Dakar Thanksgiving recipe: bissap (cranberry) sauce


The locally available substitute for cranberries is actually not a berry at all, but bissap (hibiscus) flowers that are often used for making a brightly colored drink. This Bissap Sauce can be made using either the fresh flower petals or more commonly available dried ones that have been rehydrated in boiling water.

I soaked the cleaned, fresh flowers overnight in filtered water to make cold-brew bissap drink. This method retains the nutrients and I find the flavor to be less acidic. (That recipe is for another day, but I learned it from my friends Will and Gloria.)

Back to Bissap Sauce… Cut the petals into small pieces using a knife or kitchen scissors.

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Place in a pot and add just enough water to cover the bottom, maybe 1/8 cup. You can use any cranberry sauce recipe you find online, but for 5 cups of petals I added orange zest, juice of 1 orange, 1 chopped apple, a cinnamon stick and 1/2 cup Casamance honey or sugar. Cover and cook on low heat for 15 minutes or until bubbling and petals are soft. Stir every five minutes. Once it reaches the consistency you want, let cool a bit and add more honey or sugar to taste.

Serve with your Thanksgiving dinner… or as jam on bread like I did this morning. 😉


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