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.


  1. Bharthi..I will try this recipe, as my hubby loves kerala dishes.

    I love the Picture Bharathi:)

  2. I never made Olan by my self....eni Olan undakkan thonnumbol edide vannal mathiyallo....Thanks di....
    Your pictures are superb:))

  3. I love love olan, wish i got here kumbalanga.
    This looks really yummy Bharathy.
    Wish i had rice and this curry now.
    Iam not hungry just greedy to eat this delicious olan.

  4. Lavi and Swapna...I have No words to THANK YOU Girls for guiding me, helping me with the present picture with Flickr.
    Thanks for this great support, sweeties..

  5. I tasted olan in restaurant and then I recreated the recipe at home ,though I din't succeeded...Coz,i over cooked the cow peas I think...and the result was brown colored olan and both the ash gourd and cow peas were not seen ...!
    This I will definitely try:) Thanx for the recipe!
    Come on...bring on more recipes :D

  6. I haven't tried Olan ..but heard of it..It sounds very flavorful..
    Awesome clicks!

  7. Yayy my sis is back!! and guess what?? I made Olan a couple of weeks back and its there in my drafts.. was about to post yesterday but was lazy to type out so posted another recipe instead :D great minds, eh? ;)

  8. Great click Bharathy,never tried this will do it soon and nice to see you back

  9. great olan, love the color of the chili, is it pickled? looks great :-)

  10. have heard about olan,but never tasted it.looks yum,will give a hand:)

  11. I love olan too and recently discovered that it is the same as valval from Konkan! We do not add shallots but otherwise it is the same method, and I too prefer fresh coconut milk for such preparations! Yours looks inviting.

  12. Thankyou Happy Cook :)

    Raji, I think that's becoz
    you would have added too much of cowpeas..try this and let me know..Thank you sweetie :)..

    Thanks to you Madhu :)

    Thanks Renuka..:)

    No Zlam,they are dried red chillies..:)..the spice lover :D

    Do try and let me know Chitra :)

    Yeah Sunshine,you are right, even in Olan not all tamper with shallots..yet to learn abt valval..thanx for the info :)!!

  13. Hi Bharathy,
    this dish is new to me, it looks awesome and healthy. Thanks for the recipe :)

  14. Hi Bharathy,
    this dish is new to me, it looks awesome and healthy. Thanks for the recipe :)

  15. A'd do anything to eat this. I should make this some time. Thanks Bharathy!

  16. Good to see you back.:)
    Love Olan, though our version is without shallots. We also use pumpkin.

  17. Great to see you back Bharathy!! Olan looks delicious..I love the mild flavour of this curry.We make something very similar to this called Valval,usually pumpkin and ash gourd pieces are added to it.I love the chilly-garnish too!!

  18. This was my favourite part od the ona sadya I tried last year, and this one looks exacly the same. thanks for sharing

  19. Hi Bharathy, hope u are doing well! i am back after a long break... thanks for trying my chicken roast!

    i love olan and the pavakka thoran is quite interesting!

  20. My new Google account is showing Alice (my baptismal name). Don't be confused, i am Lissie here :)

  21. Olan looks great.. My H and FIL love these curd based gravies a lot.. Will try it out soon.. TC

  22. Looks great..i like coconut gravied dishes...

  23. thank you for the recipie. I love olan, but never tried to make...i think this is a perfect recipie

  24. thank you for the recipie. I love olan, but never tried to make...i think this is a perfect recipie

  25. Lovely pic, olan is a little different in that there is no tampering. I just drizzle some coconut oil over it and then serve.

  26. Lovely version of olan...looks so yummy!

  27. Olan? the name is new to me the curry looks great and just need a bowl of rice with it... Slurrp!!! My first here, shall keep visiting you... Nice blog...

  28. shame shame on me. i did'nt scroll down on your kerala recipe's. will try it out soon!!

    header image nalla irukku bharathy..
    diwali kku enna sweet senji blog panreenga?


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