Have you ever eaten Sussumba, otherwise called gully beans in Jamaica? Well, I have been blessed to be gifted these Susumber berries from our friend Jean, who picked them from the wild here in Florida.
I grew up seeing these green berries all over Jamaica growing in the wild, it is one of those plants that flourish even during a drought, it pretty much can grow under any soil condition. The berries remind me of a mini version of eggplant. It is traditionally prepared in Jamaica with salt fish but I decided to prepare it in a coconut stew, like Vegan Ital Stew, Black Bean Butternut Squash Stew, and Vegan Jamaican Stew Peas.
Susumba stew, is a flavorful homemade stew, I first preboiled the berries in water to reduce the bitterness, I also crushed half the berries while cooking the stew. The bold flavors of the thyme, Scotch bonnet pepper, allspice cooked in the coconut milk results in an incredibly tasty stew that is so delicious served with slices of boiled green bananas and yellow yam.
What Is Susumba?
Susumba, scientifically known as Solanum Torvum, also known as Susumber, Gully Bean, Susumber Berries, Turkey Berry, Devil’s Fig, Sundaikai, Sundakkai, Plate Bush, Pea Eggplant, Wild Eggplant, Pea Aubergine, Bharatiya, Tekokak.
Susumba is a round green fruit from a shrub that grows wild in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world, it is grown wild in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean, India, Central and South America, Africa, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, and even here in Florida.
Susumba, has a bitter taste, it is not only used as a food but used for its medicinal properties, it is believed to contain antibacterial properties, good for ailments such as cancer, heart disease, tuberculosis, strokes, gout, back pain. (A, B, C, D)
How To Make Susumba stew?
- Wash susumba and add to a saucepan, add cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for about 20 minutes or until susumba is tender. Drain water and discard.
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, green onion, bell pepper, and thyme and cook until onion is soft, about 2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, susumber, coconut milk, Scotch bonnet pepper, vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Crush some of the berries using a fork. Season with salt to taste.
Other Jamaican Recipes To Try
- Jamaican Ackee Patty
- Jamaican Style Eggplant Curry
- Jamaican Breadfruit Rundown
- Coconut Lentil Curry
- Jamaican Vegan Recipes
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- 2 cups susumba, or turkey berries (stems removed)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green onion, sliced
- 1/4 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- 1 whole Scotch Bonnet pepper, or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth, or water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Wash susumba and add to a saucepan, add cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for about 20 minutes or until susumba is tender. Drain water and discard. Set aside the cooked susumba berries.
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, green onion, bell pepper, thyme, allspice and cook until onion is soft about 2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, susumba, coconut milk, Scotch bonnet pepper, vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for about 7 minutes. Crush some of the berries using a fork. Season with salt to taste.