Pea eggplant

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Berries from the pea eggplant for sale in a Malaysian vegetable market

Pea eggplant (Solanum torvum ), is a bushy, erect and spiny perennial plant used horticulturally as a rootstock for eggplant. Grafted plants are very vigorous and tolerate diseases affecting the root system, thus allowing the crop to continue for a second year.

It is also known as Devil's Fig, Prickly Nightshade, Shoo-shoo Bush, Wild Eggplant, Turkey berry, Pea Aubergine, Susumber (in Jamaica) and many other names (Howard 1989, Little and others 1974, Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk 2001).

The green fresh fruits are edible and used in Thai cuisine, as an ingredient in certain Thai curries or raw in certain Thai chili pastes (nam phrik).

In Tamil Nadu, India, the fruit is consumed directly, or as cooked food like Sundaikkai Sambar, Sundaikkai Poriyal, Sundaikkai Aviyal & Sundaikkai Pulikulambu. After soaking in curd and drying, the final product is fried in oil as Sundaikkai vattral (available in all Tamil Nadu supermarkets), it is famous all around in Tamil Nadu. In siddha medicine one of the traditional systems of India Sundaivattral Choornam is used to improve digestion.

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