- 1 medium-sized bunch - manathakkali keerai / black nightshade
- 1/3 cup - toor dal
- a pinch - turmeric powder
- 1 onion, large, finely chopped
- 1 green chili, finely chopped
- 1/2 inch ginger, finely chopped
- 4-5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tomato, finely chopped
- ½ tsp chili powder
- salt as per taste
For the seasoning
- 1 tsp mustard
- 3/4 tsp urad dal
- 3/4 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 red chili
- a pinch asafetida
- 2 tsp oil
If you take a trip back to ancient India, they used herbs as remedies for most diseases. The technology has now advanced to the level that what people used to imagine in a sci-fi movie is closer to becoming a reality. In fact, this is the era where people are living in one. However, the prominence of herbs, especially in India and China has not disappeared. Many families pass their knowledge to their next generation who continue to practice the traditions whether it is certain custom or cooking style. A few herbs are consumed directly, and a few can be cooked and eaten along with the main meal, as a side dish. Manathakkali keerai kootu is one of the side dishes, famous in Tamil Nadu since ancient times.
According to Wikipedia, black nightshade leaves are used to treat mouth ulcers and is a widely used plant in oriental medicine. Though not proven by modern science, ancient texts clarify that they contain antitumorigenic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, diuretic, and antipyretic properties. Black nightshade has been used for stomach irritation, cramps, spasms, pain, and nervousness.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Pay caution while choosing the black nightshade berry. According to WebMD, often people do not distinguish between black nightshade and the more poisonous species, deadly nightshade, which is known as great morel.
How to make Manathakkali Keerai Kootu
TIP: You can substitute manathakkali keerai with spinach or sorrel leaves.