Vanpayar Thenga Curry | Red Cowpeas Coconut Curry


Vanpayar Thenga Curry is a traditional styled dish, very popular in Kerala Cuisine. If you are a fan for beans products, then Red Cowpeas Coconut Curry is an apt choice. It is a tasty dish with a slightly tangy flavor and aroma. The curry dish is an excellent combo of cowpeas, blended in a tasty coconut mixture. Addition of cumin powder makes the dish unique and special with an excellent aromatic flavor. Vanpayar Thenga Curry goes well with rice, roti and chappati. It has a spicy gravy as the curry base. And in the end, its’ that special tempering with fried shallots, red chillies and curry leaves that does the trick. ‘Irresistible’ is the word I use for the dish. The dish is satisfying, soothing and very wholesome too. I prepare the dish very frequently and my kid enjoys it. It is better to soak Vanpayar a few hours before preparation. And the most vital point, always use freshly grated coconut for the dish.

Vanpayar Thenga Curry is a very excellent substitute for vegetarians who abstain from eating meat and other poultry products. This is an easy to prepare curry that requires naturally available ingredients. I personally convince you this is one of the simplest curry dishes that you can try at home. And please don’t forget to send me feedback. As you know the protein rich red cow peas is more than enough to render healthy nutrients needed for us. Cow peas is a known legume and a favorite of every Malayalee. There is a good range of curries and stir fry dishes with Red Cowpeas but this illustrated dish is the simplest of preparations. This curry dish is a terrific combination with hot rice gruel. You can explore a well detailed Vanpayar Thenga Curry here that can be easily prepared at home.

Vanpayar Thenga Curry | Red Cowpeas Coconut Curry

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Kerala
Servings 4 People


  • 1 cup Vanpayar(Red Cowpeas)
  • 1 no. Tomato
  • 1 no. Onion medium
  • 3/4 cup Grated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 2 no. Dried Red chillies
  • Few curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 no. Green chillies
  • Salt as required
  • Water as required


  • Soak the red cowpeas in water for about half an hour. After soaking, remove the water used to soak the peas and rinse it again in fresh water. Transfer the drained red cowpeas to the pressure cooker and add 3 cups of fresh water. Add salt, mix well and cook the contents in the pressure cooker in medium heat for about 8 to 10 minutes after the steam begins to come or for about 3 whistles. After 10 minutes of cooking or 3 whistles, turn off 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 enough and is soft. Don't drain the water from the pressure cooker.
  • In a blender, blend together grated coconut and cumin seed powder by adding little water to make a smooth paste. Keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in a kadai and splutter mustard seeds. Add dried red chillies and curry leaves. Saute for 5 seconds.
  • Then add chopped onion and saute for 5 minutes keeping the flame in medium.
  • Now add tomato and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add cooked vanpayar, salt and turmeric powder.
  • Add ground coconut green chilly and mix everything well and simmer for about 3 to 4 minutes in low heat so everything gets well blended with the gravy. If needed you may cover and cook also. If you want more gravy, you can add more water and simmer in low heat for another one minute.
  • Your Vanpayar Thenga Curry is ready to serve hot for lunch. You can relish the dish with rice, chapathi, dosa or any bread as you wish! 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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