Today is the 1st day of the 4th week of Blogging Marathon. It is really fun to cook and present dishes through the various themes of Blogging Marathon and it is hard to believe we are into the 4th week already!
It is obvious that we all love cooking and with that in mind, I started this blog. Then my love for traveling led me to start another blog exclusively to showcase my travelogue –My Footprints On Earth. As much as I love this blog, it has been suffering a ‘step-motherly’ treatment from my side. I have been very regular with my cookery blog but it has been almost a year since I updated the travel blog.So taking advantage of this Blogging Marathon, I have decided to take you all on a tour every week to the beautiful places we have visited so far.
This week we shall visit the ancient city of Xi’an in China.I have already posted about a few places there and today you can catch a glimpse of the romantic Huaqing Hot Springs .This place was the setting place for the love story of Emperor Xuanzong and his concubine Yang Guifei in the Tang Dynasty. She was supposed to be extremely pretty!!! Hop over to tavel blog to read and see more about this lovely place….
Coming back to the blogging marathon,for this week I chose the theme – ‘Cooking with flowers – Pick one cook all’.As you would have seen the title of this post, I have chosen – Neem Flowers.
Earlier I had written about this medicinal flower.There are many dishes that can be prepared with it and that’s the reason I chose it as the theme for this week.
As always when I am in need of ideas for blogging marathon,this time too mom came up with 3 flavorful recipes for me to share with you all.
Today’s recipe is a simple rasam / soup that is made using this flower. When we say neem flowers are used to make a particular dish, it does not necessarily mean that we are using a lot of it. Just a little may be enough for the dish and that holds true here.
As with any recipe, this too ha several variations and each household has a method. Here is what mom prepared for us a couple of weeks ago….
Toor dal – a little less than 1/4 cup
Tomato – 1, large
Tamarind extract – 1 teaspoon, thick. diluted with 1/4 cup warm water
Rasam powder – 1 1/2 teaspoon
Asafoetida powder- a pinch
Coriander leaves -to garnish
Curry leaves- a few
Neem flower, dried – 1 tablespoon
Ghee -1 tablespoon
Cumin seeds- 1/2 teaspoon
Mustard seeds- 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
- Blanch tomato, remove peel and mash roughly.
- Pressure cook dal with enough water and mash well adding another cup of water.
- Heat the tamarind extract in a heavy bottom pan.
- Add rasam powder, curry leaves and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the tomato ,the dal and salt .Mix well.
- Add more water if needed.
- When it comes to a rolling boil remove from heat and transfer into a serving dish.
- Garnish with coriander leaves.
- Heat a small pan with ghee.
- Put in the neem flowers and let it roast on low flame till you get a nice aroma and it turns a shade darker.
- Drain and add to the rasam.
- Into the same pan with ghee add the asafortida powder,cumin and mustard seeds.
- When it splutters pour into the rasam.
- Mix gently and wait for some time for the flavors to blend.
- This rasam is usually thinner in consistency when compared to the normal rasam prepared with dal.
- If you find 1 tablespoon of neem flowers to be bitter, add according to your preference.
- You can just roast the neem flowers in ghee and add to your regular rasam too.
- It is best to roast the neem flowers in ghee rather than in oil.
Click this link for more rasam varieties from my kitchen….
This Day That Year….
2011 – Shanyao Gouqi Zhou – A nutritious porridge prepared with Chinese yam and Goji Berries
2010 – Aloo Channa Chaat