Its been 4 years now since I left India & I have always made it a point to try to follow all the rituals & customs of my Native which will not make me miss India & also follow the traditions. Luckily, if you are a Malayalee, then no much customs are there to follow except for FOOD ;) There are 2 main festivals (Onam & Vishu) & 2 star birthdays (Arun's & Mine) which come in a year where I try to make the traditional Feast or a Sadya. I have made almost all the Sadya vattams, here at my home except for "Erissery". The reason is not because, I don't like it...it's because I never got good Yellow Pumpkins. All I used to get was those culinary Halloween Pumpkins which was not at all fit for cooking!! ;(
Back home in India, I never used to even touch Erissery, because I was so fed up of eating it Day after Day. But when I came here & was aloof of all the tasty Veggie dishes of Kerala, the eagerness to make Erissery at Home & have it with hot white rice & Poppadams grew each day. After shifting to Northampton, I came across an Indian Grocery Store where finally I found the perfect Yellow Pumpkin. Never I dreamt of saying this, but I was so elated seeing that big Yellow Guy smiling back at me....It was as if the Pumpkin was saying to me..."You under estimated me Madam...You can run behind those Big fat KFC Chickens & Fish & Chips, but you need to come back to me one fine day!!" And that was the day! The very next day I made Erissery for lunch wih Carrot & Beans Upperi!! It was a Sober Lunch for me after 4 years....Sigh!!
- 1/4 Kg Yellow Pumpkin (Mathan / Kadhu)
- 1/2 cup grated coconut
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 3 green chillies
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp grated coconut (for tempering)
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds (for tempering)
- 1 big dry red chilli (for tempering)
- 1 sprig of curry leaves
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- salt to taste
- Peel & cut the pumpkin into 1 inch cubes. Take a big sauce pan & cook the pumpkin with salt, turmeric powder & enough water to fully soak the pumpkin in the pan. The pumpkin gets cooked within 10 minutes after the water boils.
- Grind half cup coconut, cumin seeds & the green chillies to a fine wet paste. Keep aside.
- Simmer the heat & add in the wet paste to the boiled pumpkin. Cook for another 8-10 minutes on low heat.
- While it cooks, Take a small frying pan & pour in the coconut oil. When it gets hot, add the grated coconut (which was kept for tempering), dry red chillies (broken into two) & mustard seeds. Saute well till the coconut turns into golden brown. Add in the Curry leaves now.
- Switch off the saucepan as well as the fry pan. Pour in the fried coconut along with the oil on top of the Pumpkin gravy.Serve hot with plain White Rice. ;)