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 jackfruit! 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!
- 1/2 cup red beans
- 500 grams pumpkin
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- to taste salt
- 1 green chillies
- 6 shallots
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 cup grated coconut
- 1/2 cup grated coconut
- 3 dry red chillies
- 2 sprigs curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or any other vegetable oil
- Soak the red beans in water overnight*.
- Dice the pumpkin to one inch pieces.
- In a pressure cooker, add the soaked red beans, diced pumpkin, turmeric powder, salt, and two cups of water.
- Stir well, close the lid, and pressure cook till the first whistle. Reduce the flame to low, and cook for two more whistles.
- Keep the pressure cooker aside to cool down.
- Grind coconut, green chillies, cumin seeds, and shallots to a coarse consistency.
- The pressure cooker would have released the pressure by now. Open the lid, add the ground mixture and mix well. Cook for 10 minutes on a low flame and switch off.
- Heat some oil in another pan. Temper the mustard seeds.
- Lower the flame, add curry leaves, grated coconut and saute.
- Add dry chillies as soon as the coconut start turning brown. Saute till the grated coconut is fried to a nice golden-brown colour.
- Switch off the flame. Garnish with fried coconut mix and serve hot with rice.