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Onam special – Erissery (Pumpkin Coconut)

Onam is an ancient festival which still survives in the Modern times. Kerala’s rice harvest festival and the festival of rain flowers which fell on the Malayalam month of Chingam celebrated the annual visit from pathalam of the very noble Demon King Maveli. Onam is unique since king Maveli is revered by people of Kerala from prehistory.

Onam sadya, a feast which is quite elaborate. This is usually a feast served on banana leaves and serves rice along with an array of 14 dishes(extend to 24 dishes). Traditional pickles and papadam are also served. Dessert is usually ‘payasam’, a sweet dish made of milk, sugar and other traditional Indian savories.

I celebrated onam with my cousins a few days ago with pookkalam ( Flower rangoli designs) and a lavish Onam feast.

Here I learnt to make onam Sadya (Feast). I had promised that I will upload the video in a few days, but this was the most challenging thing I have ever edited. Cooking an Onam sadhya is a whirlwind of activity and multitude of dishes being cooked at the same time. Just to find all the clips was a daunting task and the first of the video is now ready. At some point in time I realized capturing the true audio would be impossible as the excited festive jabber kept on interfering with the shoot. So in some areas I have added a few voice over to capture some basic steps of cooking.

Erissery is one of the 14 dishes from Onam Sadya which you will learn today.

Erissery (Pumpkin Coconut)


  • pumpkin
  • coconut
  • jeera/cumin seeds
  • salt
  • turmeric
  • oil
  • mustard seeds
  • curry leaves


  1. Boil cut pumpkin with pinch of turmeric. Add required salt after the pumpkin is boiled.
  2. Grate coconut, add jeera/cumin seeds and grind it.
  3. Add the mixture to the boiled pumpkin and mix it well with some water. Bring it to boil.
  4. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, handful of coconut grated and saute.
  5. Let the coconut change its color to golden brown.
  6. Add this saute to the pumpkin and mix well.

Erissery (Pumpkin coconut) is ready to be served with steam rice.

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