Erissery or Elissery is a delicacy from Kerala, an indispensable item for Onam and Vishu Feast (sadya). It’s a semi-dry dish of vegetables with ground coconut and spices. It is also known as Kootu curry. This Vishu, we were invited for a Potluck at my Aunt’s place. I decided to make Erissery as one of my two dishes. Since there were many guests, a large quantity was required and I was very apprehensive. But it turned out be one of the best items of the lunch and I was elated! Thanks to Mummy, as I followed her word-to-word instructions!
Erissery can be made with different combinations of vegetables,
Black chana, Raw banana, Yam, Yellow Pumpkin, Black-eyed peas, Garbanzo beans (chickpeas/cabuli chana).
Any two or three of these vegetables can be used at once. I used Chickpeas/Cabuli chana, Yellow Pumpkin and Raw Banana (Plantain).
Chickpeas/Cabuli chana – 1 cup (before soaking)
Raw Banana – 1 cup cubed
Yellow pumpkin – 1 cup cubed
Grated Coconut – 1 cup
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Pepper powder or crushed pepper – 1 tsp + 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Green chilli – 3
Curry leaves – 15 or 2-3 stems
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Red chillies – 4
Curry leaves – 7-8
Grated Coconut – ½ cup
Before you begin:
Soak one cup of Cabuli Chana overnight.
How I prepare:
- Pressure-cook the soaked cabuli chana with crushed/powdered pepper and 1 cup water upto 3-4 whistles.
- Boil raw banana and yellow pumpkin, in water and 1 tsp pepper powder, just about the level where they are fully in water. Excess water will disturb the consistency of the recipe. Add turmeric powder and salt.
- Grind 1 cup grated coconut, cumin seeds and green chillies to a paste.
- Once the vegetables are cooked well, add the cooked cabuli chana and the coconut paste.
- Put in curry leaves. Let it cook in a very low flame, mix in between. Turn off the flame in about 3 minutes.
- For tempering, take coconut oil. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves, red chillies. When the mustard seeds crackle, put in ½ cup of grated coconut and saute till it becomes golden brown.
- Then add this to the hot erissey which is ready.
- Serve as side with Sambhar-rice, Rasam-rice.
Try Eriserry with other vegetable combinations and enjoy various tastes with the same masala base! The fried grated coconut that is added in the end is what gives Erissery its true flavour. The bite of roasted coconut in each morsel is a must. Enjoy cooking!