n. A sweet sap extracted from the inflorescence of various species of toddy palm and widely consumed in India and other Asian countries, sometimes fermented to produce toddy.
Neera, also called palm nectar, is a sap extracted from the inflorescence of various species of toddy palms and used to quench thirst. Neera extraction is generally performed before sunrise. It is sweet, translucent in colour, and high in nutritional value. It is susceptible to natural fermentation at ambient temperature within a few hours of extraction. Once fermented, Neera becomes toddy. Neera is widely consumed in India, Sri Lanka, Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Myanmar. Neera should not be confused with the juice made from palm fruit. The drink is popular on account of its high nutritive value, delicious taste and agreeable flavor. Its production requires neither mechanical crushing, as in the case of sugarcane, nor leaching, like beet-root; it is obtained by slicing the spathes of the coconut, sago, and Palmyra (Borassus flabellifer L.) palm, and scraping the tendermost part, just below the crown.