Manathakkali vatral or dried blacknightshade is my favorite. It is a little bitter but I love bitter veggies. Bittergourd is my favorite vegetable and I can even have it everyday.So when mom prepared Simple South Indian Lunch Thali,she was sure to include manathakkali vatral.

Today’s post is a simple tangy stew to go with steamed rice. Drizzle a little sesame oilover piping hot steamed rice and mix a little tangy stew with it.Ah!!!What a delight!!And if there is a side dish of fried pappad, the meal is heavenly……


Mom used:

Manathakkali vatral – 1/4 cup
Tamarind  – lemon sized ball
Curry leaves – a few
Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
Uraddal-1 teaspoon
Gram dal- 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Jaggery powder- 1 teaspoon
Sesame oil-11/2 tablespoon
Salt to taste

Roast with a little oil and powder

Gram dal- 1 teaspoon
Urad dal- 1 1/2 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
Peppercorns – 1/4 teaspoon
Asafetida powder- a pinch
Red chillies- 2

  1. Soak the tamarind in hot water and extract thick juice and keep aside.You must have approximately 1 cup extract.Keep adding water and squeeze out the extract.Keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and fry the manathakkali vatral till it puffs up and turns golden.Remove and keep aside.
  3. In the same pan, add mustard, gram dal,urad dal,curry leaves,red chillies.
  4. When it splutters ,add the tamarind extract, turmeric power and salt.Bring to boil. Let it simmer till the raw tamarind smell goes off and the tamarind extract reduces a little.
  5. Put in the fried manathakkali vatral.
  6. Dissolve the powder in a little water and pour into the pan.
  7. Simmer and add jaggery.Let it cook for a couple of minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and serve as a side dish with steamed rice.Be sure to drizzle a little sesame oil over the piping hot rice 🙂
Bon Appetit…

19 thoughts on “Manathakkali Vatral Gojju | Tangy Blacknightshade Gravy”

  1. Manathakkali… isnt this whats used in Vethakozhambu? I have had it in my Tam Brahm best friends house many times! Love the bitter-tangy flavour it imparts… though I have never really heard of it in Andhra or even Mumbai.

  2. My mom used to make this very often because we had that tree in our garden. I don't remember much though if it was the dried or fresh ones she used.

    Tangy gojju looks awesome!

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