Leaves, Flowers [Indian Lilac; Sadao, Sdao (Thai); Kadao (Laos); Vepa, Vepa Pootha {flowers} (India - Dravidian); Vempu (Tamil); Neem (Bengali); Mwarobaini (Swahili); Azadirachta indica]

This fast growing tree ranges from Persia through Southeast Asia, parts of Africa and has been introduced to other parts of the world. In India and mainland Southeast Asia young shoots and flowers are eaten as a vegetable, though they are somewhat bitter, and are used in pickles. Throughout its range Neem is known as a most powerful medicinal plant, also as an insect repellant. All parts of the tree are used, and oil from the seeds is used in cosmetics. Photo by Gpics distributed under license Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike v2.5.

More on Mahogany

Fronds Buying & Storing:   I've found this in the freezer cases of one Asian market in Los Angeles (Hawaii Supermarket). It is best kept frozen until used. The photo to the left shows these shoots with flower buds after thawing. Of course you would not attempt to eat the stick the shoots sprout from. These were harvested in Thailand and labeled "Frozen Sadao".

Cooking:   Shoots of this sort are cooked as a vegetable, but due to their significant bitterness they are not liked by all. One strategy used is to cook them with Tamarind to provide sweetness and tartness.

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