Friday, May 3, 2013

Pea Eggplant (Solanum Torvum)

 The pea eggplant (Solanum Torvum) as what it is familiarly called in English has the size as same as peas. In Malaysia, it is called terung pipit. Terung in Malay language is eggplant and pipit is sparrow. This eggplant grow wild here in Peninsular Malaysia and of course its neighbouring countries like Thailand courtesy of the birds. Hence, it is called terung pipit. Can be a very invasive plant. It is a weed in our garden. It can even grow in between pavement cracks.
 The pea eggplant has white blooms closely resembles to potato plant flower which is not surprising as they both belong to the nightshade or Solanum family.
 Pea eggplant fruits and its common guardian, red ants.
'Terung pipit' plant can grow about 2 metres tall at least. This one is probably a very well fed 'Terung Pipit' plant as the place it is voluntarily growing is where we always moved the compost bin around. The boy on the look out for geese and a turkey make sure they won't come near him or he runs a hundred miles.
'Terung pipit' plant branches are thorny so make sure you don't get prick.
 Terung pipit volunteer seedlings sprouting everywhere. I sowed other seeds and I get unwanted terung pipit seedlings sprouting instead.
 I usually stir-fry terung pipit with sambal olek together with peanuts and small dried anchovies. Fried the terung pipit, peanut and dried anchovies separately. Then heat some cooking oil, add sambal olek,  stir until cooked or fragrant until you feel like sneezing. Sometime I add some tomato sauce after the sambal olek is cook. Mix well and then add the fried terung pipit, peanut and dried anchovies until well-coated. Other traditional way to enjoy eggplant is in green/yellow curry. Terung Pipit fruit taste a bit bitterish. Its fun to eat them as they seem to pop in your mouth when you bite them.

How do you enjoy your terung pipit?


黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...

Very interesting, not sure if I had tried it before.

黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mixed-family in da house.... said...


In my kampung in Kelantan, this trees grow everywhere which make me a bit jealous. Because I've tried to plant it last 2 years in Penang, but it died because of small whitish insect, bena if I'm not mistaken....

@na said...

i oso found this plant sprouting voluntary in my a bit bitter, right?

Anonymous said...

it is consider a 'wild plant' - grows on its own.

smRose said...

menyelerakan btui sambal tu nampaknya

Sunray Gardens said...

Interesting, we don't have that here as far as I know.
Cher Sunray Gardens

Mark Willis said...

A volunteer plant that grows so profusely and whose fruit you can eat sounds to me like an attractive plant! In the UK these things are only very rarely available and are usually treated as a luxury item - used mainly in posh restaurants!

Sue Garrett said...

I've never seen pea eggplants!

Liz said...

How funny - we both wrote posts on unusual crops that pop in your mouth when you bite them. I like the idea of cooking them with sambal - I think that would be really good. I've tried to cook them with curries before but I haven't managed to get the texture right - I think I undercooked them both times I tried. Did you grow them in Adelaide?

Autumn Belle said...

Oh wow, I have heard of this plant but never seen or eat before. The flowers look like the Giant Star Potato Tree (Solanum macranthum).

Kadazan sis.TRG said...

Wow,your sambal really made me hungry.can be taken together with nasi lemak eh.We've got plenty here in TRG and back home(SBH),growing wildly.Never tried them before but my husband loves to eat them as 'ulam'.One of these days i should try your recipe-thanks.

Kelli said...

What an interesting vegetable. I like the way you have prepared it, sounds good.

Graziana said...

I never heard before of pea eggplant, it looks really interesting, thank you for all the informations!

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Wong Ching Wah~ Some pasar tani sell this pea eggplants. But they grow wild in kampung areas.

Mixed-family in da house~ Yes sometime the 'bena' does like to attact this pea eggplant.

@na~ A bit bitter not for the kids bud taste.

Yes a wild plant.

smRose~ Masak koboi je ni.

Cher~ It can be a bit invasive. Thrive in the tropical weather.

Mark~Sometime blanch and eat with sambal belacan. Wonders how the posh restaurant will prepare it ;) .

Sue~ Really the size of a pea. Very prolific plant.

Liz~ No I did not grow them in Adelaide. No need to cook them long. Maybe just put the pea eggplants when the dish is almost cook.

Autumn Belle~ The terung pipit grow wild probably more seen in the kampung areas.

Kadazan sis. TRG~ Interesting the last trip to Sabah, I did not see any farmers selling pea eggplants. Yes rebus for a bit and eat with budu also can.

Kelli~ My sons like to eat this dish. So I am trying to persuade him to get used to eat pea eggplants since we don't have home-grown peas available yet.

Grazian~ You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

where can I get the seeds to plant or do any of you guys know where can I buy it in Selangor? been trying to find some to make green curry