Saturday, October 12, 2013

Solanum torvum - terung pipit

Terung Pipit is Solanum torvum, also known as Turkey berry, Devil’s fig, prickly nightshade, wild eggplant, pea eggplant, and many other names.

Originated from the West Indies, it is now widely distributed all over the Tropics, more as a noxious weed than cultivated crop.

The plant is 2 to 3 meter in height.  The branches and twigs are covered with hairs and spines.  Leaves are opposite, ovate, and lobed.  Flowers are white, tubular with 5 pointed lobes, in corymbiform cymes.  Fruits are berries in clusters, round, about 1cm diameter, green when mature, yellow when ripe, think-fleshed.  Seeds numerous, flat disc.

Propagation by seeds and cuttings.  The plant does not live long, up to 2 years the most.  Usually used as rootstocks for eggplants, for its resistant against root diseases.

  

The green fresh fruits are used in Thai cuisine, as well as Malay and Lao cuisine.  Fruits can be consumed fresh as salad or cooked with curry or soups, sauces and stews.   Dried fruits which are pre-soaked fruits in curd, were fried in oil to make sundaikkai vattral, an Indian condiment. 
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