Manathakkali keerai kootu

Black nightshadow (manathakali keerai) is one of the common plants grown in the kitchen gardens in Tamilnadu. Children like to take tiny red/ black berries and chew their leaves as they are useful to treat mouth ulcers. Manathakkali leaves are also useful for adults to treat stomach ulcers and to protect the liver. Still, people in rural TamilnaduIt use these greens to treat Hepatitis. We prepare keerai kootu in different ways: sometimes we prepare kootu with/ without coconut, or we prepare with/ without lentils. Here I have added spicy coconut paste and cooked green gram lentils (moong dal) for making manathakkali keerai kootu.

img_5010-scaled Manathakkali keerai kootu
Manathakkali Keerai kootu

Manathakkali keerai kootu recipe:

We prepare kootu in different ways, you may check out all my kootu recipes here. Here I have added spicy coconut paste along with cooked green gram lentils (moong dal) for making manathakkali keerai kootu. Also I have tempered the shallots (sambar vengayam) in cold-pressed coconut oil for adding a delicious flavor. Generally, keerai kootu goes well with any sambar, rasam, or kuzhambu except mor kuzhambu.

Main ingredients:

  1. Leaves of black nightshadow (manathakkali keerai) – 1 cup
  2. Cooked green gram (veha vaitha paasi paruppu) – 1/4 cup
  3. Salt – 3/4 tsp

Coconut spice mix:

  1. Coconut – 6 pieces (2 inch each)
  2. Cumin seeds (jeeragam) – 1 tsp
  3. Green chillies – 2 Nos.
  4. Shallots (chinna vengayam) – 7 Nos.


  1. Coconut oil – 1  tsp
  2. Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  3. Shallots – 15 Nos
  4. Curry leaves – 2 sprigs

How to prepare keerai kootu:

  • Wash & chop greens (keerai) and steam them in a steamer.
  • Grind all ingredients for grinding into a fine paste.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, when spluttered add curry leaves & chopped shallots and saute them till translucent.
  • Add steamed keerai, cooked lentils & coconut paste and mix well.
  • Add salt & water (1/4 cup) and bring it to a boil.
  • Serve keerai kootu with hot rice.
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