Thursday, February 26, 2009

Olan-A coconut milk based side dish

Olan is a simple and mild dish and is a good accompainment for theeyal,vathakulambu or any other spicy dish of that kind.This is traditionally made with ash gourd(vellai poosani).But i've made this with zuchini squash and it came out well.Since nagercoil was once part of Kerala(till 1950) most of our dishes will be similar to those of Keralian dishes with lots of coconut and/or coconut milk.This is one such dish and here goes the recipe.

Black eyed peas or Whole Moong - 1/2 cup
Ask gourd or Zuchini Squash -1 cup(peeled and chopped)
Diluted coconut milk -1 cup
Thick coconut milk -3/4 - 1 cup
Green chilles -3
Curry Leaves - few
Corn starch -2 tsp
Coconut oil - 1-2 tsp


1.Dry roast the black eyed peas for a few minutes(If using moong omit this step) in a pressure pan.
2.Add the cut vegetables,green chillies,curry leaves and the diluted coconut milk in the pan and pressure cook them till the beans r cooked but not mushy(3 whistles after steam comes out).
3.Once the steam escapes completely,open the pan and add salt and boil it for 5 minutes.Now add the thick coconut milk and heat it for 1-2 minutes.Do not boil it,else the coconut milk will curdle.
4.Finally add the corn starch mixed in 1/4 cup of water.This makes the gravy thicker and its purely optional.Once the gravy thickens add the coconut oil and switch off the stove.Enjoy this dish with hot theeyal and rice.