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Pachai Sundaikkai Theeyal - Turkey Berry Theeyal - Kuzhambu Recipes

Whenever I think of Kerala food, I personally like theeyal kuzhambu which is similar to our vathakuzhambu. There are many varieties of theeyal kuzhambu. Today we are going to see an interesting theeyal recipe with turkey berry (sundaikkai). It includes authentic ingredients which combine all the flavours in perfect balance. 

Nowadays you can find Turkey berries everywhere in the vegetable market and also in departmental stores. Often, we prepare dried vathal during summertime but there are many interesting recipes with this healthy vegetable. Making a good Turkey berry dish requires some patience and time. You have to remove the berries from their stem and then we have to crush them slightly with a stone. 

Turkey berries are highly nutritious due to their various nutritional components. They are a good source of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and minerals like potassium, sodium, iron, magnesium and copper. It protects against cancer. It is considered as one of the healthy fruits and we must try to include it in our diet monthly twice or thrice. 

This healthy kuzhambu is an easy way to include Turkey berries in our diet. I learnt this recipe from Regina Amma who is a famous cook in our area. She is an expert in aapam, vadai curry, theeyal, vada and bonda dishes. I love her fast way of service in their shop. She gave me a bottle of ginger theeyal, sundaikkai theeyal and sundaikkai thuvaiyal. All tasted so good and yummy. A few months back, during our visit to Megamalai we plucked lots of fresh sundaikkai. After coming to Chennai, I asked for the sundaikkai theeyal recipe from her. She clearly explained each and every step with exact measurements and it tasted awesome. 

Like vathakuzhambu, there are different varieties, and today we are going to see the exact theeyal recipe from Regina amma without any modifications or changes. As mentioned before, for theeyal kuzhambu we prepare fresh coconut paste. We need to dry roast the coconut gratings well until golden brown. The freshly roasted and ground coconut add all the magic to this theeyal. The recipe might sound lengthy, but it is easy when compared to sambar and kara kuzhambu. Let's see how to make it. 

Check out my other Kuzhambu recipes

Here is the video link for Pachai Sundaikkai Theeyal

How to make the Pachai Sundakkai Theeyal Kuzhambu 

Prep time : 20 minutes
Cook time : 20 minutes
Serves : 4
Category : kuzhambu

Ingredients for Theeyal 

For this recipe, we need small onions, garlic cloves, fresh turkey berries, tamarind, coconut, chilly powder, coriander powder, cumin, curry leaves, jaggery, tempering ingredients and coconut oil. If you are finishing the kuzhambu within a day, you can add 1 tomato and reduce the tamarind according to your taste.

  • 1 cup fresh turkey berry
  • 20 small onions
  • 15 garlic cloves
  • medium lemon sized tamarind
  • 1/8 tsp fenugreek
  • 1 tsp mustard and urid dal
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • few curry leaves
  • 3 tsp red chilly powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp jaggery
  • 1/2 cup fresh coconut pieces
  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • salt to taste


Before starting the dish, we have to crush the turkey berries. Place the turkey berries in a plate or sheet and crush them slightly with a mortar pestle. Soak tamarind in hot water and extract juice with 1.5 cups of water. Peel the skins of garlic cloves and small onions.Slice the onions and garlic lengthwise. Cut some coconut into small pieces for tempering. Grate coconut without any brown parts for the masala. Keep all the ingredients ready. 

Prepare the theeyal kuzhambu masala paste

Heat a pan or kadai and add 1 tsp coconut oil. When it is heated enough, add cumin, few curry leaves and grated coconut. Roast, roast, roast......until it gets dry and deep golden brown. Do not let the coconut turn black because it will make the kuzhambu bitter. Turn off the heat and add the chilly powder and coriander powder. Stir well immediately. 

Allow it to cool and grind it to a thick paste with a few drops of water. Do not add more water while grinding. Instead of red chilly powder and coriander powder, you can also add fresh coriander seeds and red chillies. 

Prepare the kuzhambu

Heat coconut oil in a clay pot or kalchatti. When the oil is heated enough add fenugreek followed by mustard and urid dal. Allow them to splutter and add the onions, garlic cloves, crushed sundaikkai and the coconut pieces. Now we have to saute well continuously until it turns crisp. 

Now add the tamarind extract and the required salt. Allow it to boil for 5 minutes and add the ground roasted coconut paste. Add 1/4 cup water. Mix well and adjust the seasonings if required. 

Now add 1/2 tsp jaggery and mix again. Simmer the theeyal for 7 minutes. Then turn off the heat. Close it with a lid and allow the kuzhambu to rest in the heat for another 30 minutes to infuse the flavours. 


  1. I highly recommend coconut oil for this theeyal as it adds a nice flavour. Do the roasting procedures on medium heat until deep golden brown and do not burn the ingredients as it makes the theeyal bitter. 
  2. To balance the spice level and to reduce the bitterness, I have added 1/2 tsp jaggery here. Do not add more jaggery because it will change the taste.
  3. This theeyal stays good for 15 days when refrigerated. You can serve this theeyal with plain steamed rice, kootu and any poriyal. 


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