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Pumpkin (Mathanga) Erissery

Pumpkin Erissery (Onam Sadhya Recipe)

Another classic Onam Sadhya recipe is Pumpkin Erissery. It’s so delicious and simple to make! To make it, all you do is pressure cook white pumpkin and red beans. Then it gets cooked down with a coconut paste. Finally, it is seasoned with a few spices. That’s it!
One note on the white pumpkin. I find using butternut squash is a great substitute if you aren’t able to find white pumpkin. Also, a lot of times, you can find native Indian vegetables at a local Indian grocery store in the frozen section. I personally I loved Daily Delight brand for getting South Indian vegetables. The Deep brand also has a great line of frozen vegetables and fruits.

Pumpkin Erissery is one of my favorites to eat, not only for Onam Sadhya, but with any of my matta rice and side dish meals. It has a beautiful balance of sweet and savory all in one dish.

Want to see more Onam Sadhya recipes? Check out my recipes for Red Beet Pachadi (Onam Sadhya Recipe)Kerala-Style Aviyal (Onam Sadhya Recipe), or Moru Curry (the yellow one).

If you decide to make this Pumpkin Erissery recipe, tag me @thefamiliarkitchen on social media. I’d LOVE to see how it turns out for you!

Pumpkin (Mathanga) Erissery

Pumpkin (Mathanga) Erissery

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Indian Food, Onam, Sadhya, South Indian Food
Author: The Familiar Kitchen


  • Pressure Cooker


  • Yellow Pumpkin (Mathanga) or Butternut Squash, 2 cups, peeled, small dice
  • Dry Azuki Red Beans or Black Eyed Peas, 1/2 cup, soaked for 1-2 hours
  • Water, 1 1/2 + 1 1/2 cup
  • Coconut Oil, 1/2 tbsp
  • Jaggery, 1 tsp
  • Salt, 2-3 tsp


  • Grated Coconut, ½ cup
  • Garlic, 8-10 cloves
  • Green Chili Peppers, 2, diced
  • Cumin Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder, ½ tsp


  • Coconut Oil, 2 tbsp
  • Mustard Seeds, 1-2 tsp
  • Urad dal, 1 tsp
  • Dry Red Chilis, 2, broken
  • Curry Leaves, 2 sprigs (about 10-15 leaves)
  • Shallots, 2, thinly sliced


Cook the beans and pumpkin. 

  • In a pressure cooker, add 1 ½ cups of water and cook the pumpkin on high for 8-10 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft. Gently mash the pumpkin.
    Drain excess water, remove from pressure cooker, then set aside.
    Add the soaked beans to the pressure cooker along with 1 1/2 cups of water. Cook on high for 8-10 minutes or until soft. Drain and set aside.

Make the paste. 

  • While the pumpkin and beans cook make the paste.
    In a small blender, add all the paste ingredients and grind together until it’s all evenly combined. Add 1-2 tbsp of water if needed to help the paste grind together. Set aside.

Put it all together. 

  • In a deep skillet on medium heat, add 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil. Add in the mashed pumpkin, cooked red beans, and coconut paste.
    Cook this for 5-8 minutes so everything combines together and any moisture cooks out. You can add a few curry leaves during this process.
    If your erissery is too thick and chunky, you can add a little warm water to thin it out and cook for another minute.
    Add in jaggery and salt and mix.

Season it.

  • In a small saute pan on medium high heat, add in the coconut oil. Once the oil is hot, add in the mustard seeds and cover the pan. As soon as you hear the mustard seeds pop, add the remaining tempering ingredients and saute for another minute or until the shallots become golden brown. 
    Pour this seasoning over the pumpkin and done!

Pumpkin (Mathanga) Erissery

When I was a kid, one of the first things my mom taught me how to make was a hot cup of chaya (homestyle tea). It was like a rite of passage…and an invitation to her colorful, spice-filled kitchen. The most exciting part back then was daringly pouring the steamy, caramel-colored goodness from one steel cup to another so I could cool it down and get that classic, frothy texture to sit atop the tea. It’s a recollection of my childhood every time I do it. That same magical feeling still shines through my recipes, both new and old. There’s just nothing like creating a dish so full of evocative flavor and love. It’s what gives me joy and the inspiration to share this experience with you every day! It’s something I hope offers you adventure, a little piece of home, and maybe even something a little familiar.

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