Kerala Olan with Ash Gourd / Olan Recipe is a traditional Kerala dish that combines ash gourd (kumbalanga) with coconut milk. This is a must dish that is served during the Onam Sadya meal, so easy to make and tastes heavenly.
Peel the skin of ash gourd and chop them into small-sized cubes. Then, slit 2 to 3 green chillies and set aside 1 sprig of curry leaves.
Soak the cowpeas for 8 hours or overnight. Pressure cook 1/2 cup of cowpeas with 1 cup of water for 2 whistles. Extract 1 cup of thick and thin coconut milk (use fresh coconut for a good taste).
Heat 2 tsp of coconut oil in a pan, then add the green chilies and curry leaves. Then, give a quick stir.
Now, add the chopped ash gourd. Simmer the flame and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. In the meantime, the raw smell from the ash gourd leaves and shrinks a bit too.
Pour the thin coconut milk.
Add the required salt.
Cook covered for 2 to 3 minutes, till the ash gourd turns soft but not mushy.
Immediately, add the cooked cowpeas.
Cook for another 2 minutes, until the thin coconut milk is absorbed by the veggie and cowpeas. Then, pour the thick coconut milk.
Give a boil for just 2 to 3 seconds and switch off the flame. After adding thick coconut milk don't cook for more time as it will start to curdle. Give 1 hour of resting time at least for the veggie and cowpeas to absorb the curry well.Serve this Olan Recipe with rice kootu curry.
Tips for Kerala Olan with Ash Gourd
1. Even yellow pumpkin can be used instead of ash gourd or both the veggies can be used in equal quantities.2. I used white cowpeas, it can be replaced with red or black cowpeas too.3. Soak the cowpeas for at least 6 hours, so it will be easy to pressure cook.4. Use coconut oil for seasoning, which lends the authentic flavour to the Kerala Olan with ash gourd. 5. Cook the ash gourd and cowpeas separately, as the cooking time varies for both.6. Use fresh coconut for extracting coconut milk, which gives a nice taste. Yet frozencoconut can be used but never use dry or desiccated coconut to extract coconut milk.7. I used homemade coconut milk, it can be substituted with coconut milk powder or readymade coconut milk, but there will be a change in the taste.8. Ensure the ash gourd is cooked properly and then add the thick coconut milk.9. After adding thick coconut milk, don't cook for more time else the Olan recipe start to curdle.
Keyword Kerala Olan Recipe, Kerala Olan with Ash Gourd, Olan Recipe