- Posted April 14, 2010 by
St. John's, Newfoundland
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Spoon Fed - Share your kitchen wisdom
Spring in Northern Hemisphere starts in the month of April. In India the neem trees bloom at this time. The birds especially green parrots come to feed on the neem berries. The wind wafts the medicinal purity of their fragrance and gives all living things a boost of energy. These flowers are collected and dried in the sun. These are used as an ingredient in rasam(soup) and pachadi/kichadi (varieties of salads). It tastes bitter and it has umpteen medicinal properties. These dishes are made at the time of the New Year festivities to acknowledge “now that we have tasted the bitterness, the rest of the year will be full of sweetness and joy”. It gives us the strength to face what life dishes out for the coming year.
It protects and nourishes the body.
Here is the recipe for the Vepam puv rasam.
Tamarind paste ½ tbsp mixed in 2 cups of water
Chili powder 2 tsp
Ghee 1 tsp
Vepam puv - Neem flowers dried (available in Indian grocery stores) 1 tbsp
Old fashioned brown sugar 2 tbsp
salt to taste
In a saucepan stir tamarind solution, chili powder, salt and boil until it reduces to half the quantity. Add the brown sugar. In a skillet melt the ghee and fry dried neem flower until it turns reddish brown. Add the fried neem flower to the rasam in the saucepan. Take it off the stove. Serve hot with plain cooked rice.