Erissery is a dish that holds an esteemed place in the Kerala sadya. Classic erissery is made with yam and raw banana cooked in a simple gravy of coconut, pepper, and jeera and tempered with roasted coconut. Erissery is a perfect example of the simplicity of traditional Kerala cooking. During summer season, jackfruit and mangoes are abundant in Kerala. Known for resourcefulness, we use all edible parts of a plant/vegetable. After consumption of jackfruit kernels, the seeds are usually saved for later cooking. The seeds are added in avials or used to make mezhukupuratti (stir fry). Here is an erissery made of jackfruit seeds.
Grated coconut – 1 and 1/2 cup
Black Pepper/kurumulaku – 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds/Jeera/jeerakam – 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves – a sprig
Coconut oil – 2 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Pressure cook the jackfruit seeds for up to two whistles. Jackfruit seeds can be cooked normally, but this can be time consuming. Also, jackfruit seeds are more easy to peel after they are cooked. Hence I prefer pressure cooking the jackfruit seeds and then peeling the outer hard white skin. It’s okay to retain the brown layer on the seed. Cut the peeled jackfruit seeds into inch-long pieces (you can choose any other shape as per your preference). Put jackfruit pieces in a pan, add chilly powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Sprinkle little bit of water and let it cook for two minutes. This ensures that salt is spread evenly in all pieces.
Meanwhile, grind one cup grated coconut, cumin seeds, and whole black pepper (instead, you could use pepper power) into a smooth paste. Add this to the jackfruit seed pieces. Mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then turn off.
Heat a pan and pour oil and add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds crackle, add curry leaves and half a cup coconut. Fry until the coconut turns golden brown and you start getting the aroma of roasted coconut. Turn off and add to the cooked jackfruit pieces. Mix well. Serve with hot rice.
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