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20 September, 2014

Dried Neem flower soup (Veppam poo rasam)

Comments : 28 Posted in : Appetizer, Main course, soups and chili on by : apsara Tags: ,


Today I bring you a very traditional recipe, a treasured recipe from my mother. A very healthy soup or rasam made with dried neem flowers. I have not seen neem flowers sold anywhere outside India. Neem is known for its therapeutic (antibiotic, anti-diabetic) properties and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine since ancient times.

The dried flowers can be bought in herb shops in India. My mom just collects flowers falling off a neem tree in the yard of our house, cleans them and dries them in the sun. How simple! She gets me a packet of this whenever she gets to visit me. “Make this at least once a month, it is a good for the digestive system”. I have always liked this ‘rasam’ (‘ras’ in Sanskrit, meaning extract) that is traditionally eaten in our home mixed with rice in the main course, but I love it just as a soup, slightly bitter, sour and tangy!



Taking this soup to folks at Fiesta Friday #34ย hosted by Selma and Elaine.

Neem flower rasam

  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Neem flowers- 2 tbsp.

tamarind- a small amount (or 1/2 tbsp. tamarind paste)

tomato- 1 medium

red chilly- 1 or 2

asafoetida powder- a pinch

salt- to taste

water- 2-3 cups

ghee (clarified butter)- 1 tsp.

mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp.


* Extract juice from tamarind by soaking it in warm water and squeezing it out.

* Add mustard seeds to ghee in a pan, wait till they sputter. Then add red chilly and neem flowers and roast gently on low heat till an aroma develops.

* Add finely chopped tomato, water, tamarind paste (or extract from whole tamarind), asafoetida powder. Let it come to a boil.

* Lower the heat and let it come to a boil one more time.

* Serve warm.


* A small amount of well-mashed, cooked lentils (toor or split pigeon peas) may be added to make this a more filling soup.

* Some curry leaves can be added for more flavor.


28 thoughts on : Dried Neem flower soup (Veppam poo rasam)

  • September 21, 2014 at 12:19 am

    This is one of the best rasam and my mom used to prepare this often as my dad loves it ๐Ÿ™‚

    • September 24, 2014 at 10:17 pm

      Was the same in my house too!

  • Pingback: Meals with Mom | Fiesta Friday #34 | The Novice Gardener

  • September 21, 2014 at 12:41 am

    I have never heard of these flowers but they sure sound amazing and such incredible healing properties. Too bad they don’t have them here!

    • September 24, 2014 at 10:19 pm

      Yes, Brandi, I wish too that they were available here. I think soon enough we may see it on some online source…hopefully!

  • September 21, 2014 at 1:04 am

    Yes, you reminded me of my mom’s rasam ๐Ÿ™‚

    • September 24, 2014 at 10:20 pm

      One of the big advantages of blogging, I suppose. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • September 21, 2014 at 7:54 am

    With all the health benefits of neem, this rasam must be so nutritious!

    • September 24, 2014 at 10:20 pm

      Yes, I love it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • September 21, 2014 at 11:27 am

    I’ve heard of Neem but never knew the flowers are used in cooking. The soup sounds great. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • September 21, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    so unique.. reminded me of neem leaves crisped fries that we use to have with steamed rice,,

    • September 21, 2014 at 6:01 pm

      That’s true! We make that too, I love to have the shallow-fried neem flowers. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • petra08
    September 21, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    How interesting, I have never heard of Neem before and your soup sounds so delicious!

    • September 24, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      thanks, Petra!

  • September 21, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    I haven’t heard of neem before, but this sounds wonderful!

    • September 24, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      it sure is…thanks, Nell!

  • September 22, 2014 at 12:39 am

    I have never had this. Im curious now!

    • September 24, 2014 at 10:23 pm

      Hmm, is neem is not used even in Karnataka and Maharashtra? Must be TN/Kerala ayurvedic practice…

  • September 23, 2014 at 6:53 am

    Oh wow – this sounds so delicious – I must look for neem flowers in the Indian shops when I go next. Thank you so much for sharing this family classic with us at Fiesta Friday, Apsara! Have a wonderful week!

    • September 24, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      Glad you like it, Selma. But I doubt that you’ll find it, let me know if you do! That would be really nice if you can find it somewhere.

  • September 23, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Its been ages since I had neem flower. Have tasted pachadi with jaggery and shallow fried In ghee but this s new to me.. Would love to try

    • September 24, 2014 at 10:26 pm

      Yes, I just love the neem in our Tamil new year pachadi…so good!

  • September 23, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Wow…so you get home picked neem flowers! I have heard neem tree is very medicinal. I have not tried this rasam but at home I have a neem tree and must start collecting its flowers and try this.

    • September 24, 2014 at 10:27 pm

      You do? Lovely! A tip… just spread a big sheet of cloth or news paper under the tree when the blossoms fall, that’s how we do it.

  • September 24, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    A very tasty looking interesting soup for me! I Will try it out soon, xx

    • September 24, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      Glad you’re back Sophie! xx

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