Manathakkali/Black Nightshade, till now I have cooked with only the keerai/greens, of course a few berries would be there with the greens, but this is the first time, I have made a dish with the berries alone. These berries are green when raw and turn blackish purple when they ripen, for today's dish we are using the raw green berries. Whenever we go to Chennai, I always remember to buy sundakkai ( turkey berries ) and fresh green peppercorns as I don't find them in Bangalore. This time, my husband had bought these manathakkali kai, mistaking these berries for the green peppercorns. Since I had never cooked these berries, I had to call my co-sister for a recipe and she asked me to do this masiyal with it. Since these berries have a bitter taste, I was not sure about this dish till I tasted it and, to my surprise, the curry tasted so good, didn't have the bitter taste at all. I am not going to say anything about the health benefits of these berries ( there's a lot of information on the net ), but do try out this masiyal, the next time you get these berries. Serve the Manathakkali Kai Masiyal with plain rice along with a vegetable curry and papads for a simple and delicious meal..
Need To Have
- Manathakkali Kai/ Black Nightshade Green Berries - 1/2 cup heaped
- Cooked Tuvar Dal/ Split Pigeon Peas - 1/2 cup
- Tamarind - gooseberry size ball
- Sambar Powder - 3 teaspoons
- Jaggery Powder - 2 teaspoons
- Mustard Seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
- Curry Leaves - 10
- Asafoetida - 1/4 teaspoon
- Salt to taste
Remove the small stems from the berries, wash them well and keep. Heat a teaspoon of oil, add the berries and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, then add a cup of water, bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook till the berries turn soft.
In the meantime, soak the tamarind in about a cup of warm water, then extract the juice and keep. Once the berries are soft, if there is more water, increase the heat and cook till the berries have very little water and then mash the berries.
Now add the tamarind extract, sambar powder and salt to the mashed berries, cover and cook for another 10 minutes till the raw smell of the tamarind and sambar powder goes away. Then add the cooked dal and jaggery, mix, cook for another 2 to 3 minutes and remove.
Heat a little oil, add the mustard seeds, when the seeds start sputtering, add the asafoetida and curry leaves, mix and add it to the curry.
It took me about and hour to remove the stems from 1 cup of berries, you can do it the previous day and keep.
The Masiyal/Curry will be like a thick gravy, so towards the end, add some water ( if needed ) to get the desired consistency.