Vepampoo Pachadi | Neem Flower Raita

I was watching the re-telecast of the talk show Satyamev Jayate,hosted by the the popular Bollywood star - Aamir Khan. Most of you might be aware about this program,else here is a gist. The show which is aptly named Satyamev Jayathe [which means 'Truth Alone Triumphs'],talks about various issues prevalent in the society.Sensitive topics like female infanticide, child sexual abuse,honor killing, physical disability are not only discussed here but also creates a sort of learning process for the masses.It educates the people who may not know how to deal / cope up with with a certain problem .It also brings about social awareness.And I can say it is a hit with the people.

So, this week it was all about pesticide usage and organic farming. The side effects of pesticides on humans was clearly depicted by short interviews with cancer patients. The message was so shocking.

Aamir Khan spoke to one Dr.Ramanjaneyalu who works at the Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Hyderabad,India. In his speech, he mentioned that a study was conducted on an area of 1000 acres of land and the amount spent on pesticides for this land area was INR 50 lakhs!!

Just think of the amount spent and how potent these pesticides must be to kill the pests.More shocking was to understand the harm it can do to us.

He went on to say that there are more than 100 ways to get rid of pests in a natural way without using chemicals like mixing neem / custard apple leaves in water and sprinkling it on the plants etc. Dr.Ramanjaneyalu has also come up with some simple devices that can be used to kill pests.These simple devices cost somewhere between INR 10-15 only!! Many of his methods have been used by farmers as he is conducting programs in villages bringing about awareness on organic farming.

On watching the program,I also learnt that Sikkim is on the road to 100% organic farming and it is the first of its kind in India!The people are committed to becoming the first in 100% organic farming by the year 2015.Great initiative, isn't it...

And when the views asked questions on how the effect of pesticides can be lowered before the nation goes into organic farming, here is what was said.

One way is to soak the fruit / vegetable in salted water for around 15 minutes and then scrub it well and use it as required.The next one is to peel the skin and use.

I felt that when we are all talking about the nutrients under the peel that are so good for us, the use of pesticides make it difficult for us to decide what we need. Pesticide laden vegetable with the nutrients under the peel or a vegetable that is almost free of pesticide because the peel is removed and hence gone are most of the nutrients. Yes, that is a difficult thing to chose from.Until we turn to organic farming , it will be a hard choice to make.

It was also discussed that people who don't mind spending thousands on branded goods hesitate to spend a few extra bucks on organic foods! True ,isn't it...

I have seen a few organic stores in my place and after seeing this program, it makes me want to go there often and get all that is available....

Coming to the last day of blogging marathon, the last recipe with Cooking with flowers -Neem Flowers is a simple Raita....

I used:

Fresh and thick curd / yogurt - 2 cups
Dried neem flowers - 1 tablespoon
Ghee- 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

For seasoning

Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Red chilli - 1
Asafoetida powder- a pinch
Curry leaves -a few
Oil - 1 teaspoon

  1. Heat ghee in a small pan and saute the neem flowers till fragrant.Keep aside.
  2. Whisk the curd / yogurt with salt.
  3. Heat oil for seasoning and put in the ingredients needed to season.
  4. When the mustard splutters, pour into the whisked curd.
  5. Add the neem flowers and mix well.
Serve as a side dish with sambar rice or any oither flavored rice varieties.

Note :

As I have been saying in the past 2 posts, use ghee for frying the neem leave. Do not use oil.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#17

Earlier in this months edition of Blogging Marathon...

Week - 1 Sun Dried Products

Day 1 - Sun dried Pressed Rice Crisps
Day 2 - Sundried Rice Crisps
Day 3 - Sundried Potato Chips

Week - 2 Kids delight - Evening snacks / Tiffins

Day 1 - Crisp Paneer Fingers
Day 2 -Onion Podi Idli
Day 3 - Eggless Mango Cake

Week -3 - Revisiting Old Posts with New Pics

Day 1 - Mango Milkshake
Day 2 - Mom's Rasam
Day 3 - Punjabi Rajma Masala

Week - 4 - Cooking with flowers

Day 1 - Neem flower rasam
Day 2 - Neem flower rice

Bon Appetit...

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