Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Neem Flower/Veppampoo Rasam


This is a traditional and quite a different kind of rasam made with dried neem flowers. This tasty rasam has medicinal values too and is a quick and easy one to make! 


This rasam can be prepared very quickly. This version, which I grew up with, doesn't have any dal added or no raosting or grinding of ingredients. Extract the tamarind juioce and simmer it with salt, turmeric, and red chilies (for the heat) with a pinch of asafetida. Add the tadka. The neem flowers are fried in ghee and added to the rasam. Take care not to burn it, else it will ruin the flavor. In about 15 minutes max, this rasam will be ready at your table.

The tiny white flowers of neem have tons of medicinal properties. The fresh white flowers of neem are dried and stored for use anytime. When drying it becomes brown in color but retains its properties. Neem flowers are good antioxidants and detoxifies the body, improving the immunity.


Now, remember that these flowers are bitter just like the leaves. The bitterness of these flowers provides health benefits. So when adding to food, remember to adjust the quantity based on your tolerance for bitter taste. Also, the bitterness of the flower is balanced with salt and tangy tamarind in this rasam and hence anywhere between one to two teaspoons should work well.


Fresh neem flowers can also be used. This recipe uses dried ones as I have access to dried ones here. The neem flowers are added to the sweet Mango Pachadi which we make during the Tamil New Year Festival feast. This pachadi has all the types of tastes in one meaning life will be a mixture of everything. The bitterness in this pachadi comes from neem flowers. 




This year, I am sharing rasam recipes from A-Z for blogging marathon. Rasam is a traditional broth that is spicy, tangy, and very flavorful that provides soothing comfort. Here are the links to rasam recipes shared for the theme.




Ingredients

Tamarind - 1 tsp
Water - 2.5 cups
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Dried red chilies - 4 to 6
Turmeric - 1/8 tsp
Asafetida -1/8 tsp

Temper

Ghee - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaf- 1 sprig

For Neem flower

Ghee - 1 tsp
Dried neem flower - 1 to 2 tsp

Method

Soak the tamarind in a cup of warm water for 10 minutes and extract the juice with another one and a half cup water.


Add salt, turmeric, asafetida, and torn red chilies and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Switch off the flame.


Heat ghee in a pan and add mustard seeds, when it splutters add the curry leaves. 


Pour this into the rasam.


Heat ghee in the pan and add the neem flowers. Fry for 40sec to a minute taking care not to burn. Add it to the rasam.


Serve with rice or cooked grains, and veggies to make a complete meal.




3 comments:

  1. I love neem flower rasam. Sometimes I make our regular paruppu rasam and when tempering I add some dried neem flowers along with cumin seeds. Love this version of your Radha. So good.

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  2. I have heard of neem flower rasam before but havent tasted it. Next time I get neem flowers, I shall try this for sure.

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  3. I am yet to try with need flowers, though it is so healthy..will bookmark this for sure!

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