Greetings from the windy city! I am on a cross country road trip right now (posts and pictures coming soon!) and have stopped in Chicago for a day. I have enlisted some of my favorite bloggers to bring you their recipes, while I’m driving 3,000 miles cross country! The first post in my guest post series comes from Rose of Magpies Recipes. Rose is from the state of Kerala, and her blog is full of Kerala recipes cooked with love. I am a huge fan of malayali cooking, and this red moong and butternut squash eriserry (a curry with coconut) is one of my favorites. Take it away Rose!
I am a huge fan of Sala’s gorgeous photographs and wonderful writing as much as I am her warm wonderful personality. When I heard that she was going on a cross country road trip and was wanting guest posts for her awesome blog Veggie Belly, I sent off a mail to her saying I would love to guest post for her lovely blog, although I have only a few days of packing left to do to head off to India myself! Yes am so excited and just cannot wait to be home. Am especially longing to introduce my little monkey to my grandmother who is just waiting to meet her first great-grand son!
I was thrilled when Sala very kindly said she would love if I did. Thank you Sala! I hope you are enjoying your trip. Since Sala loves Kerala food, I am sharing one of my favourite everyday Kerala dishes, Red Moong and Butternut Squash in Coconut curry (Van Payar Mathanga Eriserry). It is a simple yet comforting and delicious. And perfect for the transition to the fall season, although here in California we still have a few weeks of intense summer left!
While I come from a Syrian Christian family of big meat eaters I also love my veggies and lentils and am married to a lentil lover as well. T can go for weeks on just cherupayar or dal and for everyday eating we are most happy with such simple fare.
Eriserry is a typical Kerala lentil dish and is often part of the Onam Sadhya or harvest festival that happens in the month of September. In Kerala it is usually made with a variety of pumpkin available there, although here I make it with squash or even sweet potatoes. Traditionally fresh coconut is ground into a paste but I use the convenient frozen shredded coconut that is easily available in most Indian grocery stores here. Of course there is a difference in taste but this makes it a very easy dish to make.
Red Moong and Butternut Squash Eriserry Recipe (Van Payar Mathanga Eriserry)
1 cup dry red moong beans or cow peas (van payar)
2 cups butternut quash peeled and chopped (you can also use sweet potatoes. But mathanga or Indian pumpkin is traditional)
1-2 tablespoons coconut oil or canola oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes or 3/4 tsp chilli powder-3/4
4-5 curry leaves
1 medium onion, chopped
2-4 cloves garlic, sliced thin (optional)
1 cup coconut Milk
1/4 cup shredded coconut. Do not substitute desiccated coconut
Salt to taste
Wash the red moong beans or cow peas and leave to soak in water while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. You can also soak them overnight so that they cook faster.
Pressure cook the beans with 2.5 cups of water and salt until they start to become soft ( about 1 whistle and 7 mins on simmer). Once the pressure has released, open the pressure cooker and add the squash and cook for about 2 more whistles until the beans are soft and the squash is fork tender.
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can just cook beans and squash in a deep pot instead, but this will take longer.
Meanwhile in a seperate pan or skillet heat the oil and add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and let them splutter
Now add the turmeric powder, chilli flakes and curry leaves and the chopped onion and garlic if using and stir occasionally until the onions are translucent and starting to turn brown.
Add the shredded coconut and saute until the coconut turns lightly golden.
Add this to the cooked beans and stir well to combine. Heat and let it come to a boil for about 5 mins. Reduce the heat to low and add the coconut milk and let it simmer for about 5 mins. Taste to check the salt and add more if required. Do not let it come to a boil after adding the coconut milk as the coconut milk will curdle.
Serve hot with rice, fried pappadam and pickle. For extra points, serve some sweet payasam for dessert!