Mathanga-Vanpayar Erissery(Instant Pot method)

A delicious Kerala sadya dish made with pumpkin(mathanga) and red cow peas(vanpayar) with a coconut gravy. This is a perfect dish to enjoy with hot rice.

Erissery is a very common Onam/Vishu sadya special. Dishes with pumpkin(mathanga) is very much loved by all of us. I make our naadan sadya dishes like pachadi, erissery, aviyal etc. very often. I have already shared few of our favorite naadan recipes like beetroot pachadi and butternut squash and drumsticks in coconut gravy.

Errissery served in a bowl with the ingredients lying around

All these days, I used to make erissery in pressure cooker, but when Instant pot got an entry in to our kitchen, it has changed my cooking style a lot. It is just like a pressure cooker but with more interactive cooking options ,very manageable and gives an easy cleanup. So I thought I would share an instant pot method of cooking erissery here. But that said, you can cook erissery in a pressure cooker or in pan too. Check the Notes section for more details and tips.

Ingredients used for erissery

Cooking erissery involves three steps. But don’t worry they are not very difficult. The first step is to cook pumpkin and soaked red cowpeas. Next you add a ground coconut paste and the final step is to temper it with fried grated coconut. When pumpkin and red cowpeas is cooked on Instant pot, you can get the ground coconut mixture ready.

I would strongly encourage you to try this easy and delicious erissery.


  1. Red Cow Peas/Red chori(Vanpayar) 1 cup
  2. Pumpkin(Mathanga) cubed 1.5 to 2 cup
  3. Red chilli powder 3/4 tsp.
  4. Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp.
  5. Salt to taste

For coconut paste:

  1. Coconut grated 1 cup
  2. Cumin seeds 3/4 tsp.
  3. Garlic pods 2(optional)
  4. Dry red chilli 1(optional)

For tempering:

  1. Oil 1 to 2tsp.(preferably coconut oil for authentic taste)
  2. Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp.
  3. Dry red chilli 2
  4. Curry leaves a few
  5. Coconut grated 1 cup


  1. Soak red cow peas in water for 5 to 6 hrs or overnight. Drain water.
Soak red cow peas in water for 5 to 6 hours.
Drain water
  1. Add soaked red cow peas and cubed pumpkin pieces with red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and 1¼ cup of water in the instant pot. Stir well. Close the Instant Pot with the lid and make sure the valve is in the sealing position. Now press Pressure Cook button and set the pressure level on LOW for 15 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.
Add soaked red cow peas, pumpkin pieces, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt in to instant pot
Press Pressure Cook button and set pressure level to LOW and cook for 15 minutes.
  1. Meanwhile make a fine(few crumbs are okay) paste of grated coconut, garlic, cumin seeds and red chilli(if using).
Make a fine paste of grated coconut, garlic, cumin seeds and dry red chili(if using)
  1. Open the lid of instant pot when pressure is released naturally. Mash the pumpkin pieces with the back of a spatula/spoon.( If the gravy is very loose, set the Instant Pot on SAUTE mode and cook until you get a slightly thick consistency. Press the CANCEL button.)
Mash pumpkin pieces with back of spoon. Cook on SAUTE mode if gravy is more watery.
  1. Add the ground coconut paste to the cooked red cowpeas and pumpkin gravy in the Instant Pot and mix well. Set the Instant Pot in to SAUTE mode and cook it uncovered for 3 to 4 minutes. Press the CANCEL button and turn the Instant Pot off.Taste check for salt and add if required.
Add ground coconut paste to gravy and mix
Cook on SAUTE mode for 3 to 4 minutes
  1. Now prepare tempering on stovetop. Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat. When oil is hot, splutter mustard seeds and fry dry red chilli and curry leaves. Add grated coconut and fry it on medium flame until coconut is browned. Switch off flame. Tempering is ready.
Heat oil. Splutter mustard seeds, dry red chilli and curry leaves
Add grated coconut

Fry until grated coconut is browned

  1. Add the hot tempering to the cooked erissery in the Instant Pot and mix well. Serve it hot with rice.
Add tempering to cooked gravy
Mix well. Erissery is ready


  1. Adding more water than required to pressure cook red cow peas and pumpkin can make this gravy thinner. This gravy has slightly thicker consistency.
  2. If the gravy is more loose after step 2, you can set the Instant pot on SAUTE mode and cook until you get the desired consistency.
  3. If you cook this curry on a pressure cooker, pressure cook the red cowpeas and pumpkin for 3 to 4 whistles. You may need to add more water when cooking in pressure cooker than in Instant Pot.
  4. You can use butternut squash as a substitute for pumpkin.
  5. Coconut oil gives the authentic taste to erissery. Other options are vegetable oil, canola oil, safflower oil etc.