Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fresh Black NightShade & Tamarind Gravy/ Manathakkaali kai Pulikuzhambu

Fresh Black Nightshades -1/4cup
Tamarind Juice(thick)-1/4cup
Vathakuzhambu masala powder-1tablespoon[I have used "Sakthi masala Vatha kuzhambu powder". Can be replaced by Chilly and Coriander powders.]
Jaggery-a tiny piece
Gingelly oil-1tablespoon
Grated Coconut-2tablespoons
Mustard seeds-1/2teaspoon
Shallots -8 (or) Red onion-1
Green chilly-1
Turmeric powder-1/8teaspoon
Few curry leaves
Black Nightshade Plant/Manathakkali chedi which is fondly called as "Sukkutti Chedi" in Coimbatore area is a common plant back home.  We get these greens in big bunches from local markets/street vendors. The leaves, fruit, unripe fruit of this plant are edible and have great medicinal properties. 

But here in US, its difficult to find this plant(at least, I thought so! ;)).  Long back, I spotted a plant during our local hike and plucked a few fruits with the hope that I can grow a plant in my patio garden.  But first time was no charm. Next time I saw the plant growing in a friend's house, whenever I go to her house,  used to bring a few fruits and sow them in the pots. But, that also didn't work.  After a long time, all of a sudden one tiny plant started growing in one of the pots. I got a strong doubt and took care of the seedling, to my surprise, its a Black Nightshade plant! :))) 

I was on cloud 9 and eagerly waiting for the fruit. The plant gave me lot of fruits and one fine day I decided to pluck all the unripe fruits and made this lip smacking pulikuzhambu/vatha kuzhambu.
Wash the black nightshade veggie well and keep it aside.
Grind the coconut with little water to a fine paste. 
Heat gingelly oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. 
Add the chopped onion, green chilly...fry till the onions become transparent. 
Now add the washed black nightshade veggie and fry till they shrink. (say 2-3 minutes on medium heat)
Add the chopped tomato, turmeric powder, enough salt and cook until the tomatoes become soft and mushy.
Add the tamarind juice and let it boil nicely.
Now add the coconut paste, vatha kuzhambu powder and adjust the water according to the desired consistency of the kuzhambu.
Reduce the heat to medium low and let the gravy thicken for 5-6 minutes or until the desired consistency is reached and the oil oozes out from the kuzhambu.
Now add the jaggery and curry leaves, put off the flame.
Tangy and slightly bitter, delicious and healthy manathakkali kai kuzhambu is ready.
This kuzhambu is a perfect pair for white rice, idli and dosa. Personally we prefer to have it with wheat dosa or normal dosa! :)
It will be difficult to get this fresh veggie even back in India! If you have a big Manathakkali plant(s) at home then you can think of this kuzhambu. But the dry vathals are always handy and you can keep the vathal in the freezer for long time. Before having the plant in my garden, I use to prepare the same kuzhambu, with dry Black Nightshades. 
Manathakkali Vatha Kuzhambu


  1. Thats interesting to make puli kuzhambu with fresh berries..fingerlicking gravy.

  2. Delicious and yummy looking kuzhambu. Wonderfully prepared.

  3. fingerlicking awesome puli kuzhambu.

  4. Yummy kuzhambu,I just love the flavor of manathakali,great recipe

  5. Missing my mom now, very nice curry.

  6. //If you have a big Manathakkali plant(s) at home then you can think of this kuzhambu.// ok. will try when my plants grow big. ;)

  7. Black nightshade is new to me. Lovely gravy, must be delicious with homegrown produce :)


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