Manathakkali vathakozhambu/Gravy with "Black NIghtshade"

Vathakozhambu is an authentic dish of Tamilnadu, which when had with rice, is the most delicious dish.This can be made with various kinds of ‘vathals’ (fryums).Vegetables may also be substituted in this process.

Here is one of the types of vathakozhambu.This is using a berry like fruit called ‘manathakkali’ in Tamil.After a little googling, I found that it is called Black Nightshade in English.It has a lot of health benefits.Below are the pictures of manathakkali , the first one being the fresh fruits from the plant,green ones are unripe and black-ish ones are ripe.The second pic is a completely dried version of the same.We are gonna use the dried version in our recipe today.

Heat oil(2 or 3 tbspns) in a kadai and add mustard seeds.Once they splutter, add a pinch of hing or asafoetida,1 tspn cumin seeds,1 tspn chana dal,little bit of fenugreek seeds ,one red chilly and curry leaves and fry for a while.Once the ingredients start giving the aroma, add quarter cup of dried manathakkali to this and fry well till the color changes.Now add tamarind extract (2 cups) and add a pinch of turmeric powder,2 and a half tspns sambar powder and salt(as needed).Allow the mixture to boil well. Check for consistency.If it is too watery, add 1 tspn of rice flour or wheat flour to allow it to thicken.

Yummy and healthy manathakkali vathakozhambu is ready to be served with plain rice or even curd rice.

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