Black nightshade shrub has been proved to have a compound useful for treating liver cancer. The compound—Uttroside-B—isolated from the plant as part of an ongoing research programme of the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) has been granted the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) ‘orphan drug’ designation.
The leaves of ‘Manathakkali’, a perennial shrub (Solanum nigrum) common in the backyards of houses and along pathways of Kerala, have immense properties to protect the human body’s largest internal organ from uncontrollable cell growth, said a team of scientists with RGCB working in the project.
Manathakkali (both the berries and the spinach) is a ‘go-to’ home remedy to combat mouth ulcers.Manathakkali is rich in riboflavin, calcium, niacin, iron, phosphorous and Vitamin C. It’s known to cure urinary infections and as a remedy for constipation.
We can prepare Manathakkali vathal kulambu
Manathakkali vathal kulambu recipe does have health benefits.The berries help in digestion as well as even help in getting rid of stomach infections. This kuzhambu also improves the appetite.This recipe and method gives you a really tasty and tongue-tickling curry.
In a bowl take 1 lemon sized tamarind ball or 1 tablespoon tightly packed tamarind. Preferably use aged and dark tamarind.
Add 1 cup hot water. Cover and soak tamarind for 20 to 30 minutes.Squeeze the tamarind and extract the tamarind pulp in the water. Keep aside.
Heat 3 tablespoons sesame oil (gingelly oil) in a pan. Keep flame to a low and add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds.Let the mustard seeds crackle.
Keep the flame to a low and then add ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds, 1 to 2 dry red chilies (halved and seeds removed), 8 to 10 curry leaves and 1 pinch asafoetida (hing).
Fry and stir till the red chilies change color.Keeping the flame to a low, now add 3 tablespoons manathakkali vathal (sun dried black nightshade).
Stirring continuously, fry for some seconds till the color of manathakkali changes. Make sure you do not burn them. Add 1.5 to 2 tablespoons sambar powder.
Fry for 1 minute switching off the flame. You can even fry at a low flame. But do make sure that the sambar powder does not get burnt.Add the tamarind pulp.
Pour 2 cups water.Give a stir.Add salt as per taste.
Mix well and let this vatha kuzhambu come to a boil on medium-low flame for about 25 to 30 minutes.continue to simmer till the curry or gravy thickens slightly. you will see some oil specks on the top.Then add 1 teaspoon rice flour. Adding rice flour is optional and can be skipped.Add ½ teaspoon jaggery. Adding jaggery is also optional.
Mix well and continue to simmer vatha kuzhambu for 4 to 5 minutes more. After you switch off the flame you should clearly see a layer of oil after allowing the kuzhambu to rest for 1 to 2 minutes. Check the taste and add more salt if required.
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