Saturday, 15 June 2013


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.

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.

 It is called as Marang in Marathi, Bhurat in Hindi.    

chundakkai poricha kuzhambu

lapsi, poricha kuzhambu and rajasthani bhindi


Let  us look at 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


1.  Pressure cook the tur dal  and keep aside.
2.  Heat oil in kadai, add chana dal, urid dal, black pepper, red chilli and fry them till the colour changes to brown.

ingredients of  masala

frying chana, urid dal and red chilli

3.  Grind the coconut and the fried masala to a smooth paste with little water.

4. Crush the chundakkai and put it in salt water to remove the stains and bitterness and to remove the worms, if any.

crushed chundakkai

crushed chundakkai in salt water

5.  Add ½ cup hot water in tamarind and keep aside. When it becomes cool, extract the pulp
6.  Cook the chundakkai in tamarind pulp with turmeric powder and salt. If you are using amchur powder, cook in it.
7.  When it is cooked, add the ground paste in it and boil.
8.  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.
9.  Temper with the ingredients mentioned above.

How to serve:

Serve hot with rice, chapati.

Variation:  we can make vathalkuzhambu with the dried vathal or the fresh one too. 

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.  

This is also preserved in salt and turmeric.  whenever you need, you can temper the same with little oil and mustard seeds and have it with rice, ghee or curd rice.   My mother used to give this to my father and I tasted this and started eating this wonderful berry.  shall post the same soon.




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