As a young child, I would keep eating this tiny berry that grew wild in our backyard. I didn’t know its name, but loved the taste. As an adult, my mother-in-law introduced me to Manathakkali vathal (Sun dried vegetable). My father would make this Vathal and Sundakkai (Turkey Berry) vathal at home, but I don’t remember Amma using it extensively at all. My mother anyway doesn’t like Sambar without dal and I don’t like Sambar with dal :):).
What is Manathakkali ?
Its a night shade. The leaves are also edible and have all sorts of health benefits. The tiny berries look like peppercorns. They start out being green in colour and turn black when ripe. The ripe berries are soaked in curd and Sun dried. The Sun dried Vathal stays for years ! The Manathakkali vatha Kuzhambu is how I use it regularly.
The leaves are made into a curry and help in curing stomach and mouth ulcers besides indigestion.
US FDA Nod ..
A few days back the humble Manathakkali was in the news because the US FDA had approved its use in treating liver cancer ! Here is the news item – Kerala’s local herb ‘Manathakkali’ approved for liver cancer, research gets US FDA nod.
This herb is extensively used all over South India. The Hindi name is “Makoi” and apparently it grows wild in the North too ! I haven’t seen it but will start looking for it now.
Am happy that the US FDA gave its approval for this humble herb …. for Indians to use anything, the US FDA approval means a lot 🙄. Yes, am being sarcastic because when our grandmothers tell us something is good for health, we ignore. The same thing when told by Americans suddenly becomes a fad ! The 5000+ year old Ayurveda is alternative medicine in its birthplace while Allopathic treatments are standard.
A few months back, I saw this posted on Kiran Kumar’s FB timeline.
Add Manathakkali to this list besides Brahmi and Ashwagandha 😃.
Hey, am happy for the world to adopt Ayurveda, Yoga and Meditation – they are sure shot ways to stay healthy, but I just want Indians to adopt them as well. They are our forefathers’ gift to us and the world. We need to adopt them just as much.