Wednesday, October 3, 2007


We love Olan and infact I can eat it like a stew, by itself. It is extremely easy to make and has such a wonderful flavour. I first wrote down the recipe when my parents visited me in Singapore and cooked up a feast everyday for my friends and me. At that point, I just had very few kitchen utensils and no blender or mixie, so I particularly liked the fact that this required no grinding of any kind.


White Pumpkin - 1.5 lbs (approx), peeled and cubed
Red Chori Beans or Black eyed Peas - 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup, soaked for a few hours
Green Chillies - 8 to 10, slit into two
Coconut milk - 1/3 cup (I use coconut milk powder + water)
Salt - to taste

For Seasoning:
Coconut Oil - 1 tsp (any other oil will work too)
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves - few
Asafoetida (hing) - a pinch

1) In a bowl that will fit into a pressure cooker, combine soaked beans, pumpkin pieces, green chillies and salt. Add about 2/3 cup of water and pressure cook this till beans are soft (3 to 4 whistles).

2) Heat a pan with coconut oil and season with mustard seeds, curry leaves and hing. Add the cooked pumpkin + beans mixture and the coconut milk. Simmer for a few minutes and it's ready to serve.

TIP: If you have forgotten to soak the beans, fret not. Just dry-rost them in a pan for a few minutes and pressure cook them separately for a few more minutes than usual. When I do this, I just cook the pumpkin with some water separately in a pan and add the cooked beans when done.

I served it with Long Beans Thoran and Samba (Red) Rice.


  1. So simple and delicious. I love the red rice there Laavanya!:))

  2. hey, ur olan looks so delicious & no grinding makes it even better ;)
    i do hv the coconut milk pwd that i need to use, so.....

  3. I have ready coconut milk, I can use that right? Looks good :)

  4. I read this in one of the blogs and prepared too! Nice recipe laavanya!:))

  5. decadent looking kerala meals! its long since I had the red rice:)

  6. This recipe could not have come at a better time! A friend just handed over 3 pumpkins before she left on vacation, and another gifted me a lot of g8 organic coconut milk!

  7. Lovely recipe laavanya !! this is perfect after a long day !

  8. Nicely done! I only make this for Onam or Vishu, don't know why!

  9. I really cherish the recipe which do not call for any grinding pastes or powders....Nice recipe with Coconut milk!

  10. Looks great dear......I used to have the red rice daily when I was in kerala....Ur post reminded me of it dear :-)

  11. I've never tried olan before. Looks so comforting and simple to make. Nice one.

  12. hey its tara, here is the website i was talking about where i made the extra summer cash.......... the website is here

  13. ur olan so inviting...i love olan with pulissery combo.i thought i was very diifcult to make olan coz of coconut found it soooooo simple...kalakkitooo!!!surely try nextime i make pulissery...

  14. ur olan so inviting...i love olan with pulissery combo.i thought i was very diifcult to make olan coz of coconut found it soooooo simple...kalakkitooo!!!surely try nextime i make pulissery...

  15. Thank you Asha. I love red rice too.

    Richa, do try with coconut milk powder.

    Sure Namratha.. ready made coconut milk will definitely work.

    It's good isn't it Latha mami?

    Thank you Siri.

    Sharmi.. Just the smell of cooked red rice reminds me of TVM.

    Dhana, this is almost the only way I make pumpkin besides adding it to morkuzhambu

    Thank you Pooja.. so right.

    TBC, oh how come? I make it pretty often since it's so fast and good.

    Padma.. me too. One less thing to clean :)

    Thank you Sirisha. I was so happy when I found it in the grocery store.

    Hope you try it sometime Kribha.. am sure you'll like it.

    Remya.. You can use the canned coconut milk or the coconut milk powder that you get everywhere. Hope you try it. Thanks for your comment.

  16. yummy..looks great laavanya..had a Q tho..did the pumpkin get mushy when u pressure cooked it..mine always does....

  17. Rajitha, If I make the cubes big enough and if the beans has already been soaked, I've not had that problem. That's why when the beans are not soaked and will take a while to cook, i prefer to cook the pumpkin separately.

  18. looks great, Laavanya! This would make a great one dish meal if i cook the rice along with the other ingredients :)

  19. I want to try this recipe...Looks delicious and easy to make!Thanx for sharing Olan recipe!!

  20. aahh..thanks laav..wll do this next time..make bigger pumpkin pcs :)

  21. Olan looks so delicious!
    Thanks for the recipe.

  22. Keralite dish isnt it. I am sure coconut milk will definitely add to the taste.

    I prefer Thattai...very easy to cut and prepare.


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