In Mexico, it is very common to find water deliciously flavored with Hibiscus flowers. Commonly known as Jamaica, these flowers have a delicious, intensely herbal and fruity taste, and infuse the water with na deep, vivid red color. Originally from Africa or India, Hibiscus flower arrived in Mexico during the colonial years and have been a staple of Mexican cooking ever since. It is well know that these flowers contain helpful diuretic and digestive properties, as well as very high levels of Vitamin C.
The hibiscus is used here to make some delicious and vegan Tacos de Jamaica. It is accompanied by a pineapple salsa that brings out the flavor of the hibiscus flowers. It is colorful, fresh, nutritious and very tasty. You can also top with avocados slices or guacamole, and cilantro leaves. You can use accompany these with Hibiscus Iced tea with lime juice and sugar.
For the Pineapple salsa
1 manzano pepper finely chopped, unseeded
1 small red onion, chopped into small pieces
Juice of 6 limes
1 tbsp of dried oregano
1 tbsp of kosher salt
1/4 cup of cilantro leaves
2 cups of fresh pineapple cut into half inch squares
For the Tacos
8 oz of dried Hibiscus leaves
4 tbsp of olive oil
1 small red onion finely sliced
2 tbsp of maple syrup
1/2 tbsp of kosher salt
16 blue corn tortillas
1. The day before you make the tacos, mix in an 8oz glass mason jar the manzano pepper, onion, oregano, and salt. Add the lime juice to fill to the top of the jar is full. Shake and cover tightly. Leave in the refrigerator overnight.
2. Boil 6 quarts of water. Rinse the Hibiscus really well to make sure that all the dust is removed. Place clean Hibiscus in a pot over medium heat, cover with 4 quarts of water, and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow to steep for at least 2 hours, until Hibiscus is very soft. Drain well and reserve the water to make Agua de Jamaica, or a Hibiscus cocktail.
3. Make the pineapple salsa: mix the fresh cut pineapple with the marinated onions and peppers, and add some of the juice to taste. Add the cilantro leaves.
4. Cut the soft Hibiscus leaves into slices. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the onion until soft and translucent. Stir in drained Hibiscus and season with salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly until Hibiscus turns a deep red color. Add the 2 tbsp of maple syrup and stir once more.
5. Warm corn tortillas on a skillet about 30 seconds per side. Divide the Hibiscus mixture among the tortillas and top with the pineapple salsa, avocado or guacamole, and cilantro leaves. Enjoy!
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