Olan ~ Winter Melon / Ash Gourd & Red Beans in Coconut Milk

August 26, 2010 · 14 comments

in Cuisine : Indian, Cuisine : Kerala, Dal/Lentils, Sadya, Vegetables(gravy)

The spirit of Onam continues and this time it is yet another one of the vegetable sides that is a part of the Sadya (the traditional feast). One specialty of all the vegetable sides that are served in a Sadya is that, there is just about enough spices and other flavoring ingredients used so that it doesn’t overpower the natural taste of the vegetables but brings out the best in the dish as well. Mostly it is a little of ginger or green chillies to bring that spicy zing and sometimes a little cumin is added to give a different dimension. The base is mostly coconut – grated, ground or coconut milk and/or yogurt. It is amazing how various combination of these with different vegetables bring out such a wide variety of curries. Olan is one such dish where the green chillies cooked in coconut milk gives that special flavor to the gourd/melons.

Processed Pictures
Olan – The Recipe

Winter Melon / Ash Gourd, cut into cubes – 2 cups
Red Chori / Azuki Beans / Red Beans or Black Eyed Beans – 1/2 cup
Coconut milk – 1 can
Green Chillies / Bird’s Eye Chillies / Thai Chillies, slit in half up to three quarters of the way – 3-4
Curry Leaves – 8-10
Coconut Oil – 1 tsp

Cook the melon/ gourd and slit green chillies in about 1/2 cup boiling water till it is fully cooked but still maintains its shape. Wash and cook the beans well – pressure cooking may work out the best. Add the beans to the cooked melon, add coconut milk, curry leaves and salt to it. Let it almost come to a boil and remove from heat. Pour the coconut oil over it when it is is still hot so as to release the flavors. I usually do not temper any seasonings for olan but if you want you can temper some mustard seeds and dried red chillies and pour over the olan as well.

Your olan is ready to be served for the sadya. I bet you cannot think of any other simpler vegetable dish that is equally tasty!


{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ambika August 26, 2010 at 8:17 pm

I love olan and your pictures are making me crave for a nice bowl of olan and par boiled rice! Yum!!!! Pictures are gorgeous :)


2 Shabitha Karthikeyan August 26, 2010 at 9:18 pm

Great pics and a wonderful sidedish..Never tasted this will try out !!


3 Premalatha Aravindhan August 26, 2010 at 10:34 pm

wow yummy sidedish,wounderfull presentation…luks yum


4 Sharmilee! :) August 26, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Sounds interesting and new to me…Looks so creamy and yummy


5 Pavithra Srihari August 26, 2010 at 11:42 pm

beautiful picture .. pic says that onam still continues ..


6 Sanyukta Gour(Bayes) August 26, 2010 at 11:58 pm

looks yum ,delicious and mouthwatering….wonderful pics…


7 ? August 27, 2010 at 4:28 am

Manju, very tempting and looks delicious!


8 Kairali sisters August 27, 2010 at 6:16 am

Another fav of mine from the sadya delicacy.Perfect looking Olan Manju…


9 Priya August 27, 2010 at 10:51 am

Olan looks really inviting and delicious..


10 DEESHA August 27, 2010 at 11:16 am

oh nice recipe .. I would love to try this one


11 Poonam August 29, 2010 at 10:09 am

New to me…., nice blog and nice pics


12 Ananda Rajashekar August 29, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Gorgeous and very new recipe :) Glad to be in ur blog!


13 Anonymous September 9, 2010 at 1:58 am

I love winter melon but I don't know how to cook it… and I love all the ingredients listed here! I am so happy to find this recipe :)


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