Erisseri is yet another must served curry for Onasadya, a mildly spiced flavourful side dish with the perfect combination of Vanpayar and Mathanga that tickles the taste buds of not only a Keralite, but anyone who savours it!
I had wanted to make Erisseri before Onam, but then got really occupied with weddings and travel. I am typing this in a haste while the curry is getting cooked on the stove simultaneously preparing to go to my husband's native town in a couple of hours for a wedding reception again...and excuse me if you find typo errors in the post :)
Mathanga Vanpayar Erisseri - Yellow Pumpkin with Red gram and Coconut Curry
Serves: a small family
2 cups (about 200-220 gms) *peeled and cleaned mathanga /yellow pumpkin cubes
A handful of vanpayar / Red gram
To grind to a paste,
1/2 cup grated coconut
1/2 tsp jeerakam /cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp mallipodi / coriander powder
A large clove of garlic
2-3 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup grated coconut
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp urad dal
1-2 red chillies broken into 2-3 pieces each
2 sprigs of curry leaves
1) Soak the red gram in luke warm water for at least an hour. Cook in a pan with water and a little salt until they are soft but not mushy.
2) In the meanwhile * remove the seeds of the pumpkin, peel the skin , wash and cut into 1 inch cubes. Dump the pieces along the cooked gram with. Check the water content . It should be the same level or a cm more than the pieces. Cook for a few minutes until they are just done.
3) Grind the grated coconut and cumin seeds and the powders given in the, "to grind to a paste list" to a thick paste.
4) Add the ground paste to the cooked gram and pumpkin and mix gently keeping the flame low. Let it simmer for about minutes. Erisseri is a thicker side dish but don't worry if the curry is watery. It gets thicker while cooling down or else simmer on low flame for a few more minutes to evaporate the excess water. But be careful with the added water at each step. If it's too thick, gently stir in little by little.
5) Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a separate kadai, pop the mustard seeds followed by the urad dal and red chillies. Mix well and pour over the curry.
6) In the same kadai, heat again2 tbsps of the remaining coconut oil and 1/2 cup grated coconut and fry on low flame till crispy and dark brown.Be careful not to burn it. Addition of roasted coconut and curry leaves is something you should never skip and is highly suggested to bring out the signature flavour of the erissery. Top this on the curry and mix gently before served with warm steamed rice.
The Curry goes well with Indian breads too. I serve them with Chapathis as well.
Onashamsakal to all my dear readers!