Mathanga Erissery | Pumpkin and Black-Eyed Peas in a Coconut Gravy (Onam Sadya Recipe)

Mathanga Erissery - Kerala Onam Sadya Special Recipe
Mathanga Erissery – Kerala Onam Sadya Special Recipe

I make Mathanga Erissery often, but did not realise that I had not written about it till I read a comment by Sridevi of Coconut Craze on the Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry that I posted recently.

Both my parents migrated (independent of each other) from Andhra Pradesh to Mumbai in the early 1960s. Being the first generation in both families to have settled in Mumbai, they had to build their own support network in this new city they came to call home.

Both of them worked for huge Government of India organizations in Mumbai and developed friendships that have transcended generations. (My brother and I are friends with children of my parents friends, and are honorary “aunt” and “uncle” to the grandchildren. :-))

The best part was that my parents’ friends were from different parts of India and interacting with them exposed us to a variety of cultures. For example, my mother’s closest group of friends at work included a Parsi, a Malayalee, a Tamil Iyengar, a Palghat Iyer, a Sindhi, a Mangalorean, and a Maharashtrian.

All these people carried lunch from home and shared the goodies at meal times. Given that my mom was a foodie, anything new she ate and liked, she had to try out at home. As a result, we were quite used to having new dishes for lunch and dinner on Saturdays and Sundays. 🙂

The result was that I never sometimes quite realised that some of the dishes Amma made were not traditional Andhra dishes. They were something we ate regularly at home and when I discovered novel names for them later I life, I was vastly amused.

Mathanga Erissery is one such dish. We have made is at home for as long as I can remember, but I discovered that it was a part of Kerala cuisine much later in life.

That apart, it is a simple dish that I love to have with rotis or then just by itself as a meal.

Find more delicious dishes in this Collection of Onam Sadya Recipes.

How to Make Mathanga Erissery for Onam Sadya

Preparation Time: 6 to 8 Hours

Cooking Time: 60 Minutes

Serves: 4


  1. Red Pumpkin – 2o0 gms
  2. Black-eyed peas – 3/4 Cup
  3. Grated Fresh Coconut – 1/2 Cup
  4. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  5. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  6. Green Chillies – 2
  7. Red Chillies – 2
  8. Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  9. Curry Leaves – A Few
  10. Coconut Oil or Vegetable Oil – 1 tsp
  11. Salt to Taste


  1. Wash and soak the black-eyed peas in 2 cups of water for 6 to 8 hours. I normally leave them overnight.
  2. Drain all the water from the black-eyed peas and was it 2 or 3 times.
  3. Add 1.5 cups water and 1/2 tsp salt.
  4. Pressure cook for 3 whistles (releases of pressure) or till the black-eyed peas are just soft enough to mash but hold their shape.
  5. While the black-eyed peas cook, peel and cube the pumpkin into 1″ cubes.
  6. In a wok, heat the oil.
  7. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  8. Add red chillies and curry leaves.
  9. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
  10. Add the pumpkin cubes and just enough water to cover the pumpkin pieces.
  11. Cover and cook till the pumpkin pieces are cooked. When the pieces are cooked, they will become translucent and can be cut easily with a spoon.
  12. In the meantime, grind the coconut, cumin, green chillies, and turmeric into a smooth paste.
  13. Drain the water from the black-eyed peas.
  14. When the pumpkin is cooked, add the ground coconut paste and cooked black-eyed peas.
  15. Add salt and a little water, if required.
  16. Simmer for a few minutes.
  17. Serve hot with rice or rotis.
Mathanga Erissery - Pumpkin and Black Eyed Peas in a Coconut Gravy - Onam Sadya Recipe
Mathanga Erissery – Pumpkin and Black Eyed Peas in a Coconut Gravy


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  2. Thank you for mentioning me in your post. You are right…moving from your own circle into other cities exposes you to a lot of new culture and food. I started enjoying Gujarati and Punjabi food along with Swahili dishes in Africa. This is one dish that I can eat without a question.

I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Do leave me a comment.