Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Olan - a Kerala sadya staple

A few months back, the blog turned eight, and as has been usual for a while now, this particular milestone went unnoticed. Around the same time, I also moved (AGAIN) back to the US of A and so, for the past few months, have been going through an almost endless cycle of packing, shipping, unpacking, and setting up house. I have cooked a lot of unconventional interesting food, but for some reason , I find that  though my drafts folder is crowded with pictures of my experiments, the task of sitting down and typing is something that I keep postponing until I forget how I made a particular dish.
Recently, I was asked for Onam sadya recipes and that is when I realized that there are a lot of simple must-haves in a traditional  Kerala feast that I have not posted here. Olan is one such dish. Easy to make, with a simple yet profound taste, this dish features on almost all sadyas (feasts). Peeled ash gourd is diced into thin squares and then cooked with black eyed beans, green chillies, salt and a dash of coconut milk to create this much loved dish.

What you need :
Ash gourd - peeled and cut into medium sized thin squares - 2 cups
Black eyed beans - 1/4 cup (either the red variety or the white can be used)
Green chilli - 2 or 3, slit lengthwise
Curry leaves - a few sprigs
Coconut oil - 1 tbsp
Coconut milk - 3 tbsp (optional)
Salt - to taste

Soak the beans in water for at least an hour. Cook until one whistle. The beans should be cooked through but not mushy. Take the sliced ash gourd in a sauce pan. Add just enough water to cover the slices. Add the slit green chillies and salt. Cover and cook over a medium flame until just cooked. Add the cooked beans and boil for a few minutes. Add the coconut milk, if using. Stir well and switch off the heat. Add curry leaves and coconut oil. Do not stir at this time. Cover and keep aside for at least 10-15 minutes so that the aroma of the oil and the curry leaves blends into the dish. 

Mix well before serving.


sra said...

Congrats! Keep blogging. I love olan.

I complete eight years this week too.

Priya Suresh said...

Delicious and one of my favourite dish.