Persian food is pretty extraordinary, and one of the more unusual ingredients that features in it is the Dried Persian Borage Flower. This is different to the European Borage flower which is quite tiny compared to the Persian one. Beginning life as a pink flower, it turns blue as it dries. It has such a relaxing quality, that making tea from it is a perfect evening task.
You can find Persian Borage Flowers online, at Persian shops or at Afghan shops. I found mine recently at a local Afghan shop. Also close by you will see the Persian dried Rosebuds. I like these better than the Chinese ones as the Chinese ones currently available have had a strange colour and no flavour or aroma. The Persian ones are so fragrant and don’t colour your tea the way the Asian ones do.
While you are there, pick up some dried limes as well – they will be near the spice section. Intensely lemony, they feature often in Persian food and we put some in this tea. Also near the dried ingredients you will find dried mint. You will need a pack of these two. Also pick up coriander seeds, saffron and cinnamon sticks if you don’t have any at home.
You may find your Persian, Afghan or Middle Eastern Grocer has a tea mixture similar to this. I can no longer find it near my place, so I have adapted a recipe from Persian Fusion.
Use either the yellow-brown dried limes or the black ones – essentially they are the same, but the black ones will have a slightly more interestingly smoky flavour.
Fragrant Persian Rosebud and Borage Flower Tea
25g Persian rose petals
25g Persian borage flowers
25g dried mint leaves
2 dried limes, crumbled
3 large pinch saffron threads
3 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
25g cardamom pods
35 grams of coriander seeds
Mix the ingredients gently.
Use 1-2 Tblspn of the mixture for each pot of tea. Add a pinch of saffron if you like, it’s entirely optional. Allow to seep for 10 – 15 mins before pouring.
Sweeten with honey or Persian Rock Candy, or drink unsweetened.
Relax, and enjoy.
recipe notes and alternatives
Rock candy can be bought in Afghan shops, conveniently on sticks for ease of stirring. You can buy it with saffron threads incorporated in the candy as well, for added flavour in your tea.