Thursday, January 17, 2008

Olan - RCI Kerala



My mother in law has a friend 'I' who is the most awesome cook ever. She makes the most amazing but ultimately the simplest of foods ever. As they say around here, " it is in the hand". She keeps sending me these delicious little dabbas of simple home cooked food. Her rasams are to die for. Whenever she makes something she thinks I will like, she sends it across and what do you know? I love it.
Now she has promised that she will teach me how to make all those delicious varieties of rasams. That is something I am looking forward to and something I am most definitely going to hold her to.

I have tried out many of her recipes and each one has been simple to the core. Here I have to say, in my opinion, the fewer the ingredients and more simple the method of cooking, the flavor of the dish increases exponentially. I think the reason for this is that the flavor of the main ingredient in the dish really comes to the fore.

The other day for lunch I had the chance to taste something new that she sent me. I have had Kerala food earlier on many occasions, but this was something quite different. Familiar but different. When I asked her what she had made, she said Olan. That was a first for me. I had heard of
stew, avial etc but Olan was a new term. Tasted very nice. The flavor of the vegetables came out very well along with the taste of coconut milk. There was no other flavor or taste over powering this.

So immediately asked aunty for the recipe. Even I could not believe how simple and easy it was. Minimal ingredients, minimal flavorings, minimal work...

Now for the Olan

200 grams White Pumpkin ( Ash gourd)
200 grams Yellow Pumpkin
2 green chillies slit lenghtwise
salt to taste
1 cup water
3 tablespoons coconut milk powder mixed into 1/2 cup hot water
1 teaspoon coconut oil
6 curry leaves
1 teaspoon mustard seeds.

Dice the white and yellow pumpkin into small bits.
Boil with water, salt and green chillies till almost fully done. ( You may want to boil the white pumpkin first for a few minutes and then add the yellow pumpkin as yellow pumpkin tends to cook very fast).
When done add the coconut milk into pumpkin.
Heat oil and fry the mustard seeds and curry leaves till they crackle.
Pour over the pumpkin and Olan is ready.
Enjoy!!!.



I was so excited when I saw RCI Kerala being hosted by Jyothsna of Currybazaar.
So here goes Olan as my entry for RCI Kerala.

14 comments:

Sia said...

lucky u to have aunty who not only sends u delicious food but also gonna teach u how to cook them:) i hope u do share some of her rasam recipes with us too.
olan looks divine... u can send it to susan who is hosting legume event this month

Lata said...

She is a great aunty. The advantage of living in India is you get to taste a lot of dishes from neighbors or friends quite often. Recipe looks tempting and easy to make.

bee said...

gorgeous. in my family, olan always has pumpkins and lentils or beans - blackeyed peas or red cowpeas (chori).

vimmi said...

Some people are that way. my MIL also is an amzing cook. She can make food for 2 or even 50 without tasting and it still taste amazing. Its in the hand. Even if we follow the recipe to T it just tastes different.

Nice recipe

Aparna said...

Your olan looks good.
Traditional olan is not tempered with mustards or anything else. Only coconut oil is added to it.

TBC said...

Olan looks nice, Kamini. I was going to say the same thing that Aparna said...only coconut oil:-)

remya said...

olan looks nice... she is alovely aunty :)))i add red beans to olan...

Padma said...

I am looking fwd for ur aunty's rasam recipes... Cant wait to see on ur blog soon

Rajitha said...

love olan...actually i have all the ingredients for it..just waiting for my husband to come back from his trip so that i can finally make it..and as bee said..at my place we add white lobia or red lobia...

Srivalli said...

Kamini..that olan looks great...you know what instead of typing olan..I typed loan..hhaha...

Happy cook said...

I love olan. Can eat them with rice and pickles. Heaven

DEEPA said...

wow!! one of my favrt kerala cuisine ...I have made them also ..will post my version soon ...

Leila said...

olan is one of the easiest curries of Kerala vegetarian cuisine but never tempered. red cowpeas are also added. a spoon of coconut oiland curry leaves are added at the end

Anonymous said...

Kerala Olan is never seasoned with
mustards.We don't add yellow pumpkin.Only ashgourd and red cowpeas.And if you add fresh thick coconut milk in the end it is very tasty. Then add few curry leaves squashed with your palm and also coconut oil.Try this.
Smitha