Monday, 20 August 2012

Mathanga - Van Payar Erissery

This post is part of Onam and Sadya. The recipe below will be enough to serve 6 - 8 people for Sadya. Measurements are only approximate.

Mathanga is Malayalam for pumpkin. And I hate pumpkins. As a child I was brought up not to hate food; you can like or not like food, but never hate it. Unfortunately, I couldn't resist myself hating it. I still had no
choice, when my Mum made it for lunch or dinner, but to eat it; literally lick it clean or else would be questioned. My sister devoured it.

So when I started cooking by myself, I promised me that pumpkin will never find its way into my kicthen. Hehe! But God had other plans for me. After I married I realized that my husband GC, was head-over-heels in love with pumpkin (in any form) because that was one vegetable he never forgot to buy. I consoled myself. I could get away with it by cooking pumpkin only for GC. It couldn't be hard. If only I knew better! My boys, JK and MK, grew upto love pumpkin, in any form, and would claim to have had the best meal if I served them rice with mathanga erissery and pappadam. So now, while I still wouldn't claim that pumpkin is a vegetable I like, I've learnt not to hate it. I've learnt to eat it without complaints. And I've started trying continental pumpkin recipes too. I just can't ignore something that my whole family loves, right?

So here comes the recipe for erissery from my Mother's kitchen. Just not happy with that photo up there! Photographs can never do justice to Kerala cuisine.

  • 2 cups roughly diced kent pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup adzuki beans
  • Salt to taste
To grind
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 green chilly
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
To temper
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 2 red chilly
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut
1. Soak adzuki beans overnight and cook in a pressure cooker with salt and water until soft but not mushy. Drain excess water and keep aside.
2. Cook pumpkin in water with salt (water should just be enough to cook pumpkin and not more). Mash pumpkins until creamy. Add cooked adzuki beans and keep aside.
2. In the meantime, grind all ingredients under 'To grind' to a thick fine paste. Mix this with pumpkin and adzuki and bring to boil over medium flame. Season to taste. Add water if required, but remember that the final product do not have a pouring consistency; it should thick and creamy. Remove from flame when it boils.
3. In a pan, heat oil and splutter mustard seeds followed by shredded coconut. When it starts changing colour to a light brown, add curry leaves and red chilly. Continue roasting till coconut becomes dark brown, but not burnt. Pour this over pumpkin - bean - coconut mixture immediately and mix well.

Erissery is ready to be served hot with rice and pappadam.

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