Vempampoo Rice Recipe (Dried Neem Flowers Rice)

Vempampoo or Dried neem flowers are generally used in various tamil cooking recipes. This is a simple but very healthy recipe of tempering of dried neem flavours with spices and finally tossing the black rice with them. I generally take these flowers from my mom’s place where we have a neem tree. The flowers would automatically fall down between march to may month. So we generally put a cloth below the tree and collect these flowers. The process does not stop here, we would then dry them up in the sun for 2 days and clean the flowers by removing the neem sticks and neem leaves which fall along with the flowers. We generally collect these flowers and store them for a year.  Black Rice, Oil, Asafoetida (hing), White Urad Dal (Split), Dried Neem Flowers, Dry Red Chilli, Curry leaves   1 cup Black Rice , cooked For temperingOil , or ghee as required 1/3 teaspoon Asafoetida (hing) 1/2 teaspoon White Urad Dal (Split) 2 teaspoons Dried Neem Flowers 1 Dry Red Chilli Few Curry leaves     320   50     To begin making the Vepampoo Rice recipe, we will first cook the black rice.If you are cooking in electric rice cooker there is no need to soak this rice, however if you are cooking black rice in pressure cooker, you must soak for a minimum of 6 to 8 hours.Cook rice with the required water till the cooker releases atlas 6 whistles as black rice takes time to cook.The next step is to temper the black rice. Heat oil or ghee in a heavy bottomed pan. Once the oil is hot, add hing, red dry chilli, urad dal, dried neem flowers. Add all of them together at one go.Once the neem flower is cooked, add the cooked black rice. The indication of neem flower being cooked is urad dal becomes brownish in colour.Add salt, mix well and cook for 2 minutes and it is ready to be served. Serve Vepampoo Rice along with Onion Tomato Cucumber Raita, Tadka Raita or any other raita of your choice.