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Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Olan is a dish from Kerala state in India. As I don't get the 'elavan' and 'mathan' which are the primary vegetables, I substitute with Opo Squash for elavan and either butternut or acorn squash for matthan and the taste is sort of close and pretty good.

I find that opo squash (aka bottle gourd) and foo gwa are readily available in most asian stores pretty much year round; and we have a bunch of butternut and blue hubbard and sweetmeat squashes growing in our backyard this year which is sort of handy for this dish.

Basically, I look for a neutral flavored whitish squash/gourd and a sweetish yellow colored squash for this dish.

2 cups peeled, cored, diced opo squash (can substitute ash gourd)
2 cups peeled, cored, diced butternut squash (or, use acorn/danish squash)
2 cups chopped snake beans - cut into 1" long pieces
5-6 green chilies, slit lengthwise (less if you don't want the heat)
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup whole milk
salt to taste
water as needed, for steaming veggies

  1. heat 1 Tbsp coconut oil in a pan
  2. add the snake beans and a couple of tablespoons of water, cover and let it cook till partially done (snake beans take longer to cook than opo and butternut squashes)
  3. add the diced opo and butternut squash, 1 tsp salt, turmeric, coconut milk; cover and cook till squash is tender and cooked but not mushy
  4. turn down the heat, add milk and slit green chilies, stir and simmer for a few minutes till well incorporated; adjust salt to taste
  5. off heat stir in the rest of the coconut oil and serve warm with rice or chapathi

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  • At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Bumbles said…

    Yum yum!

  • At 6:41 PM, Blogger Ramki said…

    Hi Sheela,
    Am blogging your Olan as a model recipe in the 1001 Kerala curries cookbook at

    /Thanks for the recipe


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