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Made with the local homegrown vegetables like ash gourd, pumpkin, and cowpea floating in abundantly available coconut milk Olan is a traditional staple in Kerala home. Olan and red rice served with a spicy puli inji would make a satisfying lunch. I grew up with variations of this Olan, some use only the ash gourd. Some use a combination of ash gourd and pumpkin. I use a small portion of pumpkin compared to the gourd as it changes helps in retaining the color of olan to a creamish white. I also strain the cooking water from the cowpea to avoid the reddish color of the cowpea seeping into the olan.


Many brands of coconut milk cartons are available these days in the market, I prefer the fresh extracted milk from the coconut as it has no other preservatives, more fragrant and yes a lot more work.

Here is the detailed recipe

Here is the recipe


Prep Time 3 hrs
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine kerala cuisine
Servings 4


  • 500 gms Ash gourd
  • 150 gms Pumpkin
  • 100 gms Cowpea (Karamani)
  • 1 cup Grated Coconut or Coconut milk
  • 2 pieces Green Chilly
  • 10 Pieces Curry leaf
  • 2 tsp Coconut oil


  • Soak the Cowpea in 1 cup of water for 2 hours.
  • Pressure cook the soaked karamani for 20 minutes on medium heat.
  • Check to see that they are well cooked. Set aside.
  • Extract the first milk and second milk from the grated coconut.
  • Slice the Ashgourd and yellow pumpkin into thin 1-inch squares of 1/8th inch thickness.
  • ook the ash gourd and pumpkin mixture in the second extract of the coconut milk and a cup of water.
  • Cook till they turn translucent and soft. Approx 10 minutes.
    Take care not to break the pieces.
  • Add in the first extract of the coconut milk. Stir well. Switch off the stove.
  • Season with coconut oil, green chilly and curry leaf.
  • Serve hot with rice.
Keyword olan

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