Ganike hannu Gojju, side dish for Pongal / Black nightshade fruit curry:

Have you ever tasted this wonder fruit? If no, you should pluck next time when you see in your vicinity and should enjoy it and feed all the goodness to your body. When we were young, it was our pass time, while walking towards school. We would pluck all these edible different berries though we never knew the goodness that we were getting form these.

Traditionally, in our region, these berries are not at all used in cooking. As I know, it is used only in Tamilnadu in a dry form, after soaking it in buttermilk and sun drying. Normally these dried berries are made into sweet and tangy curry called Vathal Kuzhambu and I tried the fresh berries to include in my regular Pongal Gojju, as a side dish.

As I said in the earlier post, black night shade has many names and these berries are also known as Ganike Hannu, Kakke Hannu, Chavi Hannu in Karnataka. Manathakkali, Sukkuti in Tamil. Nakoi in Hindi.

Black Nightshade (solanum nigrum) is sometimes confused with Deadly Nightshade (Atropa belladonna) of which berries grow individually and in this, we see a bunch formation of berries.

It has a whole lot of health benefits. It is a major source of anti-oxidants and moreover anything else, it is pesticide-free and free of cost 😀

For me, it is a gift of mother nature. I have not potted the plant and it is growing wildly in my garden and feeding me with greens and berries. This time, I have added these berries in my usual side dish, which I prepare for Pongal and liked as well.

Now we will move towards the details –


 Ganike Hannu – 1 cup (I have used black as well as green unripe one)

Tamarind – One gooseberry size



Sambar powder – 1 to 2 teaspoons

Rice flour – 1 to 1 ½ teaspoon

Sesame Oil / any cooking oil– 1 tablespoon

Fenugreek seeds – ½ teaspoon

Hing – ¼ teaspoon

Mustard – 1 teaspoon

Cumin – ½ teaspoon

Dried Red chilli – 1

Curry leaves – 1 spring


-Soak tamarind in a cup of water.

-Wash berries and keep them ready.

-Keep the vessel for seasoning, heat oil, first fry fenugreek seeds.

-Splutter mustard, cumin, hing, chilli and curry leaves and drop berries and fry until it wilts.

-Add tamarind water, salt, jaggery (jaggery should be a little more)

-Boil until berries are cooked and soft. Time to add Sambar powder.

-Mix rice flour in ¼ cup of water, mix and pour it into the curry.

-Boil this nicely, until the top of the curry looks glossy. In the meantime, adjust and add salt, jaggery or sambar powder if needed.

-Serve this Gojju with Pongal as a side dish or you can have it with white rice as well.

-It is sweet, sour and Hot in taste and pairs very well with Pongal.









Ganike Soppu Kootu:

Monsoon Is the time, when my garden is filled with greens and I make use of all the goodness that mother nature is offering to us.  Ganike soppu is a widely known herb by many regional names like Ganike or Kakke soppu in Kannada, Manathakkali keerai in Tamil. Botanical name is Solanum Nigrum which is originated in South Africa and commonly known as Black nightshade.

It is a medicinal herb and very good for stomach ailments, is what I have heard from my elders. Usually green leaves are used to make Tambli and it is believed that, it is a remedy for menstrual cramps as well as stomach related discomforts.

This time I got a bumper harvest from wildly grown plants and tried to make kootu but without adding coconut. It is a sort of dhal cum sambar. We liked it and thought of sharing it with my readers as well.

Kootu recipe, what I have followed is from Jayanthi Senguttuvan aunty and posted on our Foodie group by Senguttuvan uncle. Made some changes according to our requirement and enjoyed it thoroughly with hot rice as well as dosas.


Toor dal and Moong dal – ½ + ½ cup each

Turmeric – ½ tea spoon

Hing – ¼ tea spoon

Sambar powder – 1 to 2 tea spoons



Oil – 1 table spoon

Mustard – 1 tea spoon

Urad dal – 1 tea spoon

Gram dal – 1 tea spoon

Curry leaves – 1 string

Onion -1 medium

Ganike soppu/ greens – As required


-Take one cooker, wash dals, put required amount of water, turmeric, hing and cook.

-Wash greens. Chop greens as well as onion.

-Prepare seasoning, heat oil, splutter mustard, fry urad dal, chana dal and add curry leaves, chopped onions and fry for a while.

-Add chopped greens and fry until it wilts.

-Add sambar powder, salt and adjust the consistency by adding water.

– Add cooked, mashed dal, check for the salt and masala, adjust it.

-Boil nicely and serve with rice, roti or Dosa or as you wish to have.