Olan is a traditional Kerala Stew prepared in Coconut Milk using Beans and Melon/Squash/Gourd. Olan is a must for Onam Sadhya. Cow peas (Vanpayar) and Ash Gourd/Winter Melon (Kumbalanga) are traditionally used for making Olan. However, you can use other varieties of beans and squash for this recipe. Olan has a very mild flavor.
I have used a variety of Squash similar to Sambar Cucumber (Vellarikka) and Red Beans for preparing Olan. You can use vegetables like Yellow Pumpkin, White Pumpkin, Ash Gourd and any beans like Black Eyed Beans, Cowpeas and so on.
- Red Beans – 3/4 cup (Soaked overnight)
- Ash gourd or any Squash – 3 cups (peeled & diced)
- Slit Green Chillies – 4 or 5
- Thin Coconut Milk – 1 cup
- Thick Coconut Milk – 1/2 cup
- Salt – to taste
- Coconut Oil – 1 tbsp
- Mustard Seeds – 1/4 tsp
- Curry Leaves – a sprig
- Thinly Sliced Shallots – 3 or 4
- Water – as needed
- Soak the beans overnight. Wash and drain the soaked beans. Pressure cook the beans along with salt to taste.
- Meanwhile, peel the squash and dice it into small cubes.
- Cook the squash in and 1/2 cup water and 1 cup thin coconut milk along with the slit green chillies and salt to taste.
- Be careful not to overcook the squash or else it will lose it’s shape.
- Add the pressure cooked beans to the squash and continue cooking for 5 more minutes.
- Pour in the thick coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Season with mustard seeds, shallots and curry leaves. Remove from stove top and keep covered so that the flavors are absorbed by the vegetables.