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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chundakkai Pachadi or Sundakkai pachadi (Turkey Berry hot and sour gravy)

Anybody from chettinad, who were blessed to live there for sometime (many from chettinad now are in a category as very rare visitors during functions) would have tasted this curry prepared with atmost care by their grand mother or mother. I had my childhood days in kerala and I have seen this plant on the road side grown as a wild shrub because of its rapid spread as a weed in disturbed lands,I don’t think there was any taker for this wonder vegetable there. The tamilians there would have used it. But this was a very special vegetable in chettinad and the cooks at home used to make tasty pachadi out of it when we visited chettinad during the holidays.
More than the taste of this curry, It has got wonderful medicinal value. I have to mention one thing here, coming to home remedies whenever I tell my mom that somebody is having cough at home she will tell fry chunda vathal powder it and mix it with hot rice and give.If I tell some body is having stomach problem, the same remedy. If I tell her any of us is aneamic again she will tell take lot of chundakkai.I used to think Oh God Amma has only this answer for all ill. But as we are used to listening to our parents without much question on these home remedies, I too used follow what she told.

But when I started browsing I understood that she is correct and that it is used in many Ayurvedic treatments as a medicine.It is used in the treatment of cough and as a tonic of liver.It is very good in controlling blood pressure .In Tamil Nadu, the fruit is consumed directly or as cooked food like Sundakkai Sambar, Sundakkai Poriyal, Sundakkai pachadi. We all have seen sundakkai vathal used in vatha kuzhambu.After soaking this veg in curd and drying, the final product is fried in oil as Sundakkai vattral.
I am not sure whether this vegetable is available in the market in all places. But it is very simple to grow this in our kitchen garden if you manage to get the seeds of this plant or a small plant itself.
Morethan for its medicinal value, all in my home love its taste.It should be cooked with much care and dedication to bring the full taste. Tender sundakkai is to be used for pachadi.The tough ones can be used for making sambar.
Sundakkai-1 cup(tender ones)
Small onion chopped-20
Sambar powder-1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder-1 teaspoon
Tamarind paste-1 teaspoon
Cooked Thoor dhal-1/4 cup
To season
Musrad seed-1 teaspoon
Small jeera-1 teaspoon
Curry leaf-little
Corriander leaves to season
Select tender sundakkai while cutting. Split into 4 and put into water. Mince onion and tomatoes. Cook thoor dhal one whistle less than you cook for sambar. Keep the kadai in the stove. Season the pachadi with the items given in to season in 1 table spoon of oil.Add the onion and tomatoes and saute for 3 minutes. Now add the cut sundakkai and saute in medium fire for 5 minutes.If sauted nicely,there will be no bitter taste in the curry. After sauting add the water that is there on top of the cooked dhal.(If there is not much water in your cooked dhal, add a cup of water into it, mix it lightly and take out that water.).Add turmeric powder. Half close the kadai and cook for 6 to 7 minutes in medium fire till the Sundakkai cooks soft. Now add little more dhal water and sambar powder.cook for 3 minutes. Add the salt needed and the tamarind paste now. When the curry boils add the cooked thoor dhal left and cook for 5 more minutes. You should not cook long after adding dhal as the curry will turn very thick. Garnish with coriander leaves. This gravy will be semi solid .This can be mixed with rice as well as used as a side dish for curd rice.


Cham said...

I have fresh sundakkai in my freezer thought of making kootu but now this one sounds tooo tasty! I am in for anything sour and hot :)

gtyuk said...

sundakkai,oh yeah, these are the vegetables I miss here terribly I love the vatha kozhambu and poriyals; I 've never tasted them as pachadis. (I get it very rarely in the exotic shops here); the pachadi looks delicious like all your other dishes.

Chitra said...

Oh pachadi with sundakkai.will surely give a try :)

Devi said...


I made this dish for my husband and he loved it. I followed your instruction exactly and it came out very well. Thanks for taking the time to post your wonderful recipes for us.

Kajan said...

I often visit your website just to run through Chettinad items. I love browsing videos about cooking, regardless of language. Imagine my surprise, hearing reference to your website on "Flavours of India" Kairali. I think you might have mentioned it on the site before.

Oru part inga irrukku:

Innoru part-la unga ammavum

Ungantta appa ippavum nalla gambeerama irukkaare!:-) Will make sure to get my amma to cook the Chettinad chicken curry when I visit my Toronto home.


suvaiyaana suvai said...

isn't it bitter taste!!

UmaKarthik said...

Hello Solai Achi,
I remember from your blog that you daughter lives in USA. Can we get chundakkai in USA, i haven't seen it in indian stores.

Could you please check with your daughter and let me know.

I love chundakaai pachadi my mom used to make.


Solai Chidambaram said...

No uma.She says that you cant get it there.

Unknown said...

Hello aunty,
Though i had seen this vegetable many a time, i was not aware of the benefits. Just to try this recipe, i bought it and the result was super hit.
Thank you very much.

Anuradha Ramanan said...

hello aunty
thanks for the recipe it turned out really good

but i wanted to ask for a recipe which u might know

i once had a pickled chundakkai with white chillies, garlic and green pepper corns.. pickled in brine..
i dont know what it was called. i had back when i was in trichy at my parents place

if u know can u please share that recipe.. i am still hunting for that recipe..i would be delighted if u can share that..

Solai Chidambaram said...

Anu,I too is hunting for the white chillies.Nothing great in the recipe.Chundakkai should be very tender.Soak all in lime juice along with the salt needed.You should get white chilli,tender chundakkai,green pepper etc.Green pepper is not a must.If you dont get that use few green chillies soaked as a whole(very few small ones).i too love that pickle.Awsome smell it will have.Ninaichale nakku ooruthu.

Unknown said...

Thank you. I had got hold of a bunch of green sundakkai from my village and was not sure what to do with it. I tried your recipe and the result was 'yummy in the tummy'.