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Manthakkali vatha khuzhambu/dried blacknight shade berry curry
Manthakkali/black night shade berries and leaf is used to cook curries. The berries are also dried and used in curries or fried and eaten along with rice. This curry uses dried berries (check pic 2) that is available in south Indian stores.
The dried berries are salty and tad bitter. It is definitely an acquired taste.
This curry uses tamrind paste/juice as a base and is tangy, sweet and salty. Best paired with plain rice or curd rice.
Here's how to make it
Manthakkali vathal- 2-3 tablespoons
Shallots/sambar onion - 10-15
Garlic - 7-8 (medium sized)
Tomato - 2 small roughly chopped
Tamrind - 1 small lemon sized
Water - 200-300 ml
Chilli powder - 1-1.5 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Gingelly oil/Indian sesame oil - 2 tablespoons
Sambar powder - 2-3 teaspoon
Jaggery powder - 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
Curry leaves - few
Dried red chilli - 1 roughly broken (optional)
Asafoetida - 1/4 teaspoon
Method: in a bowl add water and tamrind. Mash the tamrind to release the juice. Strain and keep it aside. Blend together red chilli powder, sambar powder, few small onions and few garlic with little water. In a saucepan add oil. Once it is warm add mustard seeds, curry leaves and fenugreek seeds. Once it sizzles add the dried berries and fry for 30 seconds. Add asafoetida, shallots, tomatoes and garlic. Saute for a minute. Add the sambar powder paste and turmeric powder. Cook on low flame till raw smell goes. Add the tamrind water and jaggery powder. Mix and check seasonings. The dried berries are salty so add salt only if needed. Cover and cook on low flame for 3-5 minutes.