Mathanga Erissery (Green Pumpkin Curry)

Erissery (also called Elissery) is an essential part of any celebration in Kerala. It is difficult to imagine an Onam sadya without this very popular dish. It is not spicy, but has a distinct taste that is very pleasing to the palate. The most popular versions of this dish are with green pumpkin or a combination of elephant yam and raw banana. Sometimes, cow peas or pigeon peas are also added to the dish. What sets it apart in flavour and texture is the addition of grated and roast coconut. Simply yum!

Green Pumpkin

To Cook The Pumpkin
250 gms green pumpkin, chopped into medium sized cubes
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi, manjal podi)
Salt to taste
For The Coconut Paste
2 tbsp grated coconut
2 green chillies
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (sabut jeera, jeeragam)
For The Seasoning
1/4 tsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu)
2 dried red chillies
1 sprig curry leaves
2 tbsp grated coconut
Cook the pumpkin with red chilli powder, turmeric powder and just enough water
Strain and reserve excess water
When pumpkin is well cooked, mash slightly and set aside
Add grated coconut, green chillies and cumin to a blender
Add the reserved stock, a little at a time, and grind to a coarse paste
Set aside
Add coconut paste and mashed pumpkin to a vessel
Mix well and bring to a simmer
Add salt
Meanwhile, heat a wok
Add mustard seeds
When the mustard seeds begin to splutter, add dried red chillies and curry leaves
Roast for about 15 seconds
Add grated coconut and continue to roast till the coconut is golden brown
Add this seasoning to the pumpkin curry
Remove from flame and serve hot with steamed red/brown rice

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