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Vanpayar Thoran Recipe - Easy One Pot Thoran Recipe Using Coconut & Spices

Vanpayar thoran or red cowpeas mixed with coconut and spices made using easy one pot pressure cooker method. Vanpayar thoran using red cowpeas, coconut and spices makes a yummy, easy side dish with rice or kanji (rice soup) in Kerala, South India.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Keyword vanpayar thoran
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Soaking Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 129kcal


  • 1 cup Red Cowpeas
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1 cup Finely Grated Coconut or use shredded coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon garlic crushed or use 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
  • salt as required


  • Soak the red cowpeas in water for about half an hour if possible, as this will improve the health benefits and make the cowpeas more soft.
  • Remove the water used to soak the cowpeas and transfer the red cowpeas to the pressure cooker.
  • Add 3 cups of water to the pressure cooker, mix everything well.
  • Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook in medium to high heat for about 12 minutes or until 3 whistles have come. (Make sure you are correctly following all the guidelines while using the pressure cooker including the use of safety valve, as these  guidelines are important for the purpose of safety while using pressure cooker).
  • After 12 minutes or 3 whistles, the red cowpeas should be cooked, you can switch of the stove and wait for the pressure cooker to cool off.
  • Once the pressure cooker is cooled enough, open the lid and see if the peas is cooked completely. If there is excess water remaining, you can drain the water off or save the water as it makes a healthy broth for soups and stews.
  • Add the finely grated coconut, garlic powder and remaining spices to the cooked cowpeas (vanpayar) in the pressure cooker and mix well and cook for another 2 minutes so everything gets well cooked and mixed. This method works well for me as the coconut I buy here is very finely grated.
  • Instead of adding the grated coconut and spices directly, you can coarsely grind the grated coconut and spices (turmeric powder, red chili powder, garlic and cumin seeds powder) in a food processor and add this mixture to the cooked cowpeas (vanpayar) and make the thoran. The South Indian Kerala style vanpayar thoran or red cowpeas with coconut is ready to serve with rice or rice soup you wish. For best results, serve the cooked dish hot or warm with rice!


This is an easy method to make the delicious red cowpeas recipe with coconut.
Traditionally, you grind the grated coconut along with the spices and add this coconut paste to the red cowpeas (as I mentioned above).
You can also add chopped shallots, sliced green chilies or crushed red chilies etc to make it more spicy and more flavorful!You may also add the grind coconut mixture to the pressure cooker early itself and cook everything together in the pressure cooker if you wish!
In that case, you cannot drain the excess water, so you will have to heat the contents with the lid open for a few minutes until the remaining water is all evaporated.
You may also make a Kerala style seasoning using coconut oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves and broken dry red chilies and add it to the vanpayar thoran, if you wish, to make it more yummy and flavorful!


Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 14mg | Potassium: 156mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1.3mg