Mathanga or pumpkin erissery is a traditional Kerala delicacy that you’ll always come across in the spread of a feast. Be it Onam, Vishu, or any other celebratory feast, erissery has to be in the list of dishes being served. But don’t think of it as one of the components in an ensemble feast. A good erissery with some rice is all you’ll need to enjoy a nice, soulful lunch.
Check out this super healthy, super tasty classic! Loaded with superfoods pumpkin and coconut, this is a winning recipe!
Erissery, for the uninitiated, is a dish prepared by cooking vegetables with pulses and grated coconut and finished off with a garnish of roasted coconut. Even though pumpkin is the most popular ingredient, you could substitute it with a variety of vegetables based on what’s seasonally available.
For me, erissery is a dish from the memory lane. My grandma used to cook a variety of erisseries. The ingredients were seasonal and harvested fresh from the farm. Some of my favourites were the erisseries made with pumpkin, elephant yam (chena), or green lentils. It could be made with plantain (raw/green banana) or even jack fruit! Options were infinite but the results were always great – delicious! Those days it was all organic and locally sourced.
About this pumpkin erissery recipe
As always I am trying to simply a traditional recipe to the easiest rendition possible. We’ll soak some red bean overnight (If you don’t have much time to prep, follow the recipe without the red beans). Red beans and diced pumpkin are pressure cooked with some turmeric powder and salt. Pressure cooking saves times if you are cooking pulses. Grind some coconut with green chillies and cumin seeds and add to the cooked pumpkin. Cook further till all the ingredients come together well and the pumpkin is all mashed up.
For the finishing touches, we temper some mustard seeds in coconut oil and roast some grated coconut with red chillies and curry leaves. That’s quintessentially a Kerala garnish! Layer this on the cooked pumpkin mix. Serve with some steamed rice, and that’s another successful, home-cooked meal!