Plant a Roselle in kitchen garden, replace tamarind in curries
Roselle plant is locally known as ‘Pulivenda’, ‘Mathippuli’ and ‘Meenpuli’ in Kerala. Its scientific name is Hibiscus sabdariffa. Roselle is a shrub that belongs to the family of okra. It grows upto 8-9 feet and its sour tasting fruit is used for flavouring fish curry.
The fruit can be used to replace tamarind in kitchen. The petals covering the fruit are pickled and used for sour flavour in curries. Roselle fruit is also used for making jam and jelly. Tender stems and leaves can be used to make chutney by grinding with coconut and chilli.
Though there are green and red varieties of roselle plants, red variety is more widely used. The plant can be grown in kitchen garden and on rooftops. Pests rarely attack roselle plants. Saplings can be produced by sowing seeds. It needs regular watering and organic fertilizers.
Rooted stem cuttings also can be planted. Fruits will be ready to harvest within 20 days of blooming. Fruits that are bright red can be plucked. Harvest period falls between November and January. Seeds should be sown in May and June. Fruits are rich with vitamin C, calcium and antioxidants.
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