Thursday, May 9, 2013

Vellarikka Vanpayaru Erissery Recipe

Vanpayaru erissery is my Mom's specialty. I guess, for me, nobody does it better. I remember getting excited and drooling on the days my mother was preparing this in kitchen. This curry has that quintessential Malayali taste, of coconut. And this is one taste I and my husband just love! This curry is perfect for a regular lunch meal or even a Sadhya (Kerala feast).
My mother almost always made this with Mathanga (or pumpkin). But, I tried this with Vellarikka (cucumber) and it came out just as good. Folks who want the sweet taste of pumpkin can just replace the cucumber in this recipe with pumpkin.
We usually eat this with cabbage thoran or kaya-chena mezhukkuperutti and rice. It always reminds me of home!

Here is the recipe-

1 whole Vellarikka (cucumber), cubed
1 cup Vanpayaru (red cow peas)
1/2 an onion, roughly chopped
3 long green chillies
1 cup grated coconut
1/2 Tsp Cumin seeds
1 Tsp Mustard seeds
3 or 4 dry red chillies
Curry leaves to season
1 Tsp turmeric powder (manjal podi)
1 Tsp red chilly powder (mulagu podi)
1/2 Tsp pepper
1/2 Tsp coriander powder (malli podi)
 Salt to taste
About 1 Tbsp oil

  • Pressure cook the Vanpayaru (red cow peas) with turmeric powder, red chilly powder and 3 times water for about 10 whistles (One way to reduce the cooking time and water is to pre-soak the peas with salt for about 5 - 6 hours)
  • Now, open the cooker, add the Vellarikka (cucumber pieces) and some salt and pressure cook again for about 4 whistles. Once done, open cooker. If the peas and cucumber look very well cooked, this step is done
  • Next, grind together 1/2 cup grated coconut, green chillies, cumin seeds and chopped onion till we get a fine paste. The consistency is that of the coconut chutney made for dosa (not runny)
  • Add this paste into the cooker with the cooked payaru (peas) and cucumber and let the curry so far slowly come to boil
  • In a separate saucepan, spurt mustard seeds in the oil, roast the dry red chillies, lower the flame and add the remaining 1/2 cup grated coconut, pepper and coriander powder. Let the mixture roast on low flame till the coconut changes to brown colour
  • Then, add this mixture into the boiling curry, lower flame, let simmer cook for about 1 minute
  • Remove from heat and add curry leaves to season
Erissery is ready. Now all you need is some hot rice and pappad. Go a step ahead and have this with a Kerala dry side dish. It should pretty much be your best lunch ever!

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