My Treasure…My Pleasure

Authentic Kerala Cuisine & much more…


Posted by Annita on June 8, 2007

Olan, a traditional Kerala Sadya dish is a typical Malayalee preparation which is enriched with coconut milk.This is again a simple dish where red grams,ash gourd and pumpkin are cooked together in a thin coconut milk gravy and seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves. And it has a unique, pleasing and inviting aroma which itself make you crave for the dish.


Here’s my favorite recipe for Olan…


Red Gram dal(Vanpayar) – 2- 3 tbsp
Ash gourd (Kumbalanga) diced – 1 cup
Pumpkin (Mathanga/Mathan) diced – 1 cup
Green chillies slit – 3 or 4
Thin coconut milk – 1 cup
Thick coconut milk – 1/4 cup
Curry leaves (Kariveppila)- a sprig
Salt – to taste
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp




Pressure cook red gram dal until it is soft ,but not losing its shape.Keep it aside.Into a deep pan add ashgourd dices,pumpkin dices,slit green chillies,salt and 1/4 cup of water.Cover it and cook until the vegetables turn soft.Add more water if needed.When it is done,add in the cooked red gram dal,stir and add thin coconut milk.Allow it to boil,and when the gravy thickens ,add thick coconut milk.Again bring it to a boil,stirring occasionally.Remove it from the stove,season with coconut oil and a sprig of curry leaves.Mix well,cover it with a lid and allow it to stand for 1/2 an hour before serving.This will help the dish to absorb the flavour of curry leaves and coconut oil.Serve with rice.


Check out Olan recipes from fellow bloggers:

Ginger and Mango

Sugar and Spices



Malabar Spices

Indian Potpourri

20 Responses to “Olan”

  1. anusharaji said

    somehow kerala dishes make me hungry
    this one is cool
    i never knew people cook ash gourd and pumpkin together
    my fav is pumpkin ;)
    but squeezing coconut milk has always been my nightmare :lol:

  2. sumitha said

    Pumpkin in olan is new to me Annita,I thought only ashgourd is used.It looks colourful and creamy!I had made your Chicken thoran for dinner today and it was so delicious and easy to make.It tasted so yummy before adding the coconut too.For making a quick chicken masala i shall follow that step from now on,just put everything into a pot and cook!I know its your mum in laws recipe.Ammayodu ende oru thanks parayanne:)

  3. Deepa said

    This is a perfect kerala recipe ..Wow!!!!I miss india …Nice one …Yummy it looks …

  4. technosingularity said

    I bet it tastes good but it looks like someone took a huge vomit in the bowl.

  5. Cynthia said

    Annita! Only today I was saying that I have not seen you come up on my feeds in a while. Hope all is well with you and the family. Thanks for sharing another recipe from your Kerala.

  6. jisha said

    thanks for this great recepie annita.. M.I.L collections ano..i always want to try i can try with confidence..

  7. shaheen said

    hmm. good to see ur back.. hope everything is ok.

  8. Seena said

    I make olan but adding redgram in olan is new for me!Thanks for the recipe..

  9. ramya said

    First time in ur blog.Good recipes to try.
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. jisha said

    hi annita..
    which mixer/grinder u are using for grinding coconut ?indian one?or american blender?

    I use Indian mixer,Jisha..

  11. Jyothsna said

    Good to see olan! We use only mathan and red gram in the olan. It’s a lovely dish!

  12. shivapriya said

    heard of olan a lot but never tried it. looks yummy.

  13. […] Annita’s version with red gram dal […]

  14. Leena Nebu said

    tried it out yesterday. did not know what red gram dal or vanpayr was. so used masoor dal. that was the only red colour dal i had, but i knew in my heart it was not that. but anyway loved it and so did my family. what is the other name for red gram dal or vanpayar?

    You can call it small red beans also..It looks similar to kidney beans,but smaller in size..
    Check out this link

  15. Pritya said

    Hi Annita, Keralan dishes are always so yumm,a nd your olan looks very promising. Thanks for posting it. Cheers!

  16. pravi said

    What I do is buy grounded pumpkin from the grocery (available for making pumpkin pie) and use it with cubes of Ash ground. It comes out really nice

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