May 27, 2018

Vepampoo (Neem Flower) Rasam

How to make Vepampoo (Neem Flower) Rasam


            Vepam Poo Rasam/Neem flower Rasam is an aromatic rasam made using neem blossoms (also known as the Indian Lilac) & ghee which is usually prepared for Tamil Puthandu/New Year. Puthandu is the day of new beginnings. This day is celebrated by Tamilians with neem flowers and raw mangoes to symbolize growth and prosperity. Intake of the Neem flowers once in a month is highly recommended to cleanse our digestive system. This Tamilian recipe can be served along with Steamed Rice, Poriyal & Appalam/chips.

                I learned this recipe from my MIL and love the flavor of the neem flowers roasted in ghee which makes it super aromatic & satisfying. There are a few variations you can do in this recipe, see notes below. Check out my other Rasam Varieties too.




Ingredients:

Lemon sized, Tamarind - soak, strain & make tamarind extract 
Rasam powder -2 Tbsp
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder - 1/4 Tsp

For Tempering:

Mustard seeds - 1 Tsp
Curry leaves - 2 Sprigs
Asafoetida - a pinch
Ghee - 1 Tsp + 1 Tbsp
Picked, washed & dried, Neem flowers/ Vepampoo - 2 Tbsp
3 Dry Red Chilies, broken


Stovetop Directions:

  • Heat the 1 tsp of Ghee & fry the Mustard seeds, Red Chilies, Asafoetida, Curry leaves. Add the remaining ghee, fry the Neem blossoms until dark brown, crisp & aromatic (but don't let it turn black).

  •  In a different pan, heat the tamarind extract with Turmeric powder, Salt, Rasam powder & boil it just until it froths & turn off the heat.

  • Finally add the tempered ingredients to the boiled tamarind mixture & serve hot, with a south Indian meal platter.

Notes:

  • You can opt for the following in your recipe if you like - chopped tomatoes or cooked toor dal.
  • You can omit rasam powder & increase chilies if you like too.
  • Frying the neem flowers in ghee is to reduce the bitterness.
 Sharing this from my recipe diary in SriValli's CCC# 55: May - Week 4.


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