The 'Neem tree' has innumerable medicinal properties and each and every part of the tree has a unique value. Neem Flowers also known as 'Margosa'in Kannada , 'Veepam Poo' in Tamil and is filled with anti fungal, anti bacterial properties . It is an excellent natural medicine in preventing and curing stomach infections. It is a natural cleanser as it effectively purifies blood and removes toxins for our body. Intake of the neem flowers once a month is highly recommended to cleanse our digestive system.
The 'Veepam Poo' rasam is made on Tamil New year's day and the main significance of making this dish is to start a new year with body cleansing. Neem trees are found in plenty in India, and the trees flower during spring. We should make use of the nature's gift by collecting these flowers. You can dry the neem flowers and store them in an airtight container. They stay good for even upto 2 years.
Recipe: Mrs.Chandra Padmanabhan
Veppam Poo Rasam:
Preparation time:20 minutes
Cooking time:15 minutes
Serves : 6
Special vessel : Iron Ladle, Medium size vessel, small pan
1 &1/2 tablespoon neemflowers/veepam poo
1 lime-size ball tamarind
1/2 teaspoon chettinad rasam powder
1 large tomato (cubed)
2 teaspoon powdered jaggery
1 tablespoon ghee/clarified butter
Salt to taste
For the ground masala:
1 teaspoon tuvar dal/pigeon peas
3 dried chillies
1/2 teaspoon methi seeds/fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida powder/hing
1 teaspoon ghee
1/2 teaspoon ghee
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 dried red chilli
1 sprig curry leaves
Ground Masala :
1. Heat a small pan and heat one teaspoon ghee.
2.Add the ingredients given under ground masala and fry over loss heat till the dal turns golden , chillies and spices fragrant.
3.Grind it to a smooth consistency.
1.In the same pan, heat one tablespoon ghee and fry the neem flowers over low heat till brown.
2. Keep it aside.
For the Rasam:
1. Soak tamarind in 1& 1/2 cups of water for 10 minutes.
2. Extract the juice and discard the pulp.
3.In a medium size vessel, combine the tamarind juice, jaggery, rasam powder, tomato and salt.
You can also add curry leaves.
4. Simmer this mixture over low flame ( half covered with a plate) for 10-15 minutes .
5. Add 1 & 1/2 cup water into the rasam mixture and add the spice paste.
6. Stir well to mix .
7. Add extra water if required.
8. Simmer for 5 to 6 minutes in low flame or till the time the rasam froths up.
9. Add the fried Veepam poo/neem flowers and switch off.
10. Heat ghee in an iron ladle, add the ingredients for tempering.
11. When the mustard seeds splutter, stir the contents into the Veppam Poo Rasam.
Serve hot with rice or drink it as a soup.
It does not taste bitter at all. Do try this healthy and tasty rasam. You can also try Paruppu Urundai Rasam, Mor Rasam .