Yam Erissery | Karunai Kizhangu Erissery

I’ve been really lazy with the blog the past couple of weeks. I’ve been struggling to make even one post a week. Of late it’s been like a government office with my cooking. Everything’s postponed, delayed or forgotten. I keep noting down recipes, planning things, making mental notes but never get around to trying them. My to-try recipe list is getting longer and longer and includes the likes of Thukpa and Vindaloo but what did I make for breakfast this morning – Idli and yesterday’s dinner – why dosai of course! Who said bloggers make fancy dishes every meal every day? At-least I don’t, lazy bum that I am. So finally here’s Yam Erissery that I made a week back, a kerala dish that I’ve ever so slightly adapted to my taste. 

yam erissery

Erissery is sort of a kootu that is made with vegetables, lentils and spiced coconut paste. It makes a hearty, tasty side with steamed rice and pappadam. For my Erissery I used yam (Karunai Kizhangu) and Karamani (black eyed peas/cow peas). My Erissery is a little on the drier side because Jagan doesn’t like Kootu style sides but Erissery I believe is more like a very thick gravy or kootu. Erissery ought to be that way. If you’ve always made Yam poriyal or deep fried yam, this is a refreshingly new way to cook yam and I am sure you’ll like it.

yam erissery

Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins
Serves: 4-5  


Yam/Karunai Kizhangu – ¼ kilo peeled and cubed
Karamani/Black eyed peas – 1 cup soaked overnight
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – 1 stem
Oil – 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Water as necessary

Masala paste

Fresh Grated coconut – 4 tbsp
Whole Black peppercorns – 1-1/2 tsp
Sombu/Fennel seeds/Saunf – ½ tsp
Cinnamon – 1 inch piece


1.      Rinse karamani/black eyed peas in 2-3 changes of water till the water runs clear. Soak overnight in sufficient water. Pressure cook the soaked karamani till soft. Drain and set aside the boiled dal.

2.      Wash the yam well, peel and cube them.

3.      Grind together the ingredients under masala paste adding a little water. Set aside.

4.      In a kadai/skillet, add in the cubed yam and half a cup of water, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well, simmer and cook till the yam is soft but not mushy – about 10-12 minutes. Transfer the cooked yam to a plate.

5.      To the same kadai/skillet add 2 tablespoons of oil. When hot, add the mustard seeds and when they splutter add in the curry leaves. Add the cubed yam and fry for 2 minutes. Add in the boiled karamani and the masala paste and mix well. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or till the flavours have blended and you don’t smell the raw coconut. Open and check the erissery at intervals as the ground coconut tends to stick to the bottom. Scrape, mix well and drizzle oil around the edges when you check the erissery. Once done, remove from fire and serve hot with rice and pappadams.
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