Manathakkali Vathal Kuzhambu

There are lots of healthy benefits from manathakkali ,also said to be as European black nightshade or simply as black nightshade plant.The leaves are this plant are used for treating mouth ulcers and stomach pains,which is cookied like greens along with dal.This plant also yields small berries or fruits,they can either be used fresh or dried and used in gravies.Even more medicinal benefits are with manathakali plant.

The dried berries of this plant can be used in gravies or simply fried in oil and made as a sidedish for rasam or curd rice.The dried berries are said as vathal in tamil language.I have made a gravy,vathal kuzhambu, using these dried berries,there are many varieties of vathal kuzhambu,its a one of these.This healthy and simple gravy recipe comes below as...


serves 2-3

Manathakkali Vathal (dried) - 2 tsp
Small Onion - a handful
Tomatao - 1 small
Tamarind juice/pulp - (small lemon size)
Garlc pods - few (optional)
For the Vathal Kuzhambu Powder
Fenugreek Seeds - 1 tsp
Coriander Seeds - 3.5 tsp
Dried Red Chilli - 2 nos
Pepper - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves - few

For Tempering

Fenugreek Seeds - few
Mustard Seeds - few
Curry Leaves - few
Gingely Oil - as needed
Salt - as needed


  • In a heavy bottomed kadai dry roast the ingredients mentioned under vathal kuzhambu powder.Transfer to a bowl allow to cool .In the same kadai add some oil and roast small onions and allow to cool.Also add some oil and fry the dried manathakkali berries.Meanwhile extract the tamarind juice and keep aside.In a mixer grind the masala for vathal kuzhambu ,keep it separate and also grind the small onions to a paste and keep it aside.In a kadai add some oil and temper with mustard and fenugreek seeds,then add the garlic pods.

  • Add the onion paste and add some oil and saute them.Then add tomato ,salt and curry leaves again saute them until the tomato looks well cooked.

  • Then add the vathal kuzhambu powder ,saute for a while and add the tamarind pulp and some boiling hot water.Add the fried manathakkali berries.The gravy should be watery after adding water.When the gravy starts boiling add some gingely oil and allow the gravy to reduce to 1/4th its volume and when you find the oil separating from the gravy the garvy is done.

  • Serve with hot rice along with pappad.