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Authenticity Slice

Olan has a mushy-milky texture so make sure the vegetables and beans are delicately cooked till they are fork tender. Also, grind fresh coconut in the mixer without water and squeeze to extract their juice. This is the first thick coconut milk. Add water and grind again to extract the second and third milk which will be thinner in consistency.

Trivia Tadka

Olan is the most important dish in Onam Sadya. Coconuts are predominantly used in Kerala cuisine and this dish reflects the flavour of God’s own country.


  • Ash gourd (kaddu/petha), peeled and cubed (1 cup)
  • Cow peas (lobia), soaked overnight and boiled (1/2 cup)
  • Coconut (nariyal) milk (first milk, (1/2 cup)
  • Coconut (nariyal) milk (second milk (1/2 cup)
  • Coconut (nariyal) milk (third milk, (1/2 cup)
  • Salt (to taste)

For tempering

  • Coconut (nariyal) oil (1 tsp)
  • Green chillies (hari mirch), halved (3)
  • Curry leaves (1 sprig)


  • Cook the cubed ash gourd in the second and third coconut milk over low heat till the vegetable is fork tender.
  • Add the cooked cowpeas, thick coconut milk and salt.
  • When they come to a boil, switch off.
  • Heat coconut oil in a pan, add green chillies and curry leaves to it.
  • Pour this tempering onto the olan.
  • The authentic olan is ready for you to savour.

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