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, and other times we prepare this with/ without lentils. Here I have added spicy coconut paste and cooked green gram lentils (moong dal) for making manathakkali keerai kootu.
Manathakkali keerai kootu recipe:
I prefer to temper the shallots (sambar vengayam) in cold-pressed coconut oil for adding a delicious flavor to any keerai kootu. This kootu goes well with any sambar, rasam, or kuzhambu except morkuzhambu.
- Leaves of black nightshadow (manathakkali keerai) – 1 cup
- Cooked green gram (veha vaitha paasi paruppu) – 1/4 cup
- Salt – 3/4 tsp
- Coconut – 6 pieces (2 inch each)
- Cumin seeds (jeeragam) – 1 tsp
- Green chillies – 2 Nos.
- Shallots (chinna vengayam) – 7 Nos.
- Coconut oil – 1 tsp
- Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Shallots – 15 Nos
- 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.