When I got pregnant, along with being busy buying clothes and other stuff for the baby, I was also kept busy collecting things like neem flowers, as it is a part of the breast feeding diet. We get plenty of neem flowers during Tamil new year time, so we usually collect it at that time, dry and store it. After my delivery, every day for lunch, I was given a small bowl of fried neem flowers, garlic rasam and bitter gourd fry. Every day there will be garlic rasam and I will alternate between bitter gourd and neem flower fry. Consuming neem flowers during breast feeding does a lot of good things for the mother. It prevents stomach indigestion and keeps the body from infections. New mothers are very vulnerable to falling sick, due to lack of sleep, tiredness and stress due to taking care after the never ending demands of a new born. New mothers diet has been very thoughtfully planned and has been followed for centuries to keep them healthy and to help their body heal after child birth. Make sure to plan and make all these things, when you are pregnant else you won't have the energy to search for ingredients with a new born child. To make the neem flower fry, collect fresh neem flowers, soak them in butter milk for a few hours, sun dry and store them in an air tight box. I always dry and use it as it is, it was my cousin who suggested the idea of soaking it in butter milk, as it greatly reduces the bitterness in the fried neem flowers. We always use clarified butter/ ghee to fry the neem flowers and it gives it a nice flavor too. The neem flowers burn easily, so be careful while frying. I usually eat the neem flowers as it is, but you can use it in salads or soups, if you don't like to eat it as it is.
1. Collect fresh neem flowers and separate the flowers alone separately. You can also soak it in butter milk for few hours before sun drying it completely.
2. Sun dry it under hot sun till it is completely dry.
3. Heat a small heavy bottomed pan with clarified butter, add a pinch of asafoetida. Add the neem flowers and fry till golden brown along with a pinch of salt.
4. Have it along with your lunch. Store the left over dried neem flowers in an airtight box.
You can also store bought dried neem flowers.
Adding asafoetida is optional, if adding add only a pinch.
If you over fry the neem flowers, it will turn bitter.
Dried neem flowers store well.
Soaking in butter milk reduces the bitterness.
Consume this at least weekly thrice to keep yourself healthy, when you are breast feeding.