Bissap: the traditional Senegalese recipe for a drink with dried hibiscus flowers

Let's find out how to prepare Bissap, a Senegalese refreshing drink, following the recipe recommended by Adama.

Bissap: the traditional Senegalese recipe for a drink with dried hibiscus flowers


Bissap, this is how this is called in Senegal refreshing drink made from dried Hibiscus flowers. The equivalent of the better known Karkadè. Much loved throughout West Africa, where it is often enriched with pineapple, mango, papaya and other tropical specialties. 

Of the hibiscus flowers, the calyx of the red variety is used, which is also used in the preparation of syrups and jams, while the green calyx variety is more used as a vegetable or as a condiment. 

Adama, a Senegalese cook, today offers us her version of Bissap, revealing some secrets to make it even better. 


Bissap: Adama's Senegalese recipe

Everyone prepares it in their own way, but the basic ingredients are the same: dried hibiscus flowers, essences, sugar and water. Here is Adama's version. 


  • 1 liter of water
  • 200 gr of hibiscus flowers
  • a few leaves of fresh mint
  • vanilla essence
  • pineapple juice
  • sugar (better to use whole cane sugar)

First rinse the dried flowers, then boil the water in a pot, once it reaches a boil, turn off and pour in the flowers and fresh mint leaves.

In other recipes, hibiscus flowers are poured into the pot as soon as the water boils, leaving the fire on for 10-15 minutes. Adama prefers to turn it off before pouring them to prevent the drink from being too sour, after which he leaves them to infuse for 15-20 minutes until the water is a nice dark red. 

At this point you have to filter the water with a colander, eliminating the flowers and leaves, then let it cool. Add the sugar, a little vanilla essence and pineapple juice (a few tablespoons may be enough but you can add more if you like), mixing well. 

Place the drink in the fridge and serve it cold.


The pineapple juice gives the drink that extra touch. Adama always uses it in her recipe, but if you want you can replace it with pieces of fresh pineapple, pouring them directly into the drink. And add a few slices of apple. 

Where to buy dried hibiscus flowers

You can buy dried hibiscus flowers in health food stores, ethnic shops and many online stores. With us you can find ready-made sachets of karkadè everywhere but favor flowers.

Read also:

  • Karkadè: benefits, uses and how to best enjoy it
  • Rooibos: history, properties and all the benefits of red tea
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