I was so glad to see that my Mum brought some Zobo leaves with her on her recent visit. It had been so long since I had zobo ( a.k.a zoborodo ) as it is fondly called in Nigeria. It is known as Sorrel drink in the Caribbean and by many other names in different countries which I will include at the end of this post.
The Nigerian Zobo drink is made from the sepals of the Roselle flower/plant (Hibiscus sabdariffa) which is a species of the Hibiscus plant family; a plant native to tropical regions. It has a tart like cranberry flavour and pairs well with sweet snacks and cookies. Different people make zobo in varied ways; you can add fruits like pineapple, lemon etc and even spices like cloves, ginger, cinnamon etc. The zobo leaves can also be used to make many other things such as sauces, jams, and even put into baked goods. Here’s how I make my zobo puree with the cooked leaves (how to make zobo puree). I have also made dessert using zobo drink, I made these delectable zobo poached pears and served them with ice cream, you should try them for yourself.
So I hope you enjoy making hibiscus drink the Nigerian way.
￼ Yields: 6-7 cups
Recipe level: Easy
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Meal type: Drink
Meal time: Anytime
Country/Region: Nigeria, West Africa
Here’s the video recipe for more visual learners:
NIGERIAN ZOBO DRINK RECIPE
- 1 cup zobo leaves (35 grams)
- 8 cups of water
- Quarter of a pineapple (skin peeled)
- 1 inch piece or 2 teaspoons of chopped ginger
- Sugar or any other sweetener, to taste
- 1 teaspoon cloves, op
- Using a bowl and a generous amount of cold water; wash the zobo leaves properly (it might take a few washes) to get rid of all dirt and dust.
- In a large pot on medium heat, add the washed zobo leaves, pineapple chunks, ginger, and cloves. Let boil for 30 minutes.
- Using a sieve or colander, drain the zobo drink into a bowl and dispose of the zobo leaves, pineapple and ginger pieces.
- Cool drink down in fridge
- Once the drink is chilled; add your desired amount of sugar or sweetener and stir properly.You could drink the zobo drink hot or warm like tea.
- Serve with any Nigerian small chop such as chin chin, meat pies,puff puff etc.
The different parts of the Roselle plant are used to make a number of things such as
- Drinks like Zobo
- Food colouring
- Food seasoning
- Sauces and soups
- Bast fibre
- Medicinal lotion
- Medicated hair oils
- Shampoo and conditioner.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF ZOBO
The hibiscus flower has some nutritional benefits as well:
- Acts as a natural diuretic
- Aids appetite
- Soothes colds and provides similar cold relief obtained by consuming antioxidant drinks
- Acts as a general tonic
- Promotes kidney functioning
- Helps digestion
- Acts as a diuretic
- Aids urinary tract health
- Promotes cardiovascular health
NAMES OF THE HIBISCUS/ROSELLE FLOWER DRINK
- Zobo/Zoborodo-Northen Nigeria
- Isapa-Yorubas/South Western Nigeria
- Bissap-Niger,Ghana,Mali, Senegal, Guniea Bissau, Burkina Faso, Congo,Benin, & France
- Karkade-Egypt, Sudan, & Saudi Arabia
- Sorrel-Caribbean & Latin America
- Flor de Jamaica- Mexico
- Rosella/Rosella fruit-Australia
- Grosella- Paraguay
- And so on and so forth…Please feel free to inform me of any other name you know the drink is called in another country so I can add to my list