mathanga erissery | pumpkin erissery

Pumpkin erissery Or mathanga erissery Is a mild and tempered curry with light sweet tones made with pumpkin, cowpeas & coconut. Gluten-free and vegan.

It is one of the essential dishes that is served during onam sadya. This dish is also known as Elisseri in some parts of Kerala.

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pumpkin erissery, mathanga erissery

Since onam is around the corner, I thought of posting at least one onam sadya recipe :-). I had purchased the pumpkin originally to make halwa, but ended up making this delicious pumpkin erissery two days back.

For the pumpkin erissery recipe i looked into two authentic sources for Kerala cuisine – on nag’s blog Edible garden and a Kerala cookbook I have. The recipes in both the sources were almost the same, especially coming to the correct technique & method.

I have adapted the recipe from both the sources and stayed true to the authenticity. If you are looking for authentic onam recipes then do check nag’s collection of Kerala onam sadya recipes.

Apart from pumpkin, I have even used black-eyed cowpeas. Though red cowpeas are also added. I did not have red cowpeas.

This erissery recipe is pretty straightforward and simple. Both the cowpeas and pumpkin are cooked and then coconut paste is added to them and simmered. Later to be tempered in coconut oil with some mustard, curry leaves and coconut. Coconut oil gives you the true authentic taste, but if you don’t have it, then use any vegetable oil instead.

Erissery can also be made with yam, unripe plaintains. Apart from cowpeas, pigeon peas (arhar dal) is also traditionally added.

It tastes best with steamed rice. You can also serve it along with Sambar and rice.

pumpkin erissery recipe

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Mathanga Erissery

5 from 10 votes
Pumpkin erissery is a mild and tempered curry with light sweet tones made with pumpkin, cowpeas & coconut. A Kerala traditional dish served during onam sadya.
pumpkin erissery recipe
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:25 mins
Cook Time:25 mins
Total Time:50 mins
Course:main course
Cuisine:kerala,south indian
Servings (change the number to scale):2 to 3
(1 CUP = 250 ML)


main ingredients

  • 200 to 250 grams pumpkin (kaddu) - approx 1.5 to 2 cup peeled and chopped pumpkin
  • ½ cup white cowpeas (red cowpeas or lobia or chawli)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder - optional
  • salt as required

for the coconut paste

  • ¾ cup grated coconut, fresh or frozen
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 green chili

for tempering mathanga erissery

  • 12 to 15 curry leaves
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 to 2 dry red chilies - kept whole or broken and deseeded
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon grated coconut, fresh or frozen
  • 1 or 1.5 tablespoon coconut oil or any vegetable oil



  • Rinse the cowpeas well in water.
  • Pressure cook them with 2 or 2.5 cups water with some salt till they are cooked completely. Drain and keep aside.
  • Rinse the pumpkin & peel and chop into cubes.

making mathanga erissery

  • Take the pumpkin cubes and 1 cup water in a pan.
  • Add turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt.
  • Cover the pan and cook the pumpkin for 12-15 minutes or more on a low flame till they are cooked.
  • Check the pumpkin a few times when they are cooking, to see if the water has not dried up. If the water dries up, then add some more water and continue to cook.
  • When the pumpkin is cooking, take the grated coconut, green chili and cumin in a grinder jar.
  • Add 1/2 cup water and grind to a smooth paste.
  • Add this coconut paste to the pumpkins. also add the cooked cowpeas.
  • Add 1/2 cup water or more if the consistency looks thick.
  • Stir well and place the pan on fire and simmer for 10-12 minutes or more till the flavors are well blended.
  • If the curry becomes thick, add some more water.
  • When done cover with a lid and keep aside.

making tempering for mathanga erissery

  • In a small pan, heat coconut oil. crackle the mustard seeds first.
  • Then add the curry leaves and the red chilies.
  • Fry till the curry leaves start to become crisp and the color of the red chilies change.
  • Add the coconut and saute till the coconut becomes golden.
  • The fresh coconut gratings absorb all the oil.
  • So keep on stirring and saute on a low flame, so that the coconut does not get burnt and there is even browning.
  • Pour this whole tempering mixture into the mathanga erissery.
  • Stir and serve pumpkin erissery hot with some steamed rice or sambar.
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Dassana Amit

Dassana Amitnamaste and welcome to which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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16 comments/reviews

  1. Tried Mathanga Erissery,came out delicious.

    • thanks for letting me know. glad to read the feedback. happy cooking.

  2. The recipe helps me a lot. I am Gujrati – loves eating & cooking. Your recipes are very very good.
    I prepare Maharastrian & South Indian items from your recipes only..- only yours

  3. Tried this out for lunch today and it came out well. 🙂5 stars

    • thanks for sharing the review priya.

  4. Amazing recipe ! Husband would not stop raving …5 stars

    • thanks neha for positive views 🙂

  5. Tried with Yam & Raw Banana.
    Erissery along with Steaming rice and papadam…Awesome!!!

    Thanks (tried your pav bhaji recipe last month)… Already your big time fan 🙂5 stars

    • thanks a lot for your feedback 🙂

  6. i prepared this dish and it turned out so yummy and the cowpea did wonders..thank you….5 stars

    • welcome greeshma

  7. Beautifully done. Some rice to eat it with and a little payasam to end the meal with.. Bliss

  8. thank you for trying and for the mentions, dassana 🙂

    • welcome nags.

  9. mathan elishery is one of my favourite….at home we use toor dal instead of cowpeas or redpeas.. rest procedure is same..we belong to north kerala..may be its that difference..:)
    i love to have it with rice and pappadum..:)

  10. The curry looks lovely and mild…just the way I like it.5 stars