Neem tree is considered as a sacred tree in Hindu religion. All parts of neem tree have medicinal value. Neem is also playing a vital role in Ayurveda medicine. During Tamizh Varusha Pirappu, Ugadi or Yugadi and Vishu in March/April, most of the south Indian families prepare this Veppampoo (Neem Flower) Pachadi as part of their celebrations at home.
Neem flower is fried, powdered and cooked with tamarind, jaggery to get a tasty Veppampoo (Neem Flower) Pachadi. If fresh neem flower is not available, dried neem flowers can be purchased from grocery shops.
- Dried neem flowers – 2 tea spoon
- Jaggery chopped – ½ cup
- Tamarind – lemon size (soaked and juice extracted)
- Rice flour or corn flour – 2 tea spoon
- Salt – pinch
- For seasoning
- Mustard – ½ tea spoon
- Red chilli – 5 no
- Curry leaves – few
- Asafetida – generous pinch
- Oil – 2 tea spoon
- Clean, fry the neem flower in one tea spoon of oil and remove; allow it to cool and then powder it coarsely.
- In the same pan add remaining oil and do the seasoning; then add tamarind juice, water (the mix can be of 1½ cups by volume); let it boil for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add jaggery and keep boiling for few more minutes.
- Mix rice flower in ¼ cup of water and add in the boiling mixer; let all boil together to get thick and add finally powdered neem flower.
- Mix and switch of fire.
- Slightly bitter, sweet and sour Veppampoo (Neem Flower) Pachadi is ready.
- Most of the villagers collect fresh neem flowers during the season. Then they wash & dry it in sun light and keep it at home for other medicinal uses throughout the year.