Apr 142014

Olan Kerala style is an integral item of the Vishu Sadhya menu. Olan curry is a traditional Kerala dish where vegetables are simmered in coconut milk. 

Olan Kerala Recipe

Olan Kerala Curry

Any Sadhya is considered incomplete without Olan. This quick and simple Kerala Vegetable Coconut Stew Sadhya Special consists of vegetables simmered in coconut milk and flavored with coconut oil.

Kerala Olan Curry is one of the 16 items that are served for Kerala Sadhya or a grand meal. The mildly-flavored traditional Kerala Sadhya Olan recipe is served during the Vishu/Onam Festival.

Olan Kerala Recipe:

Sadhya is a grand vegetarian feast with rice as the main dish and a variety of side dishes and curries, all served on a banana leaf. The Sadhya side dishes/curries may vary from one region of Kerala to another.

Vishu, the Malayalam New Year is celebrated throughout Kerala.  It generally falls on the 14th-15th of April.

The Golden Shower Tree (Cassia fistula) is symbolic of Vishu. Known locally as Kani Konna, its bright yellow flowers signify prosperity. 

Vishukkani – an auspicious arrangement of fruits, vegetables, yellow flowers, gold, coins, holy text and a lamp (Nilavilakku) framed by a mirror is placed before the presiding deity and beheld on New Year’s Day. It signifies what one sees on Vishu morning is what one can expect in the coming year. Kani in Malayalam means “that which is sighted first”. So “Vishukkani” means that which is beheld first on Vishu.

Vishu Sadhya or banquet is an important part of this festival. The Sadhya dishes are served in a specific order on a banana leaf.

The Vishu Festival signifies abundance – both materially and spiritually.  It is on the 1st day of the Malayalam month Medam.

Fire works are set off to welcome the Malayalam New Year. Farmers traditionally start agricultural activities from this day. People throng temples on the occasion of Vishu. 

How to make Olan Kerala Curry:

1. For this easy Olan recipe, wash and pressure-cook green gram dhal. Set aside.

2. Grind the coconut with ¼ cup warm water and extract coconut milk. Keep aside.

Coconut Milk for Olan Curry

Coconut Milk

3. Wash and cut pumpkin, bottle gourd, ash gourd (kumbalanga) and long beans into small cubes. Take all the cut vegetables in a vessel, add slit green chillies and salt and cook with very little water till tender. 

Vegetables for Vegetable Coconut Stew Sadhya Special

Olan Cooked Vegetables

4. Add the boiled green gram dal to the vegetables and mix well.

5. Pour the coconut milk into the kadai and simmer for 2-3 minutes on low-medium flame. Don’t bring it to a boil.

Olan Sadhya Vegetables in Coconut Milk

Sadhya Vegetables in Coconut Milk

6. Sprinkle curry leaves and a dash of coconut oil. 

Kerala Olan Curry

Olan Kerala Curry

Serve Olan Kerala Curry with steamed Rice.

If you are looking for more coconut milk recipes, do try out Mung Dal Payasam and Chingri Malai Curry.

Kumbalanga Olan Curry recipe details:

Olan Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
Olan is a special dish for a special occasion. Olan Curry is an authentic Kerala Sadhya recipe made with fresh coconut milk and a combination of vegetables. This Kerala Olan lRecipe looks yum and tastes delicious.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Kerala
Servings: 4
Calories: 26 kcal
Author: Anjali Rajan
  • Pumpkin - 1 cup cut in small cubes
  • Ash gourd - 1 cup cut in small cubes
  • Bottle gourd -1 cup cut in small cubes
  • Long beans – ½ cup cut in 2 inch long pieces
  • Green chilies - 3-4 cut in halves
  • Green gram whole – 1 cup (Pressure cooked)
  • Curry leaves - 4-5
  • Coconut – ½ a coconut grated
  • Salt to taste
  • Coconut Oil – ½ tsp
  1. Cook the cut pieces of pumpkin, ash gourd, bottle gourd and long beans along with green chillies in very little water. (You may add salt at this stage.)
  2. Add the pressure-cooked green gram dhal.
  3. Grind the grated coconut (with just about ¼ cup of water) and squeeze out coconut milk.
  4. Add the coconut milk to the cooked ingredients. Heat it for about 2-3 minutes on medium-low flame. Do not bring it to boil after adding the coconut milk.
  5. Season with curry leaves and a few drops of coconut oil.
  6. Serve Olan Curry with steamed Rice.

 Recipe contributed by Anjali Rajan

Olan Kerala Onam Sadya | Kumbalanga Olan Curry With Coconut Milk
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Shil is a freelance writer, professional blogger, foodie, health advocate and travel enthusiast.

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