Manathakkali keerai known as Night shade green is a type of green commonly found in Tamilnadu. For last almost a year, I am getting organic greens to delivered to my house. The vendor delivers 5 bunches random greens available in season.It has got its own problems like cleaning and storing greens for week, and sometimes I get some greens which I do not even know to cook. But on the advantage side, there is always greens available in the fridge and I am forced to cook them. This process ensures that atleast in one meal I have the greens included. I could see the difference it has brought in my health. i am totally loving it.
This time my vendor delivered Manathakkali Keerai along with the rest. Manathakkali is grown widely in Tamilnadu and has very high medicinal and nutritional value. This Keerai/greens is a shrub commonly grown in the backyard. It is used as a home remedy for mouth ulcers and loaded with vitamins. We sun dry the fruit of the plant along with curd and use it in Vathakuzhambu.
Poricha Kootu is a type of dal and is one of the standard lunch menu item in traditional Tanjore cuisine. It is a dish similar to Sambar/Rasam made without Puli. As a green Manathakkali has slight bitterness and is generally cooked with Moong dal. Therefore my mother used to add drumstick or snake guard to the Kootu to offset the bitterness. My younger son likes drumstick with keerai and eats without fuzz.
Here is the simple and traditional way of making this dish. Do try this and let me know your feedback.
Manathakkali Keerai Poricha Kootu
Recipe Cuisine: Indian |Recipe Category: Lunch
Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 20 min | Serves – 4
Manathakkali keerai/Night shade – 1 bunch
Drumstick – 1 Nos
Moong dal – 3 tablespoon
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Salt – to taste
Whole de-skinned Urad dal – ½ Tablespoon
Coriander seeds/Dhania – ½ Tablespoon
Whole red chilli – 2
Pepper corns – 1/2 tsp
Jeera – ½ Tsp
Coconut (Scrapped) – 2 tablespoon
Oil – 1 Tablespoon
Mustard – ½ Tsp
Split urad dal – ½ tablespoon
Jeera – ½ Tsp
Curry leaves – 1 Spring
- Clean Manathakkali keerai by removing the leaves alone. You can include the flowers and fruit, if present in the bunch. One bunch of green will yield one packed cup of greens. Wash them and roughly chop the greens.
- Cut the drumstick into 1’’inch long pieces (Mine are bit long as you can see in the pictures).
- Cook the moong dal with turmeric powder in pressure cooker. Cook the green and the drumstick pieces separately. Green can be cooked in tawa itself as it normally takes about 3 minutes when covered. By this time greens would have cooked and it should be in bright green color. Ensure that you are not over cooking the green as it destroys its nutritional values. For the want of time, I added drumstick pieces along with the dal. If you are doing so, you need to be careful as all of these have different cooking points.
- Now mix the cooked vegetables with dal in a container along with salt and keep aside.
- In a kadai, add oil and heat. Once heated add urad dal, coriander seeds, chilli and pepper corn and fry till golden. Switch off and add jeera. In a mixer, grind these along with shredded coconut to form a smooth paste.
- Combine this paste with the cooked dal and veggies and bring to boil stirring often.
- Temper with the items given in temper list.
You can eat it as side dish and I love to eat it as it is with rice.
Related: You may be interested in Kothamalli Thogayal recipe also. Do try and let me know your feedback
- You can adjust quantity of chilli and pepper corn to taste.
- Otherwise use the measurements given above as Kootu should be dominated by vegetables with dals and spice paste binding them.