Erissery is one of the traditional dishes of Kerala (my home state), where you can find subtle tastes in myriad of simple vegetable preparations. Amma used to make pumpkin erissery and snake gourd erissery most of time. I love it with crunchy roasted coconut added as seasoning.
This is one of traditional dish prepared during Valla Sadya in Aranmula Pardhasaradhi Temple, a famous temple in Kerala. It is offered during the temple festival during the month of August-September of every year, the month of Chingam (Malayalam calendar). During this festival a snake boat race is held along with a feast. For the race, every snake boat will carry the deity and all of them try to come first, but there is no competition. This feast is also held as an offering to the God in return as thanks giving. The feast consists of more than 60 mouthwatering dishes. One belief is that God will be present among the people coming to the feast, so if anybody asks for a particular dish it has to be served (the one reason for preparation of over 60 dishes). Aranmula is also famous for its Aranmula Kanadi /Aranmula metal mirror. This mirror which cannot be bought anywhere else is made of special metal alloy and not from glass .Ingredients for making this mirror is kept as a secret; it is front surface reflection mirror, which does not have secondary reflections and aberrations like usual back surface mirror. It was so famous that one piece is kept at a British museum in London. Next time during my visit to Kerala, I am planning to get one.
Coming to the recipe, when I saw the You Tube clip about valla sadya,
I came to know a lot of variations in cooking traditional recipes in particular for feast, such as adding cumin powder and ground ginger powder in sweet dessert (Payasam) and several new curries, sweet pudding recipes. I want to try some of them. This varutha erissery got my immediate attention and I decided to give it a shot.
This recipe is traditionally made with Chena/ Suran/elephant yam, and Ethakaya/raw plantain and Vanpayar (Red Gram). I don’t have any chance of getting elephant yam fresh. Skipped that made with Burro banana and black eyed peas instead of raw plantain and red gram. It is really simple preparation with the star ingredient being coconut. You need to take about half a coconut for grinding into a paste with garlic and half to fry until golden brown and incorporate into the curry. Spice factor in this curry is black pepper. There is no presence of cumin which is you can encounter in other erissery curry. This is recipe I noted down from the chef in that you tube clip. He didn’t give any quantities, so quantities mentioned here is my contribution. Here goes the recipe.
One year ago: Spinach sesame seed stir fry
Print recipe from here
Monthan kaya/ Raw banana/ Burro banana: 3 cups ( chopped into bite size cubes)
Black eyed peas: 1 cup
Coconut grated: ½ cup
Black pepper: 1 teaspoon
Salt: 1 teaspoon
Turmeric: ¼ teaspoon
Mustard: ¼ teaspoon
Oil: 1 tablespoon
Red chili: 2 no ( halved into two)
Garlic: 2 cloves
Curry leaves: 2 sprig
Water: 2 ½ cups
How I made
First wash and peel the skin of raw banana and cut into bite size pieces and set aside.
Then pressure cook the raw banana pieces along with black eyed peas, turmeric, ½ of salt, 1 ½ cup water and black pepper for 3 whistles. For about 15 minutes.
In the mean time grind ¼ cup of grated coconut with garlic cloves into fine paste with ¼ cup of water and set aside.
In a small pan fry the rest of coconut until golden brown color or about 8 minutes in medium flame with continue stirring to prevent burning and set aside.
To the cooked banana and black eyed peas- mixture add coconut –garlic mixture and cook for another 3 minutes.
In a small pan heat oil and add mustards seeds, red chili and curry leaves once mustards starts popping switch off the flame and add this seasoning to the cooked banana, black eyed peas, coconut ,garlic mixture along with fried coconut.
Enjoy with rice and a stir fry.
Yield: 6 serving
Will you make it again: Yes
This traditional dish is going to Hearth and soul blog hop vol 32