Sundakkai Poondu Kuzhambu | Turkeyberry- Garlic Stew

When at loss for ideas while cooking a meal, a glance at the backyard surely draws some inspiration! With the vegetable tray empty except for some tomatoes and bits of odd vegetables, I stood clueless in front of the refrigerator.I looked at the drumstick tree but drumsticks were not mature for picking. That's when I remembered the packet of turkey berries [that were safely hidden behind some vessel in fridge] that mom had sent and then I did a happy dance. I knew I would be making a stew with it!This is one of our favorite stews and tastes best the next day!

Turkey berry or Sundakkai as it locally known here, is a prickly shrub with white flowers which turn into small green berries. And one such shrub grows in moms backyard. With an abundance of berries, mom shared some with her maid and sent some over to me.

This plant is also known by the names- Devil's fig, Wild eggplant, pea eggplant etc. The Botanical name is Solanum Torvum.The berries of this plant is used in cooking.These berries can also be stored as vatral  [sun dried product] and used as and when needed in stews.

This berry in spite of its small size, possesses a lot of medicinal properties.Some of them are....

Now to the recipe...

I used:

Fresh turkey berry Sundakkai-1/2 cup
Tamarind - small lemon sized ball soaked in hot water
Garlic- 10 cloves, halved
Mustard seeds- 1 teaspoon
Urad dal - 1 teaspoon
Channa Dal - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves- a few
Red chilies- 1, broken
Coriander powder- 1 teaspoon
Red chili powder- 1 teaspoon
Sambar powder- 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder- a pinch
Asafoetida powder- a pinch
Sesame oil- 2 tablespoons
Salt to taste

  1. Take the turkey berry in a zip lock bag/ any plastic cover and place it on a flat surface. Run a rolling pin over it a couple of times so that the berries open up. It shouldn't get mushy.Remove the berries from the bag and wash well with water. The seeds will be washed off. Drain and keep the berries aside.
  2. Make an extract from the soaked tamarind and keep aside. If using tamarind paste, dissolve a tablespoon in a cup of hot water and keep aside.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard, asafoetida,urad dal,channa dal, red chilies and curry leaves.
  4. When the mustard crackles and the dal turns brown, add the garlic and crushed berries and saute on medium flame for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the tamarind extract and bring to boil.
  6. Simmer and add the coriander powder, chili powder, sambar powder,turmeric powder, salt and mix well.
  7. Let it cook till the stew thickens.[The stew should not be too watery/ too thick.]
  8. Remove from heat and serve with steamed rice.


This is my second dish for  'South Indian Meal Dishes' theme for Week 1 in Blogging Marathon #42.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 42

Bon Appetit ...

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