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
- heat 1 Tbsp coconut oil in a pan
- 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)
- 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
- turn down the heat, add milk and slit green chilies, stir and simmer for a few minutes till well incorporated; adjust salt to taste
- off heat stir in the rest of the coconut oil and serve warm with rice or chapathi