Manathakkali keerai kootu

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I never seem to remember what Manathakkali is called in English. I google it every single time including this time :). Manathakkali aka Black Night shade is a plant that has immense medicinal qualities. Manathakkali is said to help heal mouth & stomach ulcers. It acts as a healing component and is one of the most important ingredient in Indian medicine.

We have been fortunate to have been able to grown manthakkali in our veggie patch this season. We get to pluck the leaves and make kootu/ stir fry fresh :). Manathakkali is one of those plants where you can consume the leaves/ flowers/ both green & ripened fruit of the plant. I have gone ahead and used the flowers along with the leaves in this dish. We have mixed some curd, turmeric and salt with the unripe fruit and have let it sun dry in order to make manathakkali vathal.

And oh, this gorgeous dish in which I have taken the pic is a gift from my very good friend (the baker one.. this ref is for the ones who know me or follow my blog) Accu! It’s such a regal looking dish worthy of holding the regal manathakkali :).

Manathakkali keerai kootu
  • a big bunch manathakkali keerai 2c when cleaned, washed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup moong dal
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • a handful fresh coriander leaves
To grind together
  • 1/3 cup grated coconut
  • 2 nos long dried red chillies
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
Prep work
  1. Wash/ rinse moong dal thrice, place it in a bowl, add 1.5c water, 1/4t turmeric powder and pressure cook the dal for 5-6 whistles. Let the pressure release normally.

  2. Meanwhile, de-stem the manathakkali leaves, wash the leaves and chop it roughly. Set it aside.

  3. Wash the coriander leaves and chop it finely.

  4. Place 1/3c grated coconut, 2 dried red chillies, 1t cumin seeds in a mixer jar, add 2T water and grind all this into a smooth paste. Set it aside.

Making the kootu
  1. Heat a heavy bottom vessel/ pan on low-medium heat, add the manathakkali leaves, 1/4t salt, close with a lid.

  2. Let the leaves cook and wilt. This will take 7-10 mins.

  3. Once the leaves are cooked well (the quantity would have reduced by 1/3rd typically), add the cooked moong dal, the coconut paste.

  4. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it bubble for 2-3 mins. Check & adjust for salt.

  5. Finally add chopped coriander leaves and turn off the heat.

  6. Heat a small pan, add 1t ghee and saute 1t cumin seeds till it splutters.

  7. Top this seasoning onto the kootu and your kootu is good to be served.

Recipe Notes
  1. I typically have kootu mixed with rice. However, you can use it as a side dish for chapathi as well or have it as a side dish for sambhar/ rasam rice. 
  2. You can make this more (or less) spicy based on your preference. Add or reduce the red chillies while grinding. 
  3. You can make this kootu more watery if you prefer it that way. 

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