Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mathan & Karamani Erisseri (Pumpkin & Red Cow Peas Stew With Toasted Coconut)

A delicious stew from Kerala, Erisseri is a traditional dish for major holidays and feasts. It can be prepared with flavorful ripe pumpkins or green immature ones! My favorite erisseri was my grandmother's green pumpkin erisseri with green and shelled karamani beans.

But do not, I do mean do not make it with the Jack-O-Lantern type of pumpkins whether they are orange or white as they are not flavorful at all - been there, done that :D. Pumpkins, unripe Jack Fruit, Moringa pods, Elephant Yam, etc are traditional veggies used to make this delicious stew. Yard Long beans are also added to pumpkin or yam erisseri when available. Various winter and summer squashes and chayote also make good erisseri veggies.

Karamani are red cow peas labeled as "red chori beans" at the Indian markets. Black eyed peas or Azuki beans may be use instead of red chori beans.

4 - 6 Servings


1/2 small Pumpkin (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup Red Chori/Azuki Beans/Black-eyed peas
1 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Turmeric

Grind together:
1/2 cup fresh Coconut, grated (1/4 cup dry, unsweetened)
1 tsp uncooked rice
1 dry Red Chile
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/2 tsp Whole Black Pepper

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 dry Red Chile
1/2 tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
2 tsp split, skinless Urad Dal
1/4 cup Fresh Coconut, grated
1 stem fresh Curry Leaves, minced


Sort the beans/peas, wash well and soak for a couple of hours in water to cover.

Cook the beans/peas in fresh water to cover until soft but not mushy using a pressure cooker or on stove top.

Peel the pumpkin and cut into small 1/2" cubes; place in a pan and cook with a scant cup of water until tender.

While the veggies are cooking, prepare the masala: grind together the coconut and other masala ingredients with a little water until smooth.

Stir in the ground coconut masala to the veggies along with the cooked beans/peas and bring to a boil; reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for about 5-7 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Heat the oil in a small pan and add the chile, mustard seeds, and urad dal.

When the mustard seeds start popping, reduce heat a little and add the coconut. Cook stirring until coconut is red-gold; be cautious - coconut burns very quickly.

Add the thalippu to the curry and stir well. Cover and let sit for about 5 to 10 minutes for the flavors to develop.

Serve hot with roti or rice and other curries. Enjoy!!

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