Olan is one of the easiest side dishes which is made for the Kerala sadya. It is made using white pumpkin (ash gourd or kumbalanga), red cow peas (van payar) and coconut milk. The preparation of this dish is very easy and does not take much time either.

If you are making an Erissery for the sadya, then you will anyways be boiling red cow peas with some salt. Just keep aside some of the boiled peas for your olan and that will certainly save you time while preparing this dish. Olan is actually a vegan dish that you can serve with rice at any time.


For other Onam recipes I have already shared, please check this.


Course: MainCuisine: KeralaDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



Olan is made using white pumpkin (ash gourd or kumbalanga), red cow peas (van payar) and coconut milk.


  • Red Cow Peas/ Van Payar – 1/4 cup

  • Salt – 1/4 tsp

  • Water – about 1 cup

  • Ash Gourd / Kumbalanga – 1.5 cups, diced

  • Green Chilli – 3-4, slit

  • Salt – as needed

  • Thick Coconut Milk – 1 cup

  • Coconut Oil – 2-3 tsp

  • Curry Leaves – a few


  • Soak the red cow peas in water over night. Pressure cook with salt and water for 5-6 pressures on medium flame. Let the pressure release naturally.
  • Cook the ash gourd, green chilli and salt, with a little water in a kadai till the ash gourd is cooked through and soft. You can mash some of the ash gourd pieces.
  • Add the cooked cowpeas to it, without any of the water, and let it all cook together for a minute or two.
  • Add the coconut milk and heat this for a minute or two, taking care not to boil the coconut milk. Turn off the heat.
  • Add coconut oil and curry leaves on top and keep it covered for 8-10 min for the flavours to infuse. Mix well and serve hot with steamed rice.

Recipe Video

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