Olan(Cowpeas ‘N Pumpkin stew)


Olan is one of those dishes that you should make when you absolutely want no spices or masala. It is a simple dish made with the most simple ingredients and yet is a wholesome dish. Another easy dish that has a definite spot in your Onam sadya leaf 🙂 I love the color of this dish. The color itself is an indication of the simplicity of this dish. Usually this is made using pumpkin, but you could use squash instead.

Note: Cup used for measurement is US measurement cup, 1 cup = 237 ml

Squash/Pumpkin – 100 gm/1 cup
Cowpeas – 1/2 cup
Green chilli – 3 nos, slit
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Coconut milk – 5 tbsp
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste(approx. 1/4 tsp)


1. Soak cowpeas in water for 8 hours or overnight. Boil it using little salted water in a cooker(give about 5-6 whistles).
2. In a pan, put little water(approx. 1 cup), sliced squash/pumpkin, slit green chillies, curry leaves, coconut milk and salt. Boil these in medium flame.
3. Add the cowpeas when the pumpkin/squash is half cooked. Cook covered till the vegetable cooks through. Add water if needed.
4. Remove from heat and pour coconut oil and give a good mix.

Serve with rice!