Olan (Kerala Style)

Olan is one of the traditional and popular Kerala dish. It’s usually made for all the festive occasions, especially for the Onam Sadya (Onasadya). It’s made using pumpkins, cow peas and coconut milk. With the flavor of coconut, green chili and curry leaves this is very tasty stew served as an accompaniment with rice.


  • Ā½ cup Red Cow Peas (Karamani)
  • 2 cups Ash gourd (Kumbalanga) cubed
  • 4 nos Green Chili slit (adjust to your spice level)
  • 1 cup Thin Coconut Milk
  • Ā¼ cup Thick Coconut Milk
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves
  • 1Ā½ tsp Salt adjust as needed
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil



  • Soak the Karamani in the water overnight. (minimum 6 hours)


  • Next day, Drain the water and rinse the Karamani again. Drain extra water. Add Ā½ tsp of salt.
  • Take this to a pressure cooker, add 1 cup of water and pressure cook over 1 whistle. Since we have soaked the Karamani already, it will get cooked over just 1 whistle.
  • Once the pressure is released, check if the Karamani is cooked and keep it aside.


  • Remove the skin of the ash gourd (white pumpkin) and cube it into medium size pieces. Keep the chopped vegetable in the water.


  • Add the cooked karamani to a pan.
  • Next, add the chopped ash gourd cubes to the pan.
  • Also add thin coconut milk. Cover the pan, keep the flame in medium and allow the vegetable to get cooked in the coconut milk.
  • In between, please check if the ash gourd is cooking and add more water / coconut milk
  • Once the ashgourd is cooked completely, add slit green chili, sprig of curry leaves and salt. Give a good stir.
  • Now add the thick coconut milk. Keep the olan in low flame for another couple of minutes and give it a good mix. Make sure that we don’t bring the mixture to boil
  • Finally garnish with coconut oil and few more curry leaves.
  • Relish the delicious Olan with Sambar or Mor Curry and enjoy this delicious Olan!

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