Manathakkali Puli Kulambu

While in Pondicherry, There was a kitchen garden in the back of our home. There were so many manathakkali plants. These are also called as milagu thakkali (as the berries resemble pepper) or night shade berries.  As a kid, I was very much interested in plants. My granny used to maintain the garden. We used to collect all the berries and my mom used to prepare this delicious gravy for us. When I saw a plant in my garden, I remembered those childhood days. I collected those cute berries and prepared the gravy. To my delight my daughter also liked this gravy. She took it in her lunch box to her school. This goes very well with rice and appalam. The method of preparing the berries is here.

Manathakkali/ Night Shade Berry-1/8cup
Pearl Onions-12
Tamarind-a small marble sized ball
Sambar Powder-1tsp
Salt-to taste
Till Oil-4tbs
Mustard Urad Dhal Mix-1tsp
Methi Powder-a pinch
Curry Leaves-1 sprig

1. Heat oil and splutter mustard urad dhal.
2. Add curry leaves and hing.
3. Add the halved pearl onions and saute till golden.
4. Add the berries and saute for a minute.
5. Soak tamarind and extract juice.
6. Add the tamarind juice, salt, turmeric and sambar powder.
7. Allow it to boil on low flame. Keep the pan covered until oil separates.
8. Serve hot with rice and accompany it with appalam. You need to prepare extra rice for this gravy. It is that delicious...

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