Olan – A Recipe for Onam Sadya Recipe

Olan - Kerala Onam Sadya Recipe
Olan – Kerala Onam Sadya Recipe

Some of the my favourite dishes are Kerala; perhaps because I love all things coconut so much. This is one reason I love Onam Sadya so much. It is one time when I can several of my favourite foods all at one time. A couple of weeks ago, I had some coconut milk and was wondering what to do with it when I suddenly thought of Olan. So off I went to get some red and white pumpkin, and make this wonderful stew that is redolent with the taste of coconut milk.

In my enthusiasm I forgot that I will have to wait a day because the cowpeas had to be soaked overnight. So then I soak the cowpeas and wait! But the result was absolutely worth the wait.

Traditionally, this dish is made with red cowpeas. However, I had only black-eyed cowpeas at home and so I used them.

You will find more wonderful dishes in this Collection of Onam Sadya Recipes!

How to Make Olan – A Onam Sadya Recipe from Kerala

Serves: 4

Soaking Time: 10 hours

Cooking Time: 15 Minutes


  1. Red Pumpkin – 150 gms
  2. White Pumpkin/Ash Gourd – 150 gms
  3. Cowpeas – 1/3 cup
  4. Thick Coconut Milk – 1 Cup
  5. Green Chillies – 2
  6. Coconut Oil/Cooking Oil – 1 tsp
  7. Curry Leaves – A Few
  8. Salt to Taste


  1. Soak the cowpeas overnight (at least 8 hours) in 1 cup water.
  2. Drain the water.
  3. Add 1/2 cup water and pressure cook the cowpeas till they soften a bit.
  4. Peel and chop the red and white pumpkin into 1/2″ pieces.
  5. Add 1/4 cup coconut milk to 1/3 cup water.
  6. Add green chillies and pumpkin pieces to the diluted coconut milk.
  7. Over medium heat, cook the pumpkin pieces till they are tender.
  8. Add the cooked cowpeas.
  9. Mix well.
  10. Let the mix start to simmer. Do not boil or let the mix simmer for long.
  11. Turn off the heat immediately.
  12. Drizzle coconut oil.
  13. Add curry leaves.
  14. Mix well.
  15. Serve Olan with rice or even roti!




I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Do leave me a comment.