Veppampoo Pachadi

Generally, we prefer to welcome every new beginning with sweets, but we follow a unique tradition of preparing an elaborate meal of different flavours (arusuvai virudhu) on the occasion of Chithirai Vishu (New Year) celebrated on the 14th or 15th of April every year. It is actually an Ayurvedic tradition to stimulate all the parts of our palate by taking a nourishing meal of six flavours like sweet, sour, bitter, astringent, salt & pungent. This also encourages us to embrace each season, or every change in our life gracefully. So we never miss to include the bitter ingredient, neem flower that blooms plentifully in this season, into our New Year feast (Vishu sadhya). We prepare the traditional veppampoo pachadi, a confluence of all the six tastes, using neem flowers and many other ingredients.

IMG_4728 Veppampoo Pachadi
Tamil New Year Feast

We also prepare astringent raw jackfruit poriyal, tangy mixed vegetable aviyal, spicy rasam, sweet payasam, etc. of various flavors & textures to welcome our Tamil New Year. You can also check out our specialty recipes prepared for Chithirai Vishu here

vp5 Veppampoo Pachadi
Arusuvai Virundhu for Chithirai Vishu

Veppampoo pachadi recipe:

We prepare veppampoo pachadi using conflicting ingredients like bitter neem flowers & tangy mango, sweet jaggery & hot red chilli powder. So it has a unique indistinctive taste that would stimulate almost all the parts of our palate. My grandmother always prepare this pachadi using unripe mangoes along with brinjals as brinjals help to decrease vata dosha aggravated by unripe mango. Now let’s look into the recipe for veppampoo pachadi:

Time taken: 20 min.
Yields: 300 ml

IMG_4691-scaled Veppampoo Pachadi
Veppampoo pachadi

Ingredients:

  1. Unripe mangoes – 2 Nos. (small)
  2. Brinjal (eggplant/ kathrikkai) – 1 No.
  3. Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  4. Salt – ¼ tsp
  5. Powdered jaggery – ½ cup (100 g)
  6. Ghee – ½ tsp
  7. Dried neem flowers (veppam poo) – 1 tbsp

For tempering:

  1. Ghee – 1 tsp
  2. Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
  3. Curry leaves – 1 sprig
IMG_4644-scaled Veppampoo Pachadi
Veppampoo pachadi ingredients

Cooking Instructions:

  • Peel mangoes, chop them into thin slices as shown below.
  • Chop brinjal into thin slices.
vp1 Veppampoo Pachadi
  • In a cooking bowl add mangoes, brinjal, red chilli powder and water (50 ml).
  • Microwave them for 7 min. (Alternatively you can cook them on stove top until mushy)
  • Meanwhile fry neem flowers in ghee (½ tsp) in medium flame.
  • Powder them using mortar & pestle and leave aside.
vp2 Veppampoo Pachadi
  • Prepare the tempering as shown below and keep aside.
vp4 Veppampoo Pachadi
  • When mango & brinjal are cooked soft, add salt & powdered jaggery.
  • Mix them well and microwave again for 3 min.
  • Now add tempering, powdered neem flowers and water (100 ml or more according to your required consistency) and cook for another 3 min.
  • Now sweet, sour & bitter veppampoo pachadi is ready to serve.
vp3 Veppampoo Pachadi
Veppampoo pachadi recipe

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