Black night shade greens soup

black nightshade soup featured image

Manathakali keerai thanni saaru

Black nightshade / Solanum nigrum or manathakali as we call it is one such green leafy vegetable that has immense medicinal value. Come mouth ulcers,  and immediately mom will make some recipe out of these greens. Black nightshade soup soothes the tummy and makes it feel so good.

In my home place of Tamilnadu, this green is available all round the year. Though it comes up like a weed in moist soil, the vendors normally sell it at a price higher than the other greens.

I know most of you must have seen this plant, but ignored it coz you did not know its value. I have seen this plant just about anywhere in Qatar.

That is why I have chosen this as my first soup recipe. Further details on these greens coming up soon on a separate post.

Black night shade greens/ manathakali keerai

Black nightshade greens

So friends in Qatar, please look out for these greens and cook them up. It has a slightly bitter taste akin to drumstick leaves, which can be mellowed down by the way we cook them.

You can prepare them as you would the other greens. I have quite a few recipes coming up, and this one is the first of them.

This has been prepared the way it is made in our countrysides, making small changes as it suits us. This soup is pretty quick and simple and is one of the best ways to consume these greens.

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I served the soup in these beautiful eco-friendly coconut shell cups .

So let’s get to it.

Black night shade soup/ Manathakali thanni saaru recipe
(Adapted from Jan'14 issue of aval vikatan magazine supplementary)
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 2 people
Author: Hema
  • a good tight handfull of greens
  • 4 pearl onions
  • 1 green chilly
  • 1 cup rice washed water(also called arisi mandi/kazhani)
  • 1 cup medium thick coconut milk
  • 1 tsp corn flour(optional)
  • 2 tsp oil
  • salt (as needed)
  • pepper powder (as needed)
  • sugar(as needed)
  • Slice the onions and the greens as finely as possible. Slit the green chilly. (If you are looking for a spicy version, then slit the green chillies also finely. Alternately you can avoid it and increase the quantity of pepper ).
  • Take oil in a pan. I normally use my mud pot for this. Add the onion, green chilly, and the greens and fry well till the greens are wilted.
    Manathakali soup steps 1-3
  • Add the rice water and allow it to cook completely.
  • To the coconut milk add the cornflour and keep ready.
  • Once the soup starts boiling and the leaves are cooked well, add the coconut milk - corn flour mix and stir continuously till the soup thickens. Do not boil after adding coconut milk, as it will thin out.
  • Add salt, pepper powder and sugar to taste .
  • Switch off  and serve.

Hema’s P.S

  • Rice water is the water you get when you wash rice before cooking.
  • The addition of rice water and coconut milk totally nullifies the bitterness of the leaves.
  • You can have it like rasam with rice. In that case, avoid cornflour and just add the coconut milk.
  • As it requires only a handful of the greens, you can make it whenever you come across this plant in your locality.

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