February 25, 2009

Erissery Recipe - Kerala Pumpkin Erissery Recipe - Onam Sadya Recipes

Erissery (with pumpkin or mathanga) is a typical Kerala Onam sadya recipe that's almost always made during a festival or wedding. I realised a couple of weeks back that its been quite a while since I posted any Kerala recipe in here. It wasn't surprising because when I think of making a new dish, I always try to look up Brahmin recipes since that's something TH would enjoy and something I can learn too.

But on this particular weekend, I was all "I want Kerala food, coconut all the way". I usually shop for my vegetables for the week on Sunday evenings but that weekend, I headed off bright and early, ok 11am to be precise, on Saturday and guess what I saw first thing I stepped into the vegetable section.

This beauty right here. I am no pumpkin lover but erissery has always held a soft spot in my heart. Mom doesn't make it that often, actually. She makes pumpkin koottu more often, with dal. But erissery is a quintessential part of the Onam Sadya and I realised I haven't even tried it myself yet. That idea and this pumpkin combined, and the rest is history ;)

I couldn't resist more pictures of the pumpkin. It was bright orange-yellow and smooth spotless on the outside. Since this was during Chinese New Year, vegetables in Singapore supermarkets were fresh and mostly from China.

If you would like to check out more Kerala recipes, then my favourites are inji curry, Kerala avial, and cabbage thoran.


(serves 4 as a side)
Pumpkin / mathanga - 3 cups, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup (fresh works best but you can use frozen too)
Cumin / jeera / jeerakam - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 2, or to taste
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
For tempering
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Grated coconut - 4 tbsp
Shallots - 3, sliced
Red chillies - 3
Curry leaves - a few
Coconut oil - 2 tsp (or any other oil you have)

How to Make Pumpkin Erissery:

1. Boil the pumpkin in 1/4 cup water with salt and turmeric, until soft. This should take about 7 to 10 mins.

2. Grind coconut, green chillies and jeera to a paste with requred amount of water. Add this to the cooked pumpkin and keep fire on sim. Adjust water if the curry is too thick at this stage. Add spoonfuls at a time so that it doesn't get too watery. If curry is too watery, then let it boil or add 1 tsp of rice flour mixed in 2 tsp water. Cook until desired consistency is reached, add salt and keep aside.

3. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add the urad dal, shallots and red chillies. Fry until the dal turns golden brown and the shallots turn transparent. Tear curry leaves and add to this. Mix well and pour directly over the cooked pumpkin curry.

4. In the same pan, add the 4 tbsp coconut and fry on low heat till crispy and golden brown. Mix this into the curry and serve with steamed rice and pickles. Adding the fried coconut in the end is very important for the flavour of the curry so don't skip this step!

Mathanga Erissery