White Hibiscus in Sudan

Karkanji is a spicy, tart hibiscus drink from the Central African country of Chad.

No, that's not the name of a blond-haired, beefy American pro-footballer. It's an ancient territory named after a massive lake.

The Republic of Chad is a landlocked Central African nation south of Libya, west of Sudan and east of Niger. It is mostly a desert nation, containing large chunks of the Sahara, and is also known as the "Dead Heart of Africa".

In 1920 France took the area and made it part of French Equatorial Africa but in 1960 they won independence. Unfortunately in 1965, Chad suffered from a civil war that only really ended in 1990. Violence is still common, with political battles taking place as recently as 2006 and 2008.

None of Chad’s borders follow natural boundaries, a remnant of French colonial divisions. Lake Chad is the largest geographical landmark and Africa's second largest wetland. It's also the source of the country's name.

According to the UN, Chad is the fifth poorest nation on earth. Most of the population are subsistence farmers and herders and some 80% live below the poverty line. Crude oil and cotton are the largest industries.

Chad’s population is just over 10 million, with 47% under the age of 15 years and 75% living in rural areas. Life expectancy is a meagre 47.2 years.

Although the country is comprised of some 200 different ethnic groups, Arabic and French are the official languages and Islam is the most common religion at 54% of the population. Despite the political violence and unrest, Chadians seem to respect each other’s religious freedoms.

Karkanji (Hibiscus & Ginger Drink)

Recipe from Celtnet. Makes 2.5 litres.


1 large handful hibiscus flowers
200g sugar
50g fresh ginger root, finely sliced
1 cinnamon stick
10 whole cloves


1. Add 2.5l water to a large pan along with the hibiscus, ginger, cinnamon and cloves.

2. Bring to a boil and once you have attained a rolling boil turn down to a low simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

3. Add the sugar and allow to dissolve completely then simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.

4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool naturally.

5. Strain then refrigerate. Serve with ice.


* I decreased the sugar from 300g to 200g, but you might even decide to go to 150g.
* I also halved the ginger as too much overpowers the hibiscus.
* Garnishing with thin slices of lime adds a little citrus freshness.

This was a really good drink. I enjoyed making it (easy) and drinking it (tasty).
Robert Harding Photo Mug of Hibiscus flower on beach, Perhentian islands, Malaysia, Southeast Asia, Asia from Robert Harding
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Hemp paper - great stuff, Kenaf - already legal

2007-02-28 13:06:20 by mansize

Kenaf makes an even better paper than hemp. The botanical name is Hibiscus cannabis and it looks rather like marijuana, though the two are not related. Buy kenaf paper if you can. The only company in the U.S. that produces kenaf paper is Vision Paper in New Mexico.
I like your 7 steps by the way, especially the 7th.
Tree pulp is not an optimal material for paper making. An elaborate series of steps is necessary to mechanically and chemically break down the rigid source material into usable pulp, and further processes are needed to render it white and smooth enough for printing

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