Saturday, April 12, 2008

Erissery – Another roasted coconut delicacy from Kerala

This post is part of SADYA VIBHAVANGAL – Learn to make the traditional Kerala Feast- An Artist’s Edible Palette !

After reading so many recipes as part of the virtual traditional feast, some of you probably might be having a question in mind, ”Are Keralites nuts about coconuts?? “ I would say, “yes, we are” :) We have to use coconut in some form or the other…it could be coconut oil, grated coconut, ground coconut, shredded coconut, coconut milk, coconut water……and yeah sometime, we run out of options and we tend to tweak the existing options a bit by roasting the grated coconut and adding the same to the dish to enhance the taste! I already wrote about “koottu-curry” where the irresistible aroma of roasted coconut marries black chickpeas and yam. Here in this dish, we not only use roasted coconut but cook the ingredients in a fresh ground coconut base too. Check out how we weave this dish!

Ingredients: (Approx.)
  • ½ cup Vanpayar/red cowpeas, soaked overnight
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 ½ - 2 cups cubed pieces of Mathanga ( I used acorn squash)
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp red chilly powder
  • Salt to taste
To grind:
  • ½ cup grated coconut
  • ½ tsp cumin/jeera
  • 4-5 green chillies
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • Salt to taste
To Roast:
  • ½ cup grated coconut
  • ¼- ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 3-4 dry red chillies
  • 2-3 small red-pearl onions thinly sliced
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp oil, preferably coconut oil
  • Heat oil in a shallow pan and splutter mustard seeds, then add dried red chillies and thinly sliced small red-pearl onions as well as tear off some curry leaves and sauté till the onion is beginning to turn translucent. Now add grated coconut and roast everything till it turns nice and brown, in low fire. Keep stirring without burning the ingredients and keep it aside for the last phase of cooking
  • In the small jar of mixer/blender, make a paste of the second set of ingredients by grinding fresh coconut, cumin seeds, chillies, turmeric and salt and keep it aside.
  • Pressure-cook Vanpayar/red cowpeas, soaked overnight, in 1 ½ cups water, with a pinch of salt, till it is semi-cooked, for around 2 whistles; when the sizzling sound stops, add the cubed pieces of Mathanga (I used acorn squash), turmeric powder, red chilly powder and salt and pressure-cook for some more time till everything is soft and cooked well.
  • Open the pressure cooker once the sizzling sound stops; with the back of a spoon, slightly mash some cubed Mathanga pieces; then add the fresh ground coconut paste and bring to a boil, in medium heat. When it boils, reduce the flame and cook till it thickens slightly; then adjust the taste, add the roasted coconut and stir well, enjoying the aroma when the roasted coconut gels with the other ingredients in the vessel. When everything is blended well, turn off the stove. (Note: You can control the consistency of the dish to your liking by thickening or not thickening.)
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  1. Dear Mishmash,
    Avial,the most beautiful and delicious !!Yummy and lifting my hand happily for this traditional recipie,I wonder where we are able to find such a nutricious veg speciality !! Mishmash,I have infact gone through many different recipies of Avial and many of them I have tried too.This one of yours with tomatoes and big onion seems to be a variety.You know we Thrissurites never use these two items in avial.Our normal style is to marinate the veggies in little tamarind water,turmeric+ chillie powder,salt.Next is grinding coconut with jeera and green chillies.And finally to mix them to cooked veggies.Oh,and to garnish with oil and curry leaves !! So,for the people there,when they first see such an avial,it will be a hoo haa,like what I did tasting such a recipie from tvm.But today,I love to explore and taste new ones...better ones..And you are the one inspiration..Thank you and Happy blessful Vishu to you and hubby..Enjoy your mesmerising Sadya.

  2. Shd we grind some garlic with coconut? or not????

  3. we dont roast pearl onions the traditional version of erissery

  4. Hi Shn, use whole pepper instead of green chili when u grind coconut.


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