Olan is a mild and simple curry made with a base of coconut milk using Ash Gourd (Kumbalanga) or Madras Cucumber (Vellarikka)

It is also one of the many dishes that are part of the Onam sadhya or feast (Onam is a festival from the state of Kerala, India. Look it up, it’s quite interesting).


400 gm Vellarikka/kumbalanga (peeled, de-seeded, diced)

400 ml Coconut milk (medium thick)

1 tbsp Vegetable Oil

4 Green chillies (slit lengthwise)

1 inch piece of Ginger (minced)

3 tsp black Mustard seed

8-10 Curry leaves

Salt to taste


1. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker (medium heat) and add the mustard seeds

2. Once the mustard splutters, add the curry leaves, green chillies and ginger a saute for a minute

3. Add the Ash Gourd or Madras Cucumber pieces and saute for another minute

4. Add water and salt to this and boil

5. Add the coconut milk and stir well to combine

6. Close the pressure cooker with the weight and cook for ten minutes (3 whistles) and turn off heat

7. Once the steam has been released, let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Serve with hot rice and some pickle.

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