Relish The Beautiful Neem Flowers With Some Vepampoo Rasam (Dried Neem Flower Rasam)
Image Credit: Neem leaves rasam/

Rasam happens to a light soupy, spicy delight from the Southern part of India. In Sanskrit, “rasa” means juice and so mostly the word “rasam” comes from the extract of tamarind and tomato juices. In the traditional method of preparation is saw the use of tamarind pulp and black pepper in good quantity. Some historical sources say that rasam dates back to the 16th century and originated in Madurai when it was ruled by the Saurashtra rulers. The ‘Iyengars’ refer to the dish as ‘chattamudu’. Even the popular Anglo-Indian ‘mulligatawny soup’ is based on rasam. This soup also happens to be a great for cure of cough and cold, headache and more. 

An interesting twist to Rasam is given by adding dry neem leaves and is called Vepampoo Rasam , a South Indian Rasam that is made with dried or fresh neem flowers. Neem leaves or flowers are great superfood and acts as a detox for our body during summer. Traditionally this dish is mostly made during Tamil New Year, Vishu or Tamil Puthandu every year. The neem flowers are bitter in taste too. It’s during this time only when the Vepampoo or Neem Flower blooms and contrast they smell very sweet. These small little white colour flowers are much tender. 

Neem leaves rasam/


Here’s the recipe of Vepampoo Rasam by Vidya Narayan who runs a blog by the name


    1/3 Cup Tuvar Dal Or Arhar Dal 1/3 Cup Is 60 Ml Measurement

    1 Nos. Tomato (Roughly Chopped Into Pieces)

    1 Nos Gooseberry Size Tamarind

    1.25 Tbsp Vepampoo Or Dried Neem Flour Check Notes (1 Tbsp Is 15 Ml Measurement)

    1 Tbsp Ghee Or Clarified Butter

    1 Tsp Sesame Oil

    1/4 Tsp Mustard Seeds

    1/4 Tsp Jeera Or Cumin Seeds

    1 Tbsp Rasam Powder

    1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder

    1/4 Tsp Asafoetida Or Hing

    1 Tbsp Jaggery

    Finely Chopped Coriander Leaves As Required

    Few Sprigs Of Curry Leaves As Required

    Salt To Taste

    Water (1/2 Cup To Soak The Tamarind + Extra As Required To Adjust Rasam Consistency, Pressure Cook Dal Etc)\


    Wash and soak tuvar dal or arhar dal for atleast 15 minutes. pressure cook the dal until soft and mushy.

    Soak the tamarind in hot water for 10 minutes. squeeze out the liquid and keep aside. In the meanwhile, prep your ingredients - chop the tomatoes, roughly chop the coriander leaves, tear the curry leaves for aroma.

    Heat a kadhai, add a 1 tsp of sesame oil, mustard seeds and jeera. add some asafoetida or hing.

    Now add chopped tomatoes and curry leaves. saute this mixture until the tomatoes are mushy and can be slightly pressed from the back of the spoon.

    Add the tamarind water along with some turmeric powder and rasam powder. mix well and let this simmer until there is no raw smell of tamarind.

    Add the cooked dal, mix well and add some water say 2 cups (1 cup is 250 ml) to adjust consistency. add salt to taste only after you adjust the consistency. also ensure the gas flame is low. rasam should not keep boiling and salt should always be added towards the end.

    Add the chopped coriander leaves and wait for the rasam to froth. switch off the flame.

    Now in a small tempering pan, add a tbsp of ghee or clarified butter and roast the neem flower until its nice and golden. add this to the rasam, mix well, cover and keep aside for the rasam to absorb the neem flower flavors.

    Serve the rasam after 15 minutes with rice and a poriyal of your choice.