October 12, 2008

Pachcha Mathan Erisseri (Spicy Pumpkin With Toasted Coconut)

Erisseri is a vegetable preparation from Kerala, without which a “sadya” (traditional feast) is incomplete. Erisseri, also an intrinsic part of Palakkad Iyer cuisine, features often as a part of the daily meal and is served as a side dish along with rice. The addition of toasted coconut, as the final step of cooking, gives the Erisseri its unique flavour and taste.

Here I have used the variety of pumpkin called pachcha mathan (green pumpkin), which is generally used to make Mathan Erisseri. In Kerala, and some other states of India, we get two varieties of pumpkin. One, which we call “Mathan”, is the typically yellow/ orange on the outside with a somewhat ribbed skin and a deeper orange on the inside. This is the kind one sees being carved for Halloween.

The other, which we call “Pachcha Mathan” is also the same shape and ridged but the outer skin is a mottled green and light yellow/ creamish colour while it is a pale orange/ yellow on the inside. This variety of pumpkin is tastier when cooked and I happened to come across it in the market here.

Erisseri can be made with various vegetables, depending on what is available seasonally, such as idichakkai (bread fruit), chakkai (raw jackfruit), chenai (elephant yam), mathan (pumpkin), vazhakkai (raw plantains), to mention some.
Pachcha Mathan Erisseri

1/4 kg pachcha mathan (pumpkin which is a mottled green and yellow on the outside)

1/2 cup fresh grated coconut (for grinding)

1/4 cup fresh grated coconut (for toasting/ roasting)

1 - 2 dry red chillies

1 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

salt to taste

1 sprig curry leaves

1 1/2 tsp coconut oil

1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 1/2 tsp black gram lentils (urad dal)


First prepare the spice-coconut paste. Grind together ½ cup coconut, cumin seeds and red chillies, adding just enough water, to a fine paste. Keep aside.

Peel and cut the pumpkin into roughly ¾” by ¾” cubes. Put these in a pan, adding a cup of water, turmeric powder and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer till the pumpkin is cooked and very little water remains.
Now add the spice-coconut paste, mix and simmer for a couple of minutes. Take off the heat.

Heat the oil, add the mustard seeds and when they splutter add the lentil and brown. Then turn off the heat and add the curry leaves. Stir and pour over the cooked pumpkin.
In another pan, toast (without oil) the ¼ cup grated coconut, stirring constantly, till it turns brown. Take care to see it does not burn. Add this to the Erisseri.

Stir lightly just before serving. Serve warm. This recipe serves 3 to 4 and is served as an accompaniment to rice and sambhar or rasam.

This Erisseri goes to AFAM (a Fruit A Month) being hosted this month at Madhuram’s Eggless Cooking.


Sukanya Ramkumar said...

This is different pumpkin recipe. Looks so good. Nice pictures...

Curry Leaf said...

I like this eriseri ,though I am not a great pumkin fan.It is always last in my list of veg.

Madhuram said...

I have prepared Eriseri using vazhaikai, but not pumpkin. I'm going to try this soon. Thank you for sending an authentic Palakad Iyer recipe.

Curry Leaf said...

Kindly accept a cool award here -http://tastycurryleaf.blogspot.com/2008/10/vegetarian-beet-borscht.html

Bharti said...

I can almost smell those fragrant spices. Sounds lovely Aparna. It's pumpkin time here as well but I almost never venture into cooking with a fresh one.

Sunshinemom said...

Oooh!! Strange coincidence:) I love this one, and was planning on buying mathan today as too many coconuts have accumulated during Navratri:) I plan on making some of these Iyer delicacies during the week!! Erisseri tastes so yum - I only need some appalams on the side:) We use toasted coconut flakes in Poricha kootu too, and I feel it is one of tastiest garnishes in Iyer cuisine. BTW - I did not know the difference btwn. the mathan varieties!! Thanks:)

DEESHA said...

that sounds delicious .. am trying this

Ben said...

It looks pretty. I wonder if I can get that kind of pumpkin here in Ohio.

Divya Vikram said...

Lovely pumpkin dish..great entry Aparna..

Ivy said...

Sounds like a great recipe and your pictures are great too.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I don't have access to green pumpkins, but I'd love to try this recipe with some winter squash. It looks and sounds fantastic! And thanks for the note about the raw plantains. :)

TBC said...

You know, we make it exactly like this except that we also use a bit of coconut oil towards the end. For some reason, I make this only twice a year - for Onam & Vishu.

Cham said...

Love erriseri never made at home, should try soon ur delicious curry!

PG said...

yummy! I love Erriseris however they are made! Great recipe, thanks for sharing it!

Rosie said...

This sounds a great recipe - yum!

Rosie x

sra said...

At home, our cook is from Kerala. He made this once but I don't remember the coconut at all - at least, it wasn't visible.

Aparna said...

Thank you, Curry Leaf.

This erisseri can be made with the yellow orange variety of pumpkin too.

Kevin said...

Pumpkin and coconut sounds like a nice combo.

Rajani said...

aparna, is this a tambram version? cos we make mathan errissery with payar. and also no tadka of urad dal. only kadugu, mulagu and thenga. no kariveppila also!

Rajani said...

HEY I MADE THIS FOR OUR SATURDAY LUNch, superb!! infact a lot simpler than cooking payar etc... and not as heavy. infact when going elaborate with all sadya dishes, this one is really quick! ofocurse i skipped the urad dal and curryveppila tadka.