Turkey berry is also called as ‘wild eggplant’ or ‘pea eggplant’. In Tamil it is called as ‘Sundaikai’ and in Tamil Nadu fresh and dried form of this turkey berry is used to cook different dishes. I feel Kara kuzhambu or Puli kuzhambu is the best dish as turkey berry has some mild bitter taste. It is known for its medicinal value and is believed to be effective in eliminating stomach worms and improves digestion. It is rich in vitamins and dietary fiber.
To prepare dried turkey berries, the fresh turkey berries are lightly smashed, added in curd and dried in sun light. I feel fresh berries are tastier than dried ones, but both are good. Using turkey berry in our menu regularly helps to improve our health.
Cooking time: 30 minutes approximately
- Fresh turkey berries – 1 cup
- Onion chopped – 1 no
- Tomato chopped – 1 no
- Garlic cloves crushed – 4 no
- Red chilli powder – 1 tea spoon
- Coriander powder – 2 table spoon
- Turmeric powder – ¼ tea spoon
- Tamarind – small lemon size ball (adjust according to your taste)
- Salt – as per taste
- For seasoning
- Mustard – ½ tea spoon
- Cumin seed – ½ tea spoon
- Fenugreek – ¼ tea spoon
- Asafetida – pinch
- Curry leaves – few
- Sesame oil/any edible oil – 1 table spoon
- Soak and extract juice from tamarind using 2½ cups of water.
- Remove the small stem from turkey berry, give a deep slit in all turkey berries and put it in water.
- Do the seasoning, add crushed garlic; fry till golden colour, add onion, tomato and fry for few seconds; add turkey berry, salt and fry for 5 minutes in low flame.
- Add all dry masala, fry for few seconds till masala is lightly roasted.
- Add tamarind water, bring to boil, lower the flame and cook till the berries are soft and cooked; it may take nearly 10 minutes.
- Serve hot with rice.
This can be prepared with dried turkey berry (photo below) also.