Kerala Olan

Kerala Olan

Kerala Olan is a true Kerala dish made with red cowpeas (vanpayar), coconut milk and Ash Gourd (kumbalanga or winter melon) as the main ingredients. I love the texture of the cooked beans (vanpayar is most common in olan) and the mild spices in this dish and make it now and then even as a side dish for roti.

Olan is one of those inevitable dishes in a Kerala sadya that lends more variety than flavour since it’s quite mild and doesn’t necessarily hold its own when served with an avial or thoran. So try this simple yet authentic Kerala Olan for Vishu this year and be surprised at how such simple ingredients can create such a magical dish.


  • Red Cowpeas (Vanpayar) 3/4 Cup ~ Socked and Cooked with Salt (Don’t Over Cook)
  • Ash Gourd 1 Cup Cleaned and Cubed
  • Green Chilly 3 Slit
  • Thick Coconut Milk 3/4 Cup
  • Coconut Oil, Salt, Curry Leaves and Water as Required


  1. Cook the Ash Gourd on Medium flames, in a covered Clay pot by adding Green Chilies, Salt and enough water on .
  2. When the Ash Gourd is cooked, add the cooked cowpeas in to it, Cook the mixture for another 2 to 3 minutes
  3. Add coconut milk and curry leaves and turn of the flames, just prior to the dish starts boiling
  4. Drizzle one Tablespoon coconut oil, and keep the lid closed till serve.

Subscribe to our Newsletter