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Olan with Pumpkin and Cowpeas

Olan is an essential dish in any traditional Kerala Sadya and one of the simplest dish anyone can make. The dish is made with very few ingredients and its mild flavor goes well with theeyal and pappadam.

The days we are too bored to cook anything elaborate or want to whip up something quick, this dish comes handy. All we do is cook rice, mix with paruppu podi (dhal powder) and have along with olan, this is our favorite combo, do try!

Thanks to a Dear friend of mine, Gayathri, for suggesting the white Pumpkin-Cowpeas combo. At the end of the post, check out the link for the other variation.

Ingredients you’ll need:

3 cups of white pumpkin, peeled and cubed
3/4 to 1 cup of black-eyed beans/ red cow peas
2-3 green chilies, slit
1 cup of thick coconut milk
A few Curry Leaves
1 tbsp Rice flour, if the curry becomes too thin
2 tsp coconut oil
Salt to taste


Soaking the beans in hot water helps in cooking faster. Pressure cook the beans with 1 cup of water, about 4 whistles or let it boil in heavy bottom pan till soft.

In the same pan in which beans cooked, add the cubed pumpkin, slit green chilies, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 cup water, pumpkin has a lot of water content and will cook in its own juice. Cook on a medium flame until soft. (This would probably take about 10-12 mins)

Add coconut milk and curry leaves to the cooked pumpkin. Cook for another 5-8 mins.

If  the curry is too thin, add 1 tbsp rice flour mixed with the coconut milk that is simmering and mix well.

Drizzle coconut oil, add salt to taste, more curry leaves if you like and remove from fire. Serve with hot steaming rice and some pappadam or Nendrankai chips.

If you don’t get white pumpkin where you stay, try the other variation : Olan with yellow squash.

Happy Cooking.

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November 2017
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