Olan Recipe

Ash gourd blended with cowpeas and coconut milk makes this wonderful, authentic aromatic stew called Olan, that also surprises with a mild spiced tang of green chilies and flavored spices.

A must served for Ona Sadya, Olan tastes at its best with steaming hot rice.


  • Ashgourd- 2 cups
  • Cow peas-2 tbsps
  • Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp
  • Green chillies-2 nos
  • Jeera powder-1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves-2 sprigs
  • Coconut oil-2 tsps
  • Shallots-2 medium, minced
  • One big red chilly
  • Salt to taste
  • Coconut milk- 2/3rd of a tin or you can make your own


  • In a bowl, heat lukewarm water and soak cowpeas. This is best if you do it overnight or at least for 5-6 hours and pressure cook till soft.
  • In the same pressure cooker add the asg gourd, jeera powder, salt, green chilly and curry leaves and cook till a whistle. Remember, ash gourd is generally soft and it also gives off water so any addition of water or over cooking will render in a mashed massacre!
  • Once done, open the lid of the pressure cooker, add coconut milk and let it simmer for about 5 to 6 minutes.
  •  In a small pan, heat oil. Splutter mustard seeds, onions ans red chilly.
  •  One aromatic, pour it on top your olan and put back the lid on.
  •  Let it rest for about 2 minutes, off fire and your olan is ready to be slurrped away!


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