Karkady is one of the most popular and unusual drinks that you can find in Egypt. Made from the dried, dark red petals of the Hibiscus flower. It is served in many of the popular cafe's throughout Egypt. The best Karkady comes from Upper Egypt. Be sure to bring home a bag of dried petals from Aswan or Luxor.
* 1 cup hibiscus petals
* 2 cups sugar
Pick over the dried petals, removing any stems or leaves. Soak the hibiscus petals in cold water to cover for 1-2 hours. Transfer the petals and water to a pot and bring to a boil. Remove the pot immediately and strain the liquid through filter paper. Return the petals to the pot, add fresh cold water to cover, and repeat as above. Repeat the process until the karkady loses its reddish hue. Then, discard the petals and sweeten the juice while it is still hot. Serve cold, although it is a pleasant drink when served warm in the wintertime.
It is possible to purchase hibiscus tea bags from other lands as a substitute, but the intensity of flavor will not be the same. I have found hibiscus tea bags from Poland in the international food department of a very large supermarket.
Last Updated: June 7th, 2011