Mananthakkali (Black Nightshade) Cabbage Poriyal - 3 ingredients cooking

I loved the last elimination challenge in Masterchef Australia Season 4 - cooking with 8 ingredients in the first round, 5 in the second and 3 in the last.  Cooking up recipes with just 3 ingredients and staples sounds like a lot of fun.  The staple in indian cooking would be a basic tadka with mustard and jeera (heat oil, add mustard jeera, let it pop then use as desired).  I would also add turmeric, green/red chili, salt to the staples list.

Mananthakkali or Black Nightshade has been around since paleolithic time, predates agriculture, used medicinally, healthy and high in antioxidants like most other greens, forms famine food in famine hit Africa but it is considered a weed amongst cultivated crops like cotton!  Sad no? 

It is a tad bitter and only my MIL and I liked the chutney I made with it a while ago.  I disguise the keerai in other dishes - Sambhar, Salad etc...  I love the dried berry and use it invariably when I make vatral kuzhambu.

1/4 cabbage chopped finely (White better)
1/2 bunch black nightshade (mananthakkali keerai), cleaned and finely chopped
1 tbspoon grated fresh coconut

staples:
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp jeera
3 red chillies


Heat oil, add the staples and wait for the mustard to pop
Add the keerai and saute until it looks fairly dry
Add the cabbage and saute.  Add salt.
Add half cup water and cook covered for 5 - 8 minutes until cabbage wilts and all the water is absorbed.
Add the coconut and stirfry until coconut loses its bright white colour.

Serve with rice or flatbreads.


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