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Mathanga Erissery - Kerala Pumpkin Curry

This Erissery or Erisseri is a traditional recipe in Kerala Cuisine. This is an easy recipe to make and has a prominent place in the Sadya. The Kadala Mathanga Erissery is a delicious side dish that you can serve along with Rice. This time I have used Green gram instead of Kadala (black chana)

This recipe uses yellow pumpkin along with black chickpeas and is spiced with coconut paste and topped with fried coconut tadka/tempering. This dish is quite versatile in nature and different ingredients can be used as below: 

Ingredients that you can use in making Erissery: 
  • Typically we use pumpkin, mostly red ones to make this curry. Some use Yam as well.
  • Lentil / Pulses: Usually for a sadya, we use Kala Chana or Black chickpea/kadala. But we can use other lentils like Vanpayar or Red Cow Peas. Some replace this with regular white cowpea or black-eyed peas. This time I have used Green Gram. 
Let's see how to make this simple curry with step by step pictures given below. Do check out the quick video as well for ease of understanding. 

Ingredients : 
  • 200 to 250 grams pumpkin (kaddu) - approx 1.5 to 2 cup peeled and chopped pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup green gram boiled (See below for other options)
  • 2-3 Slit Green chillies
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt as required
For The Coconut Paste
  • 3/4 cup grated coconut, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 garlic pods 
For Tempering: 
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 12 to 15 curry leaves
  • 5-6 shallots /small onion sliced (optional)
  • 1 to 2 dry red chilies - broken
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon grated coconut, fresh or frozen
  • 1 or 1.5 tablespoon coconut oil 
  1. Rinse the green gram well in water and soak it in hot water for 30 mins
  2. Pressure cook them with 2 or 2.5 cups water with some salt till they are cooked completely. 
  3. Drain and keep aside.
  4. Rinse the pumpkin & peel and chop into cubes.
  5. Add the pumpkin cubes and 1 cup water in a pan.
  6. To this add green chillies, turmeric powder and salt.
  7. Cover the pan and cook the pumpkin for 12-15 minutes or more on a low flame till they are cooked.
  8. Check the pumpkin a few times when they are cooking, to see if the water has not dried up. If the water dries up, then add some more water and continue to cook.
Making Coconut Paste: 
  1. While the pumpkin is getting cooked, (Under coconut Paste) take the grated coconut, garlic and cumin seeds in a grinder jar.
  2. Add 1/2 cup water and grind to a smooth paste. Keep aside
  3. Now to the cooked pumpkin, add the cooked green peas along with the ground coconut paste 
  4. Add 1/2 cup water or more if the consistency looks thick at this stage
  5. Check for seasoning and add salt if needed
  6. Stir well and place the pan on fire and simmer for 10-12 minutes or more till the flavors are well blended.
  7. If the curry becomes thick, add some more water.
  8. When done cover with a lid and keep aside.
Making Tempering For Mathanga Erissery
  1. In a small pan, heat coconut oil, crackle the mustard seeds first.
  2. Then add the curry leaves and the red chilies along with shallots
  3. Fry till the curry leaves and shallots start to become crisp and the color of the red chilies change.
  4. Add the coconut and saute till the coconut becomes golden.
  5. The fresh coconut gratings absorb all the oil. So keep on stirring and saute on a low flame, so that the coconut does not get burnt and there is even browning.
  6. Pour this whole tempering mixture into the mathanga erissery curry 
  7. Stir and serve pumpkin erissery hot with some rice
Notes : 
  • As mentioned earlier, you can use white cowpeas (red cowpeas or lobia or chawli) or black chickpea instead of green gram 
  • Adjust the water according to the consistency you need 

Do Check out other Kerala Recipes on the blog 


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