Friday, March 27, 2009


"Olan"- An authentic recipe from 'God’s Own Country'.
A fine medley of Kumbalanga(ash gourd) with Vanpayar(cowpeas) and Thengapal(coconut milk) mildly spiced with green chillies, tempered again in a lighter way this makes a perfect ‘Stew’ for hot rice. As you all know Olan is a must served item for Ona Sadya.

You need,

Ashgourd cut into one inch long thin cubical pieces- 2 cups
Cow peas/ red gram-2 tbsps
Green chillies-cut lengthwise-2 nos
Jeera powder-1/2 tsp
Curry leaves-2 sprigs
Salt- to taste

To Season,

Coconut oil-2 tsps
Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp
Shallots-finely minced-2 nos
One red chilly-broken to 3-4 pieces

Preparation of coconut milk for Olan

Coconut-1 small-grated.
Extract ¾ cup of thick and creamy first milk and ½ cup of second milk.
*You can also substitute canned coconut milk or the coconut milk powder(use according to the package instructions to prepare the thick and thin milk).But I always prefer and opt for the traditional methods for the same, not compromising the authentic taste.. :)..


1. Soak cow peas in luke warm water for about 5-6 hrs and pressure cook till soft.
Add the ash gourd pieces,slit green chillies, jeera power, salt, curry leaves and cook till one whistle.(take care not to over cook and add very little water as the ash gourd pieces give away water while cooking).

2. Open the cooker lid. Add the secondly extracted coconut milk and bring to a simmer for 3-5 minutes in low flame.Add the first milk now and bring to a simmer again.
Put off fire immediately.

3. Season the Olan with spluttered mustard seeds in hot coconut oil, fried shallots and red chilly bits. Check salt and serve warm with rice and curry.

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