Bitter, Sweet & Tangy Turkey Berries

Turkey berries, also known as pea eggplants, are hailed for their medicinal properties and traditionally used in the treatment of a number of diseases like indigestion, colds and coughs, anemia and diabetes.

The fresh, green berries are used as an ingredient in different cuisines to make a whole gamut of dishes ranging from soups to chilli pastes. The following recipe is a simple way to cook and include these berries in your daily diet. The berries have a bitter taste and removing some of their seeds helps in reducing the bitterness.


Serves 4


190g  turkey berries
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon de-seeded tamarind pulp
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons jaggery, or to taste


  1. Using a mortal and pestle, slightly crush the turkey berries until they pop open.
    Place the crushed berries in a bowl and wash in 2-3 changes of water to remove some of their seeds.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium pan.
  3. When the oil is hot, add the garlic cloves and cumin seeds. Stir for a minute and then add peppercorns, turmeric and the washed berries. Stir for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Extract the juice of tamarind in 1/2 cup/125ml water and add to the berries. Add salt. Mix.
  5. Cover the pan and cook for 15-20 minutes until the berries are tender and the water has evaporated.
  6. Add jaggery and mix. Cook until the jaggery melts and blends with the berries.
    Turn off the heat.
  7. Serve hot.


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