olan recipe


4 servings

Total time

40 mins



Onam is a major South Indian festival that coincides with the annual harvest. It is a major event for Keralites and is the official event of the state. Onam Sadya is a feast that guarantees lip-smacking delicacies such as the Olan recipe served on a banana leaf. With more than 20 dishes on the main menu, the Sadya respects culinary delights like spice, salt, bitterness, zest, and sweets.

Olan curry is a dish that is extremely light and subtle offering. It is an inevitable dish in a Kerala feast due to its ability to neutralize the acidity caused by other dishes. This is why Olan is a major draw for foodies. Olan is a subtle offering that has a dish prepared from white groud or ash groud. It is used along with black-eyed peas, coconut milk, and ginger. Some recipes have olan recipes without coconut milk. 

The reason people prefer pumpkin olan is because the same is an excellent offering with high protein, fibre, antioxidants, etc. Olan is also a great source of iron, magnesium, and essential vitamins. It also ensures a healthy lipid profile, improves heart health, and boosts metabolism.

Try the Olan recipe when you feel like having something different to balance the spicy offerings or treat guests

Cuisine and Course

South-Indian cuisine, Sadya dish, main course




  • For pressure cooking cowpeas
  • ⅓ cup red lobia or cowpeas

  • ½ cup water for pressure cooking

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • For Olan recipe
  • 300 gms ash groud or white pumpkin

  • 7-8 curry leaves

  • 3-4 green chillies

  • Salt as per taste

  • ¼ cup water for cooking ash groud

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 2-3 teaspoon coconut oil

This olan recipe with coconut milk is one of the classic Olan recipes that use a combination of cowpeas or black-eyed peas. The same is very simple and easy to cook a dish used as a main course meal. 

The olan Malayalam recipe is easy with ash gourd simmered in coconut milk, curry leaves, and slit chillies. The resulting flavours are incredibly delicate, and the resulting dish is easy on the stomach. The aroma of the Olan recipe is extremely tantalising and can be served with appam and idiyappam. Since the mild flavours of coconut are also yummy, it pairs exceptionally well with steamed rice. If you wish, you can serve pumpkin olan with Kerala matta rice as well.

Here we bring you a simple and easy-to-follow Olan curry that tops the list of Olan recipes. 

Follow these steps for the Olan recipe:


  • Rinse and soak the red cowpeas overnight
  • Then drain the water from the peas the next day and rinse these again. Now drain excess water.
  • Add soaked cowpeas to a pressure cooker and add salt along with 1.5 cups of water
  • Pressure cook on medium flame. 3-4 whistles are recommended or till these are tender or well cooked. Keep this aside.
  • Now rinse and peel 2 cups of ash gourd. Then chop these into medium cubes and discard piths or seeds.
  • Then in a pan, use the chopped ash gourd and add curry leaves and chillies. Use salt as per your taste.
  • Add one cup of water or thin coconut milk.
  • Cover the pan and cook on low, medium flame till the same is well cooked.
  • If the ash gourd is uncooked, add some more water to this Olan recipe.
  • You can also mash the ash gourd and then add cowpeas.
  • Add one cup coconut milk and mix very well. Leave the same on low flame for 4-5 minutes. 
  • Add coconut oil and then mix well to let flavours infuse.
  • Serve with steamed rice.

To make olan curry, you can also add black-eyed peas. Use yellow pumpkin instead of a white one or both, and a hint of ginger for the olan recipe with pumpkin.


Olan recipe has been a significant dish for Keralites and Onam celebrations. You can also make an olan recipe without coconut milk which has also become popular in the nation.