A very simple side dish with ash gourd, cow pea beans and coconut milk…
Now to the final recipe after the Puli Inji and the Kootu Curry for the Blogging Marathon #138 theme of “Festival Specials”, this must be one of the easiest recipes on a sadya. An Olan is a simple side dish with very limited ingredients. If just like me you think, “Will this taste fine?” after reading the ingredients, then I don’t blame you. I had the same feeling. I am not a fan of the Olan but I would still enjoy it because I like its simple flavors.
This dish has only ashgourd, red cow pea beans and coconut milk as its main ingredients. It’s flavor element comes from green chillies, curry leaves and a drizzle of fresh coconut oil at the end. It seems salt is usually not added in the Olan, but I did add. Maybe it is the fixation with salt. 😉 You can cook the cow pea beans in advance and store them in the fridge. Once the ash gourd is cooked, you can add the beans. I cooked the gourd in thin coconut milk to add some flavor, but you can cook in very little water and finish off with more thick coconut milk than I have used. Off to this recipe…
Olan | Kerala Olan with Ashgourd and Cowpea Beans
- 1/3 cup red cowpea beans/ chawli soaked overnight
- 500 gm ashgourd
- 1 cup thin coconut milk
- 2-3 green chillies
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup thick coconut milk
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- Cook the cow pea beans till done. Drain and set aside.
- Peel and chop the ash gourd into medium sized pieces.
- Put the ash gourd along with the thin coconut milk, green chillies and salt into a pressure cooker and cook for one whistle. This vegetable cooks really fast.
- Allow the pressure to go by itself.
- Open and add the cooked cow pea beans. Give it a good mix and simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Add the thick coconut milk, mix, adjust seasoning and switch off. You shouldn't boil the mixture, it only needs to be heated or else it will split.
- Pour the coconut oil over and add the curry leaves. Keep it closed till time of serving.