During the summer months, its common to dry vegetables to preserve them for winter. Turkey berry (Sundaikai) is one such edible berry that is dried. The fruits are berries that grow in clusters of tiny green spheres (ca. 1 cm in diameter) that look like green peas. They become yellow when fully ripe. They are thin-fleshed and contain numerous flat, round, brown seeds. When dried, they become brown in color. When you run out of vegetables or do not have time to grocery shop, these dried vegetables and berries come in handy to whip up a quick delicious dish! Below is a traditional South Indian Recipe in which Manathakkali (Black Night Shade Seeds) can be used optionally. The following recipe can be followed with any other dried vegetable like Brinjal, Cluster Beans etc.
Dried Turkey Berry (Sundai Kai Vathal) – 1 cup
Manathakkali (Black Night Shade Seeds) optional – 1 tbsp
Onion – 1 (chopped)
Garlic Pearls – 15 to 20
Sambar Powder – 1 ½ bsp.
Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
Tamarind – small lemon size
Jaggery – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Gingelly Oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard (Rai)- ½ tsp
Fenugreek Seed – ¼ tsp
Split Black Gram – ½ tsp
Red Chilli – 2 (broken)
Curry Leaves – from 1 twig
Asafoetida – ¼ tsp
Soak the Tamarind in hot water for 10 minutes. Squeeze the Tamarind and extract the Juice.
In a pan, Heat 1 tbsp of Oil and fry the Sundai Kai Vathal and then the Mana Thakkali Vathal one after another till they become crisp and dark brown.
Coarse Pound half of the Mana Thakkali and half of the Sundai Kai Vathal. Keep aside.
Wipe the Pan with a tissue or towel. Add the remaining Oil. When it becomes hot, add Fenugreek Seeds and Mustard. When the Mustard Seeds start crackling, add Black Gram and Red Chilli.
When the Black Gram turns golden brown, add Sambar Powder.
Stir it and add the Onions, Garlic Pearls, Salt and Curry Leaves immediately. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes in low flame.
Add Asafoetida, Tamarind water and 1 ½ cup of water. Let it come to a boil. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes in low to medium flame till the Onion and the Garlic Pearls become soft.
Add the powdered and whole fried Sundai Kai Vathal and Mana Thakkali Vathal. Add Jaggery.
Add more water if necessary and adjust Salt. Cover the pan once again with the lid and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.
The Oil will start floating on the top.
Serve with rice!
Gingelly Oil is preferred for this preparation. If not available, use any cooking Oil.
Jaggery is added to remove the bitterness of the Sundai Kai Vathal.
Readily available Sundai Kai Vathal from the shop is very salty. So, salt quantity in the main preparation should be reduced to take care of this excess salt in the Vathal.