Erissery is one of the essential item of Kerala sadya.Erissery is prepared many ways in different regions of Kerala, but generally this can be considered as a combination of vegetable and pulses, it might be a single vegetable or a combination of different vegetables with pulses spiced up with coconut mixture. Here, I am sharing the most popular method of Erissery preparation and definitely you will get the conventional taste of this dish.
This mathanga vanpayar erissery is a very simple and easy dish, where the cooked red cowpeas and pumpkin is mixed with the spicy coconut paste which is later seasoned with the traditional Kerala seasoning method, i.e., with coconut oil, mustard, curry leaves and dried red chilies. This type of seasoning will help to preserve the authentic Kerala flavors.
The pumpkin is sweet in taste, but erissery is not a sweet dish. The addition of other ingredients like salt, green chilies, and red chili powder will hide the sweetness of pumpkin. Do not make this too much spicy, because a perfect Erissery is the well balanced tastes of all.
Direction of preparation of Erissery
- Take the soaked red cowpeas in a pressure cooker. The peas should be soaked for at least 6 to 8 hours .
- Cook this on high flame for two whistles. By this time, the peas will be cooked enough. Switch off the flame and wait till the pressure settle.
- Once the pressure has been settled down completely, add the peeled, chopped pumpkins.
- Cook for another one or two whistles. Switch off the flame and wait till the pressure settle completely.
- Open the lid and mash the pumpkins with the back of the spoon or with a potato masher. Then cook on high flame till the gravy reduces to half and thickened.
- Meanwhile, grind 1/4 cup grated coconut, 2 or 3 green chilies, 4 to 5 shallots, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and a pinch of cumin seeds with enough water. I have used 1/2 cup of water.
- Make this into a very smooth paste.
- Add this into the reduced gravy and mix well. Cook this covered till the raw smell of coconut leaves.
- Make tempering by spluttering mustard seeds in enough oil. Add dried red chilies and curry leaves and saute for a few seconds.
- Add this over the curry and close with a lid. Keep this covered for 5 to 10 minutes. Then serve with steamed rice.
Tips and suggestions
- Soak the cowpeas over night for fast cooking. If you are in a hurry, then soak in hot water for 1 hour before cooking.
- Do not mash up the pumpkin and cowpeas completely.
- The spices should overcome the sweetness of pumpkin in this dish.