Black-Eyed Pea and Pumpkin in Coconut Sauce | Mathanga Erissery

This month's MFB Challenge was to recreate a recipe from Shab's Cuisine blog. I chose to share her Chena Erissery recipe but with black-eyed peas and pumpkin. I don't think she needs an introduction, but to me, her blog was the world that I go to "feel" home because she has all the Malabar food that I grew up eating. Being a novice housewife and as an expatriate in a city with no relatives or country cousins, her blog was a great help in my journey to Malabar cooking.

I did not have to cook for this challenge as I had already tried quite a few recipes from her blog and this recipe of Erissery got done at least twice both the time I had shared it on Instagram.
Erissery is part of the traditional Kerala sadhya - which is a vegetarian lunch spread. This dish is prepared with a mix of legumes and a root or gourd vegetable like pumpkin, yam or plantain. Shab's recipe includes cowpeas and yam which I have replaced with black-eyed peas and pumpkin. Only on the second attempt did I learn that cowpeas are different from Black Eyed peas. Thanks to Rafeeda for clarifying that. While I am yet to find cowpeas, black-eyed peas make a great version too.

Black-Eyed Pea and Pumpkin in Coconut Sauce | Mathanga Erissery

Mathanga (pumpkin) Erissery needs very few ingredients but the taste depends on the quality of the coconut and peas. Hands-down, the best version is with freshly grated coconut, but sometimes you may not have access to it, in that case, you can use desiccated or frozen coconut.

Did you know how rich lobia or black-eyed peas are for our health? It is rich in Vitamin A and B, a good source of Potassium and rich in fibre too.

Black-Eyed Pea and Pumpkin in Coconut Sauce | Mathanga Erissery 

Adapted from Shab's Cuisine

Yields: For 2 to 3 hungry tummy


  • 1/2 cup black-eyed peas
  • 2 ½ cups pumpkin diced into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 ½ cups hot water
Grind to Paste:
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated coconut, or 1/2 cup desiccated coconut soaked in 1/2 cup water
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 green chillies
  • 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 cup of water
For tempering:
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chillies, broken into 2 to 3 pieces
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated coconut or 3 tablespoons desiccated coconut soaked in 3 tablespoons of water


  1. Rinse and then soak the black-eyed peas in enough water and a pinch of salt for 8 to 10 hours and pressure cook them with sufficient water for 3 to 4 whistle or until cooked through.
  2. Let the pressure release on its own. Add the diced pumpkin and cook them until done.
  3. Meanwhile, grind the coconut along with other ingredients coarsely and add to the erissery
  4. Let it simmer until it is just heated through but not boiled.
  5. Lastly, heat oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds, curry leaves, red chillies and chopped shallots. Once the shallots go soft, add coconut and fry till browned. It is very important to brown the coconut on low heat, stirring in between to ensure it is not burnt.
  6. Add the tempering to the erissery and stir through.
  7. Serve hot with some plain rice or puttu along with pappadams.
Black-Eyed Pea and Pumpkin in Coconut Sauce | Mathanga Erissery

The two other recipes inspired and adapted from Shabs: 
When I found Shabs's blog, she had already stopped blogging and come back with a new post almost after 5 years. I also noticed that she had a macarons craze and it is not surprising at all when we know she has started her own venture that reflects her passion for sweet baking! 

Now time to take a look at fellow bloggers' recreations!