Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Veppampoo Rasam (dried neem flower in spicy tamarind water)

We make rasam with every possible ingredient!! Rasam is such a comfort food and and veppampoo rasam is extremely good for health. I make it a point that I have this at least once a week. This rasam is a little bitter because of the neem flower used but everything that we eat cannot be sweet right???

Neem flowers are used in a various ways in Tamil Brahmin Cooking. Every year during summers, my grand mother and mother pick the fresh flowers, clean them and dry them in the hot humid Chennai summer and store them for the coming year. 

My paati (grand mother) makes the best veppampoo rasam. She sometimes simply tosses these dried flowers in hot ghee and then mixes with rice. She says it cleanses the body.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Author: Sindhu Murali (Champa)
Serves: 2

What would you need:
  1. Dried Neem Flowers - 2 tbsp
  2. Tamarind - small amla sized ball (soaked in water)
  3. Salt - to taste
  4. Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
  5. Jeera Powder - 1/2 tsp
  6. Ghee - 2 tsp
  7. Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
  8. Asafoetida - a pinch
  9. Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  10. Dried Red Chilli - 2
How to go about it:
  1. Heat a vessel and add 1 tsp ghee. Once it is hot, add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add the curry leaves, dried red chilli, asafoetida and leave it for a few seconds.
  2. Extract the pulp out of tamarind and add the same to the tadka. 
  3. Add salt and let the contents bubble up well until the raw flavour of the tamarind is not felt any more. 
  4. Add the pepper powder and jeera powder. Let it boil for about 5 minutes and then take off heat.
  5. In another pan, add 1 tsp ghee. Add the dried neem flowers and sauté until aromatic. Do not roast them too much.
  6. Add this sautéed flower to the rasam and mix well.
  1. Once you have added the neem flowers, do not boil the rasam any more.
Njoy with your luved ones...