Wednesday 23 August 2017

Olan | Kerala Olan Recipe | Kumbalanga Mathanga Vanpayar Olan with coconut milk | Onam Sadhya Recipes

Ash gourd, Yellow pumpkin and Red Eyed Beans in coconut milk

Olan is one of my favourite Kerala recipes. It's a subtle dish that tastes mild and creamy. It can be made with or without coconut milk. I like both versions but I love the one with coconut milk more ! There can be many combinations of this recipe, with vanpayar (red eyed beans) and without it. You can also add both kumbalanga (ash gourd) and mathanga (yellow pumpkin) or either one.. It is a quintessential dish in an Onam Sadhya. 

When I make it on normal days mostly there will be some spicy side like a fish fry or chicken gravy. Else there will be pickles :) This time I had it with rasam and some tangy mango pickle. Another kinda comfort food for me :) If you use pressure cooker to cook this recipe, then it will be ready in less than 30 minutes. Slow cooking in a pan will time. So while making for an Onam Sadhya go with pressure cooker as it saves time for you. So let's see how to make this yummy and comforting Olan now..

Serves: 4-5 persons

I Took: 

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Soaking Time: 8 hours

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

I Used:

Ash gourd/Kumbalanga - ½ cup heaped (after cutting) 
Yellow Pumpkin/Mathanga - ½ cup heaped (after cutting) 
Red Eyed Beans/Vanpayar - ½ cup heaped (after boiling)
Green Chilly - 2 nos
Coconut Milk - ½ cup
Salt - As needed
Curry leaves - A sprig
Coconut Oil - 1 tbsp

The Way:

1. Rinse and soak the vanpayar (red beans - I used ¼ cup of the beans to soak) overnight for around 8 hours. While making the olan, discard the water. Take the beans in a pressure cooker. Add enough water (around 2 cups) and salt and pressure cook till done. It took me 2 whistles in high and 2 in low. Keep aside

2. While they get cooked, extract the coconut milk and keep ready. I used around ½ cup of grated coconut and ¼ cup of water and ground it in a mixie till the coconut was smoothly ground. Then using a muslin cloth, extracted the milk from the ground coconut

3. Cut and discard the skin of the ash gourd and pumpkin. Discard the seeds along with the soft middle portion as well. Cut them into thin pieces as shown in the picture. The thickness should not be more than ¼ inch along both width and length

4. Now take the cut pieces in a cooker and add required salt and green chilly along with little water (¼ cup) and pressure cook it till done. I kept 1 whistle in high and 2 in low. Alternately you can cook in a pan as well, only difference would be that it would take time

5. Now once the pressure is released from the cooked veggies, open the cooker. Again switch on the flame. If there is excess water after cooking the veggies, I remove them. Else the coconut milk becomes very thin. Add the cooked beans (a heaped ½ cup) without water to the veggies. Give a gentle stir

6. Then add in the coconut milk and curry leaves and again give a gentle stir. Check the salt now. Add if required. Once the coconut milk is added, it should not boil. It should only get warm. And it would take about a minute or so. Switch off the flame. Add coconut oil and just swirl the cooker

Transfer to the serving dish and serve along with rasam and pickle or as a dish in your Onam Sadhya leaf !



  1. Must be very delicious in coconut milk!

  2. the back to back sadya recipes are make me tempt to have sadya now...the olan looks absolutely delicious...yum

  3. super delicious olan,adipoli!


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