Onam Specials: Pumpkin Erissery | Kerala style Pumpkin & cowpeas stew
Onam Recipes | recipe for Pumpkin Erissery | Pumpkin and Cowpeas stew with coconut
Erissery is a unique dish from Kerala vegetarian cuisine that combines a vegetable with beans, to make it a hearty side dish to rice. The freshly ground spice paste is the standard for most Keralite vegetable dishes and it comprises coconut, cumin and green chillies. The stand out in this recipe is the garnish of aromatic golden brown coconut, that adds a wonderful depth of flavour.
Prepare this Pumpkin Erissery with my step by step instructions, as a part of a simple Onam Sadya.
Use a small sized pressure cooker for direct speedy cooking of pumpkin and pulses. I cooked both together in this recipe as I was using fresh beans. If using dried and rehydrated beans, you may cook them in two steps like is explained in the recipe steps.
- Soak the beans overnight. If fresh cowpeas are in season, use that and no soaking is required.
- In a pressure pan / cooker, place the drained beans. Top with 1 cup water, salt and turmeric. Pressure cook for 1 whistle and then on sim for 5 minutes.
- Once the cooker is cool enough to open, add the pumpkin pieces to the cooked beans. Add 1/4 cup water if required and pressure cook this for 1 whistle. (This is because the beans have a slightly longer cooking time than the pumpkin. I used fresh cowpeas so pressure cooked it with pumpkin for one whistle.)
- Open the lid of the cooker. Mash the beans and pumpkin lightly with the back of a ladle.
- In a mixer jar, grind the chili, coconut and cumin to a smooth paste using 1-2 tbsp of water.
- Add this to the cooked pumpkin-beans mix in the cooker. Bring to a simmer. Add 1/4 tsp salt if required. Remove into a serving bowl.
- Heat the oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add the curry leaves and red chillies. Add the desiccated coconut to this and roast until it is aromatic and golden brown and transfer this over the erissery.
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