Dried Hibiscus Poriyal

(15-20 minutes, serves 4 as a side)

In Sri Lanka, hibiscus grows freely in many gardens, and it’s easy to pick some for a curry. It’s a little harder to come by fresh hibiscus blossoms here in Chicagoland, but dried hibiscus is readily available in local Latino markets and online, and coconut milk helps rehydrate the dried blooms.

This poriyal is a bright, tangy element on a rice and curry plate. Be sure to use edible food-grade hibiscus blossoms.

2 T vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped (about one c.)
1 t. mustard seed
1 t. cumin seed
1 stalk curry leaves (about a dozen)
1/2 t. turmeric
1/2 t. salt
1 c. dried hibiscus flowers
1/2 c. coconut milk

1 c. grated coconut

1. Heat vegetable oil in a medium saucepan and add onion, mustard seed, cumin seed, curry leaves, turmeric, and salt. Sauté on medium high, stirring, until onions are golden-translucent.

2. Add dried hibiscus flowers and stir for a few more minutes until well blended, then add coconut milk and simmer, stirring, for 3-5 minutes more.

3. Stir in fresh grated coconut and serve with rice and curries.

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