January 27, 2012

Chena Vanpayar Erissery Recipe-Onam Sadya Recipes

I have been baking a lot lately and realising how much I enjoy it. But that doesn't mean I should give up on my roots and stop making these amazing Kerala recipes. Nothing can transport me back home virtually like a good Kerala sadya.


The last time I posted Erissery, I got a few comments asking for chena vanpayar erissery. Clearly, pumpkin is not a very favourite vegetable to most. But vanpayar is not easily available here and I couldn't find it in Mustafa Stores which practically means its non existent in Singapore.


So I did what any self-respecting food lover cum food blogger would do. I brought a bag back from my last trip to Kottayam. So today, I can share the authentic Erissery recipe with you. Howzaaat?


I absolutely love chena / elephant yam btw. If you are in Singapore and didn't know this yet, Mustafa stocks frozen cubed elephant yam now. No more buying a huge yam and wasting majority of it or trying to rub oil on your itching palms after cutting up a yam. Hooray!
Authentic Chena Vanpayar Erissery Recipe

3 cups cubed elephant yam / chena
1 cup cow peas / vanpayar
Salt to taste

Grate together:
1/2 cup grated coconut (frozen will work but not dessicated)
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1/4 tsp pepper powder
A large pinch of turmeric powder
1/4 tsp chilli powder

For tempering:
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry red chillies, torn into small pieces
A few curry leaves
1 tbsp coconut oil (anything else would make it taste less authentic!)

How to Make Erissery:

1. Wash the vanpayar and sift out any stones that may be there. I found two decent-sized ones in my 1 cup of vanpayar. Transfer to a pan with 3 cups water and cook on a low fire until semi-soft. This will take about 20 mins or so. Add the yam to the vanpayar and cook until both turn soft and almost mushy. (I took the easy route and dunked everything into a pressure cooker and cooked for 2 whistles. The vanpayar was done perfectly but the yam became too soft. You can do this if you don't mind the consistency of erissery seen in the pictures)

2. Once the vanpayar and yam are cooked, add the grated coconut mixture and mix well, cooking on low flame until well combined and the coconut loses its raw smell - about 3-4 mins. Add salt. Mix again. Remove from fire.

3. Heat oil for tempering and add all the ingredients mentioned in the list. When the mustard seeds pop and the red chillies glisten, remove from fire and dunk into the cooked mixture. Mix well and serve hot with rice and pulissery.

I've also made a variation of this dish without the coconut - Yam and Black Eyed Peas Curry without Coconut

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