5 Top Health Benefits Of Sundakkai | Turkey Berry | Solanum Torvum | Pea Eggplant

This is an amazing plant that we should get to know off without fail as it has wonderful health benefits and medicinal uses. The plant produces white flowers and green berries that turns yellow when ripe. We use the fruits of this plant either in fresh form or in dried form for medicinal uses. It is called Turkey Berry | Pea Eggplant in English, Sundakkai in Tamil, Usthikaya in Telugu Bhankatiya in Hindi, Kudanekai in Kannada and Chundanga in Malayalam. It’s botanical name is Solanum Torvum. My paternal grandfather was very fond of sundakkai and always insisted that we have the plant in our home. These are the medicinal uses of sundakkai | turkey berry: 1. Turkey Berry For Intestinal Worms: Turkey berry has been traditionally used for treating intestinal worms and I would suggest frying sundakkai in little bit of oil along with little bit of ajwain. Powder them in a dry mixer and mix it with rice and consume for treating intestinal worms. 2. Turkey Berry For Diabetes: Turkey berry has been recommended for diabetics and this use is backed by research, you can read the study that proves it here. 3. Turkey Berry For Indigestion, Gastritis & Stomach Ache: Dried sundakkai podi is recommended for treating all stomach related problems very effectively. To make the sundakkai podi, fry dried sundakkai vathal (dried turkey berry) i little bit of oil along with required amount of cumin seeds and peppercorns. Add salt and powder the ingredients in a dry mixer, this powder can be had along with rice. 4. Turkey Berry For Cold & Cough: Sundakkai is very useful for treating cold, cough and chest congestion very effectively. I would suggest either the sundakkai podi or the soup for treating cold and cough. 5. Turkey Berry For anemia: Turkey berry is high in iron so people suffering from anemia will benefit taking turkey berry regularly. In Tamil Nadu, we make a wonderful gravy with it called sundakkai vatha kulambu and I really love that gravy. The only problem is, when you want to treat anemia, you have to eat turkey berry on a regular basis and it is impossible to make the gravy daily. The turkey berry soup given below is perfect to make on a daily basis as it can be made very quickly. This soup is really tasty and is very comforting to drink when we suffer from cold and cough. Regular consumption of this soup raises the blood count. This soup also treats stomach ulcers and also aids digestion. To make this turkey berry soup, first you have to clean the berries else the soup will be bitter. To clean, pound the fresh turkey berries in a mortar and pestle. Add the pounded turkey berries to a bowl of water and wash them well by rubbing them between your fingers, the seeds will settle down. Wash them once more and now the turkey berries are ready for the soup. I have used homemade ghee/clarified butter to fry the spices and it gives the best flavor. If you are suffering from insomnia, try making this often for best results. If you are planning to give it to the children, decrease the quantity of pepper in the pounded mixture. Drink this soup hot and you will be making this often both for it’s taste and for it’s health benefits. Sundakkai Side Effects: Sundakkai has very low toxicity and is usually well tolerated by everyone.

1. Pound the turkey berries in a mortar and pestle. Add the pounded berries to a bowl of water and wash them well. The seeds would have settled down. Now take the berries alone and wash them once or twice more.

2. In a mortar and pestle, pound the cumin seeds and pepper corns. Heat ghee in a pan and fry the pounded spices.

3.  Add the washed turkey berries and fry them for a minute.

4. Add 2 cups of water and salt. Close with a lid and let it boil till the berries are cooked.

5. Remove from fire and strain the mixture and your wonderful turkey berry soup is ready.


  • Use fresh turkey berries for good taste.
  • Increase or decrease the amount of pepper according to your taste.
  • If you don’t wash the turkey berries like mentioned, the soup will have a bitter taste.
  • Ghee /clarified butter gives the best taste for this soup, you can substitute it with homemade butter too



  1. smuddapu
    April 30, 2014 / 6:35 pm

    Hi Ramya, thank you for this posting. I have been looking for a blood count booster. By the way what is the telugu name for Turkey Berries. I don't even remember seeing them. Thanks again

  2. ramya
    May 1, 2014 / 1:52 pm

    Hi, It is called " Usthikaya" In Telugu…..

  3. frank
    October 10, 2014 / 11:00 am

    Can I blend and drink turkey berry in the form of juice?

    • Unknown
      January 3, 2017 / 9:43 am

      yes, it has an instantaneous effect. Wash thoroughly with salt and blend raw with clean distilled water. add juice of whole lemon as vit C aids in the absorption of iron. the sourness of Lemon is also ideal to neutralize the bitter taste.

  4. Ramya Venkateshwaran
    October 10, 2014 / 4:05 pm

    Hi Frank, The juice will be bitter, instead try using it in soups and sauces……

  5. Jay
    February 3, 2015 / 5:37 pm

    Can the store bought uppu sundaikai(vattha Kuzhambu) be used for this? Is this safe for kids?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      February 4, 2015 / 2:00 am

      This soup is best done with fresh sundakkai. This is very safe to give for the kids, in fact we should give them often due to it's high iron content…..

    • Anonymous
      August 26, 2015 / 12:46 am

      Hi, Any brahmin family will swear on Sundaikai vathkuzhambu as a delicacy. Ilove it although it has a bitter aftertaste. Cheers. Ram

  6. Anonymous
    April 4, 2015 / 7:41 pm

    Like your post is very helpful

  7. Usha Pandey
    September 5, 2015 / 2:39 am

    can Sundaikai leaves has also health benefits and can be used to cook vegetable? Please let mkenow. Thanks! Usha

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      September 8, 2015 / 6:06 am

      Hi Usha, as far as I know only the fruits have amazing health benefits and is the only part used for internal consumption. we don't use the sundakkai leaves…

  8. Anonymous
    May 24, 2016 / 4:30 am

    Do we have to strain the sundaikai also and drink only the liquid? By then the benefits will already be steeped in the soup?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      June 7, 2016 / 5:37 am

      When we strain the sundakkai mixture and press through the fine mesh, only the leathery skin will be left back, all the essence would have been steeped into the sundakkai soup…

    • Anonymous
      June 7, 2016 / 8:30 am

      Thanks Ramya..

    • Sajad Ibrahim
      June 23, 2016 / 3:10 pm

      Plz reply me

  9. Unknown
    June 23, 2016 / 3:06 pm

    HelloI have losing the hair from my moustache due to the reason of itching.my friend prefer this one,how it use

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      July 8, 2016 / 5:07 am

      I am sorry, I am not sure how sundakkai | turkey berry can help with itching…

  10. Kinon Joseph
    July 10, 2016 / 2:11 pm

    Hi i have type 2 diabetes, how can i use turkey berry to help control high blood sugar…can it be blend with other fruits to make a smoothie..

  11. Kinon Joseph
    July 10, 2016 / 2:12 pm

    Hi i have type 2 diabetes, how can i use turkey berry to help control high blood sugar…can it be blend with other fruits to make a smoothie..

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      July 15, 2016 / 8:19 am

      Turkey berry | Sundakkai can be taken by diabetic people and if you are planning on taking it daily along with consuming diabetic medication, I would suggest monitoring your blood sugar levels closely as it can lower it down significantly. I would suggest making a soup out of turkey berries as it can be very bitter if you blend the berries as such with other fruits…

  12. Abi
    September 5, 2016 / 5:56 pm

    Please can I introduce turkey berry in 7 month baby food

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      September 10, 2016 / 2:44 pm

      Sundakkai | Turkey berry is a bit leathery and has a slight bitter taste, I would suggest giving it once the child can chew…

  13. Unknown
    October 12, 2016 / 8:04 pm

    Hi,please can a pregnant woman take Turkey Berries

    • Rita Amador
      January 3, 2017 / 9:47 am

      Absolutely! Turkey berry is good for your blood count esp. for anaemia condition in pregnancy.

  14. Anonymous
    November 7, 2016 / 11:15 am

    Will cooked turkey berry also helps in blood count..so that we can often cook them with pasiparruppu dal

    November 9, 2016 / 4:59 pm

    You can cook the turkey berry and eat it.

  16. contrivance
    April 30, 2017 / 1:29 pm

    I grow Sundaikkai Plant in my house and enjoy the yields in plenty.I make Pickle of three types. 1.using Lemon Juice,salt,Ginger,Green Chilly – very tasty. 2. Tamarind,salt dry chilly fried or chilly powder -different taste. 3.diluted Butter milk, salt & green chilly a little ginger for special taste.S.RamanujamStrategy Contriver

  17. contrivance
    April 30, 2017 / 1:32 pm

    I also grow Manathakkali and mix with sundaikkai for the pickles the result is excellent taste and good for health.S.RamanujamBangalore

  18. kayshree'sblog
    July 30, 2017 / 2:46 pm

    sundakka thogayal will be pretty tasty….

  19. kayshree'sblog
    July 30, 2017 / 2:48 pm

    the pity is even cities need copious rains to cultivate all these herbal plants like sundakkai, manathakkalikai, pirandai, thoothuvalai, and omam and oscimum. lack of water I have lost sundakkai, manathakkalikkai and oscimum at my home….

  20. Venugoal
    March 30, 2021 / 6:14 pm

    Why the seeds of sundakai removing any reason?

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