Olan is yet another inevitable dish of a Kerala sadya. Olan might be the only vegetarian dish prepared without adding any spice powders. Its coconut milk and green chilly that imparts a unique taste, aroma and flavor to an olan. Some other vegetables like pumpkin and little long runner beans/achinga payar can also be used in an olan but winter melon is most commonly used. Here goes the recipe:
Ingredients (Serves 6 – 7)
- Winter melon/ kumbalanga/ ash gourd – 250gm (Around 2 – 2.5 cup), skin and seeds removed and cubed
- Red chori/ van payar/ red gram – 1/4 cup
- Green chilies – 3 – 4 or to taste, slit
- Semi-thick coconut milk – 3/4 – 1 cup
- Thick coconut milk (onnam pal) – 1/4 – 1/2 cup
- Curry leaves – 1 – 2 sprigs
- Salt – to taste
- Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Method1. Cook the red chori/ van payar in a pressure cooker adding enough water, salt. Drain the water and keep aside. Be sure to add more water since the van payar will double in size. It usually takes around 3-5 whistles depending on the type of pressure cooker that we use. Cut the winter melon into small cubes.
2. Cook the winter melon and green chilies adding enough water (around 1/2 – 3/4 cup), few curry leaves and salt.
3. When the winter melon cubes are cooked completely and moisture is almost 90% evaporated, mash them slightly and add cooked van payar and semi-thick coconut milk. Cook for 5 – 8 minutes over medium-low until it thickens. It should have a medium thick consistency, it will thicken as it sits. Add salt, to taste. Now add the thick coconut milk and cook for a minute over low heat. Switch off. Finally add curry leaves and 1 tbsp coconut oil. Let rest for 15 – 20 minutes. Serve warm with rice.