The chefs were generous in sharing their tips and secrets with us. In a cooking demo, Chef Naveen MC (email@example.com) cooked Matanga (Pumpkin) Payaar (Red Bean) Erissery for us. The flavor booster lay in roasting the shredded coconut with spices to a dark brown color, for the final tempering. It elevated the humble pumpkin to a whole new level of distinctive taste.
Lest I forget, I made this Errisery for lunch today and savoured it with steamed white rice, lime pickle and pappadums.
Yellow pumpkin (Matanga), 1/2 kg (1 lb)
Grated ginger, 1 tbsp
Black pepper powder, 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder, 1/4 tsp
Red chilly powder, 1/2 tsp
Water, 1 cup plus 1/2 cup
Dry Red beans (Van Payaar), 1/2 cup
Grated coconut, 1/2 cup plus 1/2 cup, total 1 cup
Green chillies, 2 to 3, as per spicy level
Cumin seeds, 1 tsp
Curry leaves, 2 sprigs
Mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp
Whole red chilli, 2 to 3, as per spicy level
Sliced shallots, 1/2 cup
Coconut oil, 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Wash the dry red beans and cook in the pressure cooker with 1 cup of water, for 2 whistles. When cooked, drain excess water and keep aside.
Remove the pumpkin peel and cut into cubes. Mix these cubes with salt, pepper, turmeric and red chilli powders, in a cooking pot. Add 1/2 cup water and 1 sprig of curry leaves. Boil on medium fire until pumpkin cubes are half cooked.
Grind 1/2 cup grated coconut with green chillies and cumin into a fine paste. Add this coconut mixture and the red beans to the half cooked pumpkin. Cook on a low fire until the pumpkin is completely cooked.
Prepare the tempering by heating the coconut oil in a shallow fry pan. Add the musturd seeds. Once they splutter, add whole red chilli, sliced shallots, a sprig of curry leaves and the remaining grated coconut. On a medium fire, saute this mix, until the shallots are roasted and the coconut turns dark brown. Add this tempering to the simmering pumpkin-bean errissery and mix well.
Adjust salt to taste. Serve with steamed rice.