the stall informed me that you had to be careful of the bugs. Initially, this was a little concerning. Images popped into my mind of hundreds of bugs emerging from these lovely fruits. Based on the way the girl described it, it was starting to sound like something of a horror movie. As my bag was full though, I pushed through and had big plans to get these in the sink and clean them ASAP. (That may be a bit of my obsessiveness coming through.)
The girl explained that the green seedpods inside the fruit needed to be separated from the beautiful red calyx. She then advised to boil the seedpods in enough water to cover until they became soft, then to use the liquid to pour over the separate calyx and boil further until this fruit was soft. Once this was done, she said to add an even amount of sugar to the mix and simmer for a while until the mix had a jammie texture.
Sounds easy right? Well, it was, and the result was a delicious, smooth, silky, sweet jam with a bit of a tartness that made my tastebuds feel as though they had gone to heaven. Trust me: This is worth a try if you ever come across these wonderful, unique fruits!
Another good note about the rosella fruit is that they are good for you. So it's worth getting some of their nutrients into your diet! The recipe below will make around two tall jars, but adjust the recipe to your needs. This could also make a great festive gift idea!
- 500 grams rosella fruit, seedpod separated from the calyx and bracts
- Approximately 2 cups sugar
- Approximately 2 to 3 cups water
Instructions for Making the Jam
- First, fill your sink with water and soak these rosella fruits for some time. There will be bugs so it's just a case of flushing the water through them a few times just to get rid of them all. It appears these bugs can swim though so don't be afraid to be a little rough with the fruits to make sure they are bug-free.
- Next, the long tedious process of separating the beautiful red calyx from the seedpod. To do this I basically pulled each stem of the fruit off one at a time then removed the bracts from the green seedpod. The girl who explained the process stated you can simply pull the green seedpod from the centre whilst leaving the fruit intact. I tried this and failed miserably, but if you can do this, by all means, do it (the whole flower is called "Hibiscus flower," and these are found in syrup that you can add to your cocktails—I've seen them in the bottle-shops, definitely a fancy twist, and if you can do it yourself even better!). Once they are separated rinse them again really well as sometimes they have some excess residue and you want to make sure there are no hidden bugs!
- Put all the green seedpods in a saucepan and put enough water to cover the pods. What happens next is quite amazing the pods will release what is called pectin! This is completely natural and will mean you do not have to use a setting agent. Softly boil the seedpods for about 5 to 10 mins until they go soft and the water gains a slightly sticky texture. Strain the liquid and discard the pods.
- In another saucepan, put the rosella fruits and cover with the pod liquid and a little bit more water if necessary to keep the fruits covered. Simmer for around 5 to 10 mins until the fruit is soft and an almost syrup-like texture forms, add to this mix even amounts of sugar (for 500 grams of roselles, I used apron 2 cups sugar, but please adjust according to your quantity).
- Let the roselles and sugar simmering for about 10 to 15 mins, you will see the consistency become very jam-like and thicken. Remove from the heat and put in your prepared jam jars or glasses and let cool before putting in the fridge. Enjoy you have made your very own preserve!
- Also you can use this same recipe to make roselle cordial. Just add more water. This recipe is very simple, and you can't go wrong if you just follow your intuition. Trust me, you won't regret trying this!
Rate This Recipe
David Astley on August 21, 2020:
There's a new variety of rosella that has been discovered in Darwin by a local horticulturalist by the name of Dennis Hearne that has calyxes three times as big as the normal rosella - and the fruit is much sweeter so you don't need to have as much sugar in the recipe. You'll probably see that plant appearing in other parts of Australia in the coming years.
retromellie (author) from Australia on April 07, 2018:
Hi Mary, I haven’t made this jam for quite some time, but from memory it made aprox 3 cups of jam.....hope this helps :)
Mary Lester on April 06, 2018:
Approx how much jam from 500g of rosellas please? Only asking as a friend of mine lives 4 hours away and wants my rosella fruit am happy to arrange for her to get it but only if I have enough for her to make a reasonable amount of jam
retromellie (author) from Australia on November 06, 2017:
Sorry to hear JKJ, perhaps you used either not enough sugar or to much water? This does make a delicious syrup which you can use in deserts or as a mix in cordial or cocktails though so I hope it doesn't go to waste.
JKJ on November 05, 2017:
This recipe did not thicken at all for me? Very frustrating as it took me an hour to make. I guess I will use it is a syrup
retromellie (author) from Australia on March 15, 2013:
Apparently the Roselle Plant is most likely to have originated from West Africa, however is very popular in most Asian countries and is grown pretty much worldwide from the research I can gather.....I hope you can find it too.....I had to go to a local farmers market to find it and only stumbled on it by chance....good luck with finding it though FullOfLoveSites and thanks for the comment! Be sure to let me know how you go if you do end up making it :)
FullOfLoveSites from United States on March 14, 2013:
That's why the fruit looks like a hibiscus petal, I found out it's actually related to it. Where does the fruit originate from?
I hope I could find that in local markets. Voted up useful, interesting.
retromellie (author) from Australia on March 14, 2013:
Thanks for the comment Torrilynn, it is very simple and easy to make you, must give it a try if you get the chance! :)
torrilynn on March 14, 2013:
thanks for sharing how to make jam
i like how you only need three ingredients
which means it is simple and quick