Saturday, 15 June 2013


Om vishnumoorthaye namah:
Om prakashatmane namah:

Chunda (Solanum Torvum) — Vegetables of Kerala

Before I proceed further about this vegetable and the recipe, I thank Ms. Padmini Natarajan for giving me the information about the name and the health benefits.

Chunda (Solanum torvum) plants produce small perfectly spherical fruits, which was commonly found almost throughout Kerala is now almost a rare sight. People used chunadakka (the fruit of chunda or sunda) as a vegetable that goes into sambar and individual curries. Chundakka is also spelt chundakkai, sundakka and sundakkai). Its English name is Turkey berry.

The Turkey berry belongs to the potato family and is found in all tropical regions. This dried or fresh berry has many nutritive and medicinal qualities and is naturally tangy and bitter.

In home remedies, coughs are treated with the roasted turkey berry powder. It is an instant remedy for stomach problems including worm infestation, anaemia and is used as a tonic for liver complaints. It is used to control blood pressure. As an Ayurvedic herb, it has sedative, diuretic and digestive properties.
The wild-berry is preserved by soaking it in curd and then sun-drying it. As a curative it is usually roasted in a little ghee or oil and crumbled and mixed with hot rice and eaten.

People also used to preserve this wild-looking fruit by first soaking in curd and then drying. This preserved chundakka is used in different simple preparations.
Chunda is a hardwood shrub that grows to a height of 2-3 m and spread their leaves. Stems have small thorns. The fruits are harvested before they are fully ripe.
As an Ayurvedic herb, it has sedative, diuretic and digestive properties. It used in the treatment for coughs. It is a tonic for liver.
Solanum torvum belongs to the family Solanaceae.
I am unable to recollect the name for this in Hindi and Marathi.   I fainly remember it is called as Marang in Marathi, Bhurat in Hindi.     But I read the same in one of the book viz. Tatvaloka.  The health benefits were also given in it.

My mother used to make porichakuzhambu with fresh chundakkai,  chundakkai kept in salt and turmeric water for 10-15 days and then sauted in oil, vathal kuzhambu with the dried chundakkai ones etc.   She used to say that it is very good for stomach problems.  But in any form, whether it is fried or fresh one, i love to eat the same.

In Mumbai, I used to see them on the roads leading to L&T via Powai during 1980s.  Once I brought the plant from there as we were travelling  by scooter.  Since then, lots of development has taken place and it is totally wiped out.   Now a days, it is very difficult to see this plant.  However, i spotted the same in an open place near my society and got the chance to pluck the chundakkai.

Here is the recipe.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time 30-45 minutes
Serves:  3-4


¼ cup chundakkai (fresh ones)
½  cup tur dal boiled (optional)
1 tbsp chana dal
1 tbsp urid dal
3-4 black pepper
2-3 red chilli (adjust spice level)
½ cup grated coconut.
1 small lemon sized tamarind or 1 tbsp  amchur powder
Turmeric powder
1 tsp oil


1 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
Curry leaves


Pressure cook the tur dal  and keep aside.
Heat oil in kadai, add chana dal, urid dal, black pepper, red chilli

ing of masala

 and fry them and grind it smoothly along with coconut.

frying chana, urid dal and red chilli

Crush the chundakkai and put it in salt water to remove the stains and bitterness.

crushed chundakkai

crushed chundakkai in salt water

Add ½ cup hot water in tamarind and keep aside. When it becomes cool, extract the pulp
Cook the chundakkai in tamarind pulp with turmeric powder and salt. If you are using ambur powder, cook in it.
When it is cooked, add the ground paste in it and boil.
If you are adding tur dal, add the same and boil. Adjust the consistency of gravy by adding water as the ground paste will thicken the kuzhambu.
Temper with the ingredients mentioned above
Serve hot with rice, chapati.

chundakkai poricha kuzhambu

lapsi, poricha kuzhambu and rajasthani bhindi

Here you will see the bhindli cut in a different way i like this way hence i made it.

Variation:  we can make vathalkuzhambu with the dried vathal or the fresh one too. Soon coming with the vathal kuzhambu recipe.

dried chundakkai (chundakka vathal)
Note:   If you wish, while tempering you can add a tablespoon of grated coconut. fry them till it is golden brown and add to the Kuzhambu.  Here i have not used it because of health issues.

Do give me the feed back.  Enjoy the recipe.



  1. Thank you very much for this recipe. I tried this and loved it. I have a plant growing wildly in my backyard and was wondering to uproot it, but now, after this recipe, have decided not to! :)


    1. thank you Asha for visiting my blog and happy to note that you liked it. It has got medicinal value hence do not uproot the tree. you can dry them and store it too. this can be fried and have it with curd rice. really tasty