Some recipes fade away from our memories in time period. Either you hate or don’t get in abundance all year around, result the veggie made appearance rarely in the kitchen. Like this one: Turkey berry, scientifically know as Solanum torvum, is a perennial plant could be easily invade wet or dry places. Well know as Sundaikkai in tamil, Usthikaya in telugu, pea aubergine and many more names …
The flower is white and turn later into a small, round and green berry.
When I saw this turkey berry in my local farmers market, I couldn’t ignore despite the high price tag!
The berry is well known for the medicinal value in Tamil Nadu: killing stomach worms, relieving colds and curing ulcer.
Sundaikkai tends to ruin your palate with the natural bitter trace, to remove the bitterness the veggie is soaked in curd and sundried for later use. Sundakkai vattal (dried) kuzhambu is authentic gravy in Tamil Nadu.
For my palate, the bitter is better! Personally, the fresh veggies are not bitter at all! Perhaps if you are lucky enough to find this turkey berry, try it!
Note: the gravy is tangy, spicy and should be slightly oily; adjust the tamarind level low if u cannot tolerate the tanginess!
Sundaikkai puli Kuzhambu
Sundaikkai/Pea aubergine/turkey berry: 1 cup (take only the berry wash and slightly smash it)
Tamarind: 1 small lemon size (Indian lemon size) or (US Key lime size)
Coconut: ¼ to ½ cup grated
Chilli powder: 1 tsp
Coriander powder: 1tsp
Turmeric: ¼ tsp
Salt: according ur taste
Gingelly/sesame oil: 2 tbsp (u should use this oil to get a better taste)
Gingelly/sesame oil: 1 tbsp
Curry leaves: few leaves
Pearl onion: 10 num
Garlic cloves: 5 num
Mustard: ½ tsp or if u have Vadagam use 2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds: ½ tsp
Soak the tamarind in warm water or microwave with enough water for 1 min. Once cooled extract the pulp by adding a cup of water.
Clean the pearl onion and garlic.
Grind the coconut into smooth paste.
In tamarind water, add the chili powder, coriander powder, and turmeric and mix the ground coconut, now adjust the salt level, gravy thickness by adding water.
Heat a pot with oil, fry the slightly smashed turkey berries until they turn pale and brown!
Remove the veggie and start by the mustard seeds , once popped add the fenugreek , followed by the pearl onion, garlic and curry leaves. When they turn slightly brown, pour the tamarind mixture.
Let the gravy boil for 10 min or the oil will start to float on top!
Switch off the stove and enjoy with steamed rice and papad!
Tip: if u feel the gravy is still too tangy, add a small piece of jaggery at the end.
The gravy is very easy to put together but depend someone taste level , to like it or not!