July 10, 2020

Video Recipe - VepamPoo Sadham | வேப்பம் பூ சாதம் | Neem flower Rice.| GF and Vegan | Rice Varieties

Food as medicine. In the days of yore, this was the mantra that our ancestors used to treat everyday (and sometimes chronic illness). Call it Ayurveda / home remedy / Unani, herbs and spices in an everyday kitchen was used to treat ailments. My grandmother's kitchen was a treasure trove of these quick hacks and we didn't realise until we grew up that every time she made these foods (as part of the normal meal), it was actually healing us from within.

Whether it was the Agathi keerai poriyal  made for Dwadasi Paranai (Dwadasi is the 12th day of the Lunar fortnight on which day a special meal is prepared after a day of Ekadasi fasting) or the Chukku kashayam Ginger Honey Tea (herbal tea) that was regularly made for cough / cold in place of heavy antibiotics or th e Raw Turmeric Chutney served with Idlis / Dosa  or the Tomato Clear Soup that mom used to feed me or sis during fevers. 

My favourite however was the ultra delicious Rava Kanji (Semolina pudding) that we were allowed to drink up as dinner in place of rice when recovering from serious illness. Who knew medicine was in a delicious mug of goodness :p

Coming to today's dish - Vepampoo Sadham (or Dried neem flowers rice). This is a delicious vegan and GF dish that's served in small quantities as the first course for upset stomach / indigestion or even as deworming. 

If you have access to fresh neem flowers, clean them and dry them in the shade. If not, you can acces dried neem flowers in any South Indian store (these are sold as condiments). As with any medicine, the quanitiy of neem flowers used in this dish is also little, but has to be had on an empty stomach. 

If you have freshly cooked rice, this takes less than 5 mins to put together. You may use ghee to saute the neem flowers (but some prefer til oil). 


This is part of the A-Z Recipe Challenge, where we choose an alphabet (N this month) and prepare a dish with the english name of the ingredient. I have choices of Nigella Seeds, Neem and a few others and choose Neem flowers as my main ingredient for this dish.  

Vepampoo Sadam - Dried Neem flowers Rice 
Course : Main Course , Cuisine : South Indian , Spice Level - Low

Prep time - 5 mins, Cook time - 5 mins , Serves - 1

What you need:
Cooked rice - 1 cup
Oil - 1 TBSP (split use)

To fry together: 
Dried Neem Leaves - 1 TBSP
Cashews - 1/2 tbsp 
Curry leaves - few

Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Dry red chllies - 1 no (broken into bits)
Asafoetida - a tiny pinch (skip for GF)
Urad dal / split black gram - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds / Jeera - 1/4 tsp

Find the detailed method in this youtube video. Please do leave your valuable comments on the video as well.


  1. Simple yet healthy recipe with lot of medicinal value. As you have mentioned food is a medicine and this is definitely a much needed one.

  2. Isn't it the call of the time, that we eat food that nourishes and strengthens us! The rice dish sounds super delicious and healthy...

  3. What a treat. I love these traditional dishes. Can justeat with some papad and pachadi

  4. What a simple yet nutritious recipe! It is also a great way to include the medicinal neem flower in our meals.

  5. Such a simple but beautiful heritage recipe! I love having this rice, especially when I'm suffering a tummy upset. Lovely share!

  6. Simple and delicious.. our grannnys had a treasure of recipes, it's great that you shared this one.. and you are so right, our kitchens have most of ingredients that can be used in healing everyday ailments. earlier food was cooked not only eaten for daily survival but also as a blessing from Divine served by the lady of house to all the family.

  7. This is such a healthy and neem flowers has lot of medicinal values. Quick, simple and flavorful rice.

  8. Excellent recipe with neem flower. This time these medicinal foods are much needed. I always love traditional recipes. I must say its a perfect healthy recipe for this pandemic time.

  9. Absolutely our go to option during stomach discomfort or when you feel like detoxing the system after a heavy weekend meal. Neem is the best medicine one can have in their pantry or freezer. Loved the recipe.

  10. This is such a simple yet flavourful dish with so much health benefits. I so agree with you that our ancestors kitchen was full of treasure and they knew the home remedies for most of the ailments. Lovely share...

  11. Kalyani like your explanation and reasons why one should include neem flowers in the diet. Grandmothers knew how to source inexpensive and naturally found ingredients for all ailments. Adding it to rice is a good way to include the flowers in ones diet.

  12. Never tasted or cooked a food with neem flowers. Your post is tempting me to source the dried flowers online and try out this healthy traditional recipe.

  13. Thats another simple yet healthy recipe to use neem flowers in your meals, Would like to try this so as to use neem flowers that I am yet to try.

  14. Beautiful recipe, so simple yet packed with nutrition and flavors. Perfect to give your body a break and heal itself. Awesome share

  15. WOW…there are so many recipes using with dried neem flower, I have never heard of. Makes me want to go on a try. Sounds totally delicious.

  16. For all the people who ask if we had rice today as well, we have too many recipes to try that we can have a lifetime worth of rice. Now the urge to find the vepampoo has certainly intensified with the lovely recipe here.

  17. Interesting rice recipe using neem flowers Kalyani.
    I either do stir fry or patties or a curry type in odia style :) This rice combination seems so flavorful !

  18. Never saw this neam flower here but its interesting to know how to use it in cooking.

  19. So true kalyani, food made by amma and paati were delicous and at the same time healing us from inside! Vepampoo saadham looks very inviting! I love the bitter taste that comes with it, happy meal for a upset tummy

  20. Grandmother’s tips and recipes are the best. Neem flower rice recipe is brilliant. I I usually make rasam or Gojju. This is an interesting recipe.

  21. This is a recipe that i can never forget . Used to be a weekly affair when amma would roast vempampoo and manathakali in nei and mix it with hot rice ..you just took me down the memory lane

  22. what a healthy and delicious way to incorporate this healthful herb into a great bowl!

  23. I wonder if I can get fresh neon leaves here. Never seen them for the last so many years. This is one awesome sadham kalyani that I wish I can eat immediately. You know I love stuff like this


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