Goan Alsanyache Tonak recipe | Red Cowpeas gravy

Alsane Tonak

Alsanyache Tonak‘ is a recipe from a beautiful Indian coastal state – Goa. Alsane is a type of pulse which is staple in Goa & appearance very similar to rajma or chawali (black eyed peas). Due to abundance of coconut, it is commonly used in most of the Goan recipes. And this alsane recipe is also prepared using paste of roasted coconut along with onions.

Earthy taste of alsane compliments well with sweet coconut-onion paste which gives the gravy a rich, cloudy texture. If want to enjoy this gravy in Goan style then serve with pav or bread. Even so, alsane tonak can be enjoyed with hot steamed rice or chapati as well.

As most of gravy recipes, this one is my personal favourite however it’s hard to find alsane in UK (even in Indian grocery stores). So I always stock up alsane during my India visits. I like to keep this gravy simple with only coconut-onion paste yet one can add tomatoes or potatoes in it. A generous sprinkle of coriander over the top looks good, if liked. So without further ado, let’s jump to the recipe.

alsane tonak


1/2 cup alsane

1/2 cup shredded coconut

2 medium onions

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

1/4 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

1/2 kashmiri chilli powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp garam masala powder

2 tbsp oil

Salt as per taste

Water as per requirement

Freshly chopped coriander for garnish


Wash and soak alsane in water for overnight or at least 5-6 hours. Once alsane are well soaked, they’ll puffed up a little. Transfer them to the pressure cook along with water. Add some salt and cook until 3-4 whistles.

While alsane are cooking, start preparing gravy base. Heat the pan with 1 tbsp of oil on a high heat. Once oil is hot, tip in 1&1/2 sliced onions into the pan. Stirring frequently until translucent and then add shredded coconut. Stir well until it starts to colour. Allow to cool down at room temperature. Once cooled, grind into thick fine paste with little water.

Again heat the oil in a pan on a medium heat. Once oil is hot, add mustard, cumin seeds and let it sizzle for few seconds. Add the finely chopped 1/2 onion & gently fry for about 5 minutes or until softened.

Add ginger garlic paste along with turmeric, red chilli, kashmiri chilli and coriander powder. Stir it together until raw smell goes away. It takes few seconds, if required add few tbsp of hot water.

Next goes in coconut-onion paste into the pan. If required, add little water to adjust the gravy consistency and turn to high heat. Season with salt and let the gravy bubble until slightly thickens. Add cooked alsane into it and also add garam masala powder, cook it further.

Once oil has risen to the surface, turn to medium heat. Deglaze sides of the pan and bring to a gentle simmer for a minute or so.

Stir in the freshly chopped coriander and remove from the heat. Alsanyache tonak is ready to indulge. Serve with pav/ bread , steamed rice or chapati.

Hint of sweetness from coconut, subtle heat from red chilli powder with some fresh coriander and of course distinctive alsane makes this recipe delectable.

Alsane tonak

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and as always I am all ears in case of any feedback or suggestions. If you want to try my other vegan, vegetarian or gravy recipes then do checkout recipes page.

Thanks for reading !!

alsane tonak

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