Sundakkai Vathal are dried pea eggplants (also called turkey berries), and they have a salty, slightly bitter taste. They are quite addictive, but are an adult taste. You have to grow into them. We adore them.
One way to use them is to grind them into a powder. Sometimes we do this without mixing them with anything else – saute them in a tiny bit of ghee until the puff a little, then grind into a powder, and sprinkle on rice and into dishes. It is amazing!
This recipe is a podi, or a South Indian spice mix, which includes lentils, pepper and chillies. You can add cumin as well. Curry leaves are crisped and ground with the other ingredients. It tastes great with hot rice mixed with ghee, and used to make Sundakkai Vathal Kuzhambu.
Sundakkai Vathal Paruppu Podi | Dried Pea Eggplant, Spice and Lentil Mix | Dried Turkey Berry Spice Powder
0.25 cups Sundakkai Vathal
0.25 cup channa dal
0.25 cup urad dal
3 Indian dried red chillies, or to taste
1 tspn black peppercorns
3 stalks curry leaves
1 tspn ghee
Heat the ghee in a kadhai or small pan and fry the sundakkai vathal and curry leaves until the curry leaves are crisp and the vathal has darkened slightly and puffed up. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Put the channa dal, urad dal, red chillies and peppercorns into the same pan and stir until the lentils darken. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Blend both mixtures until it is a powder. Taste (carefully) and add salt if necessary. Sundakkai vathal is quite salty, so you won’t need much, if any.
Store the podi in an airtight container.
recipe notes and variation. s
There are many variations of sundakkai powder. For example, Cumin and garlic can be added to this basic recipe.
Or make it with Sundakkai Vathal, cumin, chillies and garlic.
Coriander and asafoetida can be added.
Tamarind and jaggery can be added.
Be careful of the amount of salt, as Sundakkai Vathal is salty.
Enjoy with hot rice drizzled with some ghee. Or make a Sundakkai Kuzhambu. It can be added to Indian dishes too.