Manathakkali Keerai Kootu ( Black Nightshade in Moong Dhal ) or Spinach Recipe

Keerai or Spinach (any Spinach Recipe) is a most favourite dish for my husband. He likes all keerai among that manathakkali keerai is his favourite. Manathakkali keerai is one of the best remedies for stomach and mouth ulcer. Consume this keerai at least once a week, it has lots of health benefits. Making kootu from manathakkali keerai is very simple and also a healthy recipe. This keerai gives a slightly bitter taste, that’s why manathakkali kootu is preferred than manathakklai poriyal as moong dhaal reduces its bitter taste.


Manathakkali keerai – 1 bundle
Moong dhaal (Siru paruppu) – 50 g
Onion – 3 medium size
Tomato – 2 medium size
Green chillies – 3 nos
Garlic – 1 whole
Oil – 50 ml
Red chillies – 2
Cumin – 1 tsp
Mustard – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Curry leaves – few
Salt – to taste


  • Separate leaves and berries of manathakkali keerai from its stem. Wash it in tap water.
  • Wash the dhaal and strain water from it.
  • Chop onions and tomatoes to big cubes.
  • Peel the garlic and keep it aside.
  • In a pressure pan add keerai and dhaal.
  • To these onions, tomatoes, green chillies, garlic, turmeric powder, asafoetida, cumin seeds and ½ cup water.
  • Close the pressure, switch on the stove and wait for three whistles.
  • Remove the pressure pan from the stove after 3 whistles.
  • Once the pressure is released open the pan, add salt and mash the keerai.
  • Keerai along with moong dhaal should be mashed properly.
  • In a small kadai/pan add oil, once it is hot add mustard seeds, red chillies & curry leaves.
  • After it is tempered add this to mashed keerai and mix well.



  • You can use any cooking oil. Oil I used here is refined sunflower oil.
  • Adjust green chillies according to your taste. If you want it as too spicy then 3 is OK, if not you can reduce the numbers to 2 or even 1 is OK.
  • Wash keerai 2 – 3 times in water. Usually, I don’t prefer washing keerai in running water. I wash keerai in a large bowl/vessel full of water. This will make the sand to settle at the bottom and keerai to float.
  • Don’t omit berries of the keerai, it has lots of medicinal properties.
  • Here i used moong dhaal but some people add red gram dhaal ( thuvaram paruppu ).
  • Keerai must be mashed well if you think that mashing is a problem for you then chop the keerai into fine pieces before adding it to the pressure pan. I used to mash all keerai in a specially designed mud pot. You can buy it in place where mud pots/ earthen wares are sold.
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