Food · Health

Turkey Berry/Sundakkai – a vegetable with surplus Health Benefits and Medicinal Uses

Turkey Berry (Sundaikkai/Sundakkai) is a common and easily available vegetable used in day to day life in cooking curries (Kulambu/Kuzhambu).  The botanical name for turkey berry is Solanum Torvum. “Turkey berry” is the name of Sundakkai in English. Turkey Berry plant actually has the outer skin inside of which lies the pea aubergine seeds or so-called pea eggplant seeds. Turkey berry is widely used in India and Turkey Berry is called by different names like the prickly nightshade, shoo-shoo bush, wild eggplant, makhuea phuang, pea eggplant, boo, terongan, tekokak,  pea aubergine, berenjena cimarrona, berenjena de gallina, berenjena silvestre, tabacón, pendejera, tomatillo, susumber, batard balengene, riega-platos, kudanekayi, sundaikkai, thibbatu,  suzume nasu, jurubeba, zamorette, thai eggplant and many other names. Turkey berry in Tamil is called as  “Sundakkai” or “Chundakkai” is known by different names as shown below:

> Sundakkai in English – Turkey Berry

> Sundakkai in Hindi – Bhankatiya

> Sundakkai in Telugu – Usthikaya

> Sundakkai in Kannada – Kudanekayi

Well to be noted that the fruit is consumed mostly in Tamil Nadu where it is named as Sundaikkai. In this post, you will be finding the Procedures to eat Turkey berry seeds or Sundakkai orPea Eggplant,  health benefits of turkey berry (sundakkai health benefits),  procedure to make Sundakkai Vathal or Dried Turkey berry, sundakkai kulambu, sundakkai vathal kuzhambu, Medicinal properties of Turkey berry or Sundakkai,

Procedures to eat Turkey berry/Sundakkai/Pea Egg plant:

•    This berry can be used in soup and sauces when chopped together with tomatoes or eggplant.

•    In southern part of India, people consume the young fruit in a form of various dishes like Sundakkai Sambar, Sundaikkai Poriyal, Sundaikkai Aviyal& Sundakkai Pulikulambu.

•    Sundaikkai is used to prepare Namprik which is a spicy chilli paste with pounded shrimps and dried fish.

•    Young immature pale green Turkey berry is also used as a vegetable.

How to make Sundakkai Vathal or Dried Turkey berry?

Vathal or Vatral is a key ingredient to prepare mouth-watering Sundakkai Vathal Kuzhambu at home. To prepare Vathal at home, all You Need is about 2 cups of Water, 2 tablespoons of Salt, 1 kg Pea eggplant.

Sundakkai Vathal making Methodology:

    Boil the water and add salt to it.

    Wash the turkey berry and add it into the boiled water.

    Once the colour of the vegetable changes, take it out.

    Cool down the processed vegetable completely.

    Spread it out in a clean cloth or in a plastic paper.

    Allow the pea eggplant seeds to dry completely on Sun.

    Do the same step for the next 3 to 4 days until the pea aubergine seeds gets completely dried.       

Finally, the Sundakkai vathal is ready for use. Store the dried turkey berry in an airtight container. You can prepare sundakkai vathal kuzhambu using these dried pea eggplant seeds. Just fry the seeds in oil before putting into the kulambu and then serve it as a side dish.

How to make Vatha Kulambu/Sundakkai Vathal Kulambu/dried turkey berry recipe?

Before starting with the Sundakkai kuzhambu, soak tamarind in hot water and extract the water from the tamarind. Peel off the skin from garlic & small onions and keep it aside. Take a pan or wok, put the dried turkey berry seeds and fry the sundakkai vathal till it turns dark brown.

Steps to make Sundakkai vathal kuzhambu

    Take a kadai, pour oil into it and then add onion & garlic. Fry for 2mins and then kulambu chilli powder into it.

    Add tamarind water and let it boil for some time.

    When the kulambu starts thickening, add dried turkey berry and boil for about 5mins in medium flame.

    At last, add jaggery, stir well, switch off and Serve with hot rice.

Turkey Berry Health Benefits/Medicinal properties of Turkey berry plant or Sundakkai or Solanum Torvum:

1.    Healing and prevention of colds and flu:

Turkey berry helps in healing and prevention of cold &flu. Turkey berries can be used to prepare soup and when consumed helps to overcome cold and flu effects quickly.

2.    Treatment and Prevention of Kidney disease:

Turkey berry helps in treating kidney disease by reversing tubular necrosis and glomerular congestion thus making it important for treating kidney disease.

3.    Treats Anaemia:

Turkey berry is a full source of iron which is extremely beneficial for treating anaemia. Regular consumption of Turkey berry would help in treating anaemia by increasing the red blood cell production.

4.    Protection from cardiovascular diseases:

Turkey berry contains antioxidants like flavonoids, glycosides, saponins, torvosides, tannins, alkaloids, cholorogenome, etc. Thus, pea eggplant (Sundakkai) helps to prevent strokes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

5.    Treat phlegm and mucus:

You can dry the turkey berries, powder them and consume to dry up the mucus, get rid of asthma, lung, inflammation, cough etc. So, include turkey berry seeds in regular routine diet and say bye-bye to phlegm and mucus.

6.    Treatment of diabetes:

When blood sugar level is too high, it becomes a life-threatening condition which is commonly known as diabetes.  Dried berry leaves & turkey berry help to control diabetes. It is said to have properties that help in maintaining and regulating the blood sugar level. Therefore, regular consumption can help to lower the diabetes level.

7.    Indigestion and Diarrhea:

Turkey berries can neutralize the stomach acid making them significant for healing gastric ulcers. Regular consumption of turkey berries or turkey berry seeds can help in treating diarrhea, indigestion, stomach aches and other related problems.

8.    Prevention from Cancer:

Turkey berries have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that can stop the excessive cell growth thus making it significant for cancer. The extracts of turkey berry(Sundakkai) are helpfulin protection against lung cancer.

9.    Prevention from intestinal worms:

Regular intake of these berries helps to prevent the development of intestinal worms.

10.    Aids in regular menstruation:

Regular consumption of this berry helps in aiding regular menstrual periods. Include turkey berries to your regular diet to solve all kinds of menstrual issues.

11.    Helps to ease pains, redness and gout:

Uric acid is the reason behind pain, redness and symptoms of gout. These berries help to flush out uric acid thus helps to reduce pain, redness and symptoms of gout. Well berry leaves are good source for natural steroids called soasoline and inflammatory agents that are great for arthritis, lower back pain and swelling. 

Serious diseases which can be cured by eating Turkey Berry may include

●    Piles

●    Cough

●    Chest congestion

●    Anaemia

●    Cold

●    Stomach aches

●    Headache

●    Asthma

●    Night blindness

●    Fever

●    Malaria

Well looking down at the benefits of Turkey berry would change your mind and tingleyour taste buds to try for the bitter taste of turkey berry.

Turkey berry or Sundakkai – General & Medicinal Uses

•    Seeds of turkey berry can be smoked for curing toothache.

•    The leaves are dried and powdered, then used as medicines for diabetic patients. It is also used as antidote to insect stings and snake bite.

•    The plant can be used to treat rheumatism, infections, vaginal bleeding occurring outside menstrual cycle and as an analgesic.

•    Analgesic, antipyretic, anti-rheumatic, anti-infectious, diuretic, anti-contusion, anti-inflammation, and antiphlogistic are some of the benefits that traditional medicine practitioner used the plant for.

•    Along with its sedative, diuretic and digestive properties the herb is used in various Ayurvedic treatments.

•    Tonic of turkey berry can help in solving cough and cold. Decoction of the fruit is given to children for treating cough.

•    Cause of its inflammatory properties, the plant is used in treatment of tooth decay, fever and wounds for managing the pain. 

•    Therapeutic use of the plant is that it helps to improve eyesight.

•    The berry leaves can be used to treat skin diseases like pimples and sores.

Turkey Berry/Sundakkai/Solanum Torvum – Nutrition-rich vegetable useful for healthy cooking

Turkey berry (Sundakkai in Tamil) is the best vegetable which has lots of health benefits & medicinal values. Turkey berry cooking is very easy and adds incredible taste to the recipes. Turkey berries are frequently used vegetable seeds in Tamilnadu. Tamil people will make recipes like Vatha Kulambu, Kara kulambu, sambar and even side dishes with this healthy vegetable. Turkey berry or sundakkai has several advantages which make pea eggplant to be the good medicine for several health issues.  Dried sundakkai is famous among Tamil & Telugu speaking people and is widely used to prepare Turkey berry recipes. Turkey berry during pregnancy is very beneficial to women. Sundakkai is at ease of access in markets and no need of any worry to buy pea eggplant seeds. Add turkey berry (Sundakkai) to your weekly diet to maintain a healthy lifestyle always.    


2 thoughts on “Turkey Berry/Sundakkai – a vegetable with surplus Health Benefits and Medicinal Uses

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