Olan- Kerala style Ash Gourd and Black Eyed beans

There are some dishes which are heavenly by the very virtue of their simplicity. One dish that would top this list is the down-to-earth Olan, a Kerala dish. No sadya or the Kerala feast would be complete without this dish. It has absolutely no spices. Even adding green chilies is optional. It goes amazingly well even for people who have been recommended a sick diet. And what more it’s healthy and rich in proteins and minerals. It can be prepared with Red Pumpkin as well as Ash gourd together. Here I’ve used only Ash gourd.


  • Ash gourd (winter melon):250 gm
  • Black eyed beans (lobia) : 50 gm.
  • Curry leaves: few
  • Jaggery : 1 pinch
  • Coconut milk- 3 tbsp
  • Green chilies: 1 or 2 (optional)
  • Salt to taste.


  • Dry roast the black eyed beans for 5 minutes, wash and soak in water 4 – 5 hrs or overnight.
  • Pressure cook it and keep it aside
  • Peel the ash gourd and red pumpkin (if you are using it), slice them into thin squares.
  • In a pan cook the ash gourd with a little water, salt and turmeric.
  • Slit the green chilies and add it to the gourd.
  • Add the cooked black eyed beans, adjust salt and add the jaggery
  • Boil it till the curry becomes thick.
  • Just before removing from the stove add the coconut milk.
  • Serve hot with rice/ sambar

Preparation time: ½ hr

Serves: 2

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