Sundakkai curry

Omg! Was just looking at my drafts and realised there are some where I have typed the entire recipe except the prelude part which I never got around to completing :(. I really cannot believe how blocked my mind was. I still don’t think I am back to my la la land way of writing the prelude but I am quite determined to not let that get in the way of publishing a recipe. I think I have enough other blockers and this shan’t be one :).

The worst part of procrastinating this post is that I had a nice idea for the prelude. I had typed out this and left it ‘Chinna kallu pettha laabam, periya kallu chinna laabam’ (translates to small stone, big profit.. big stone, small profit) and I know exactly why I had written that :). Sundakkai/ Turkey berry are these berry (small) type of veggie that has huge health benefits. They apparently help increase the production of red blood cells in the body thus help keep anemia and related disorders at bay. I can bet you that most of you reading this blog now would have either not had sundakkai at all or had the dried form of it in vathakuzhambu or just as is with curd rice. Till a few years back, I have never had sundakkai fresh and in a stir fry form. When my in-laws first found it in Dubai they were ecstatic. Sundakkai is bitter in taste and hence it’s not easy to consume it without something to mask off the bitterness. This is where the dal comes of help. Sundakkai also has a lot of seeds. So it’s prudent to remove whatever you can before you cook it.

Sundakkai curry
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 3 persons
  • 1 cup green turkey berry/ pachai sundakkai
  • 1 tsp refined oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • few curry leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 cup cooked toor dal/ pigeon pea
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp ghee
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  1. Remove the turkey berries from their stem.

  2. Place the turkey berries/ sundakkai in a ziploc & seal it (after taking out excess air).

  3. Using a pestle or a similar heavy gadget (I literally used a hammer), pound the berries so that each of the berry splits open.

  4. Take the berries out and place it a broad vessel filled with water. Take out the berries. Drain the water (along with excess seeds).

  5. Repeat the above step another time.

  6. Meanwhile, heat a kadai/ pan with 1t refined oil. Add mustard seeds.

  7. Once the mustard seeds start to splutter, add turmeric powder, asafoetida & curry leaves.

  8. Add the turkey berries/ sundakkai and 1/2t rock salt.

  9. Close with a lid & keep the flame on low.

  10. Let it cook for 5-7 mins till it changes colour.

  11. Once the colour changes (implying the berries are cooked), add 1/2T curry powder. Mix. Check & adjust salt here.

  12. Add toor dal, mix and let the curry cook till the water evaporates.

  13. Once the water evaporates, add ghee and mix.

  14. Finally add grated coconut and sugar. Mix well.

  15. Turn off heat. Leave it open for a few minutes for the texture & flavours to settle in.

  16. Serve alongside any of our traditional sambhar/ rasam/ curd rice.

Recipe Notes
  1. Turkey berries/ sundakkai will blacken if left open in air. So till the time you need to use them, have them immersed in water. 
  2. Any of these thuvarppu food varieties (bitter), you typically add some ghee & sugar finally to help offset the bitterness to a palatable state. 
  3.  Sundakkai/ turkey berries have varied health benefits and its a good practise to include them regularly as and when you can. 

Stepwise pictures

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