Chidmidikki or Kaaki phal as it is most commonly called in Konkani is a herb which grows luxuriantly in our backyards – especially after the monsoons you can see them covered with their shiny black berries.The botanical name for this is Solanum Nigrum . It is known as Manathakkali in Tamil and can easily be got from a greens seller in Tamil Nadu , where the leaves and berries are popular & made into very tasty dishes . Its also available as Kakkesappu in Karnataka .Also known as Manithakkali in Malayalam ,Kamanchi Chettu in Telugu, Makoi in Hindi, Kakkesappu in Kannada, and Black Nightshade in English. The leaves and fruits are used for both culinary & medicinal uses , You can learn more about the medicinal uses here
I had this plant growing wild in my garden …it grows easily without requiring any care except watering ..The fallen seeds germinate easily so that you always have some plants growing in your garden
I plucked the fresh green leaves and the berries , The ripe ones are a pleasure to eat as such , the unripe ones can be added to make a simple upkari or sukke .
- Chidmidikki leaves & berries – 3 cups
- Red Chillies – 2 or 3 as per your spice level
- Grated coconut – 1/4 cup
- Tamarind – a chickpea sized ball
- Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
- Udid dal – 1 tsp
- Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
- Methi seeds – 1/4 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Oil for tempering
- Clean & wash the leaves thoroughly . Chop them and keep aside .
- Heat a kadai and add the oil . Splutter the mustard seeds , Then add the udid dal & methi and let them brown .
- Now add the chopped leaves along with the berries , a little water & salt.
- Grind the coconut , red chillies , turmeric powder & tamarind to a coarse paste without adding water .
- Add the paste to the leaves . Now cover & let cook on medium flame till done .
Enjoy with rice as a side dish !
You can also add 1/4 cup moong dal ( soaked for half an hour ) for more taste & health benefits as in the pic below . You can add a small tomato too instead of tamarind and chopped onions ( optional )
Note :- You can also make a very simple upkari without coconut too , Just make a seasoning of mustard & red chillis and then add the leaves . Add a little water & salt & cook tilll done !