Monday, November 14, 2011


Love it when Sundays are a breeze- no getting up early, no toiling in the kitchen and no running around for daughter's extra curricular activities - yesterday was all that & more - easy,hearty & comforting food,catching up with lots of books /magazines and loads of mindless TV. Guess who's the happy soul :D
While reading sunday's newspaper there was an interesting article about how today's kids are an important part of shopping discussions at home- whether it is phones or cars or any other electronics and even fashion, the opinion of kids are given prominence ; no longer are the kids just kids, their insights & inputs are increasingly appreciated and attached importance. While this is welcome, what was a little too much to digest was the fact that kids of very well-to-do families being given mobile phones at the age of 9 and car at the age of 14 !!!! Is it a healthy trend I wonder ??? Is it not too much exposure at a very young age ??? Yes, it goes without saying that kids are more adept in handling the gadgets and there age is just a number, but where should the limit be drawn ???

Olan, a hearty dish from God's very own country is an important part of Kerala Cuisine. A must in the feasts (sadhya) and wedding celebrations this mild tasting dish is very pleasing.While Kerala prides itself as the spice-coast of India and its cuisine boasts of a variety of spice-rich treats, olan the gentle dish,is most welcome for its clean and fuss-free flavours. Vegetables and (or) legumes is cooked and flavored with coconut milk, spiced with green chilli (s) and garnished with coconut oil & curry leaves. Ain't that hearty ?? 

The ingredients in the olan generally vary from region to region ;pumpkin & snake bean (long podded cowpea/yard long bean) makes a regular appearance. Fresh coconut milk makes the dish a treat to the senses, though with time constraints store bought coconut milk is preferred. I have used the white pumpkin (ash gourd) & the yellow pumpkin along with potatoes for the dish. I served it with Rice & Keerai Masiyal (Mashed Greens) and the lunch was a  delightful affair !!

What's in it :-
  • White Pumpkin (Ash Gourd) - 1 cup - thinly sliced
  • Yellow Pumpkin - 1/2 cup - thinly sliced
  • Potato - 1 - thinly sliced
  • Green Chilli - 1 or 2 - halved & slit lengthwise
  • Coconut Milk - 1 1/4 cup
  • Coconut Oil - 1 tbsp
  • Curry Leaves - a few
  • Salt - to taste

Here's How :-

Take 1/2 cup of the coconut milk and thin it a little with water. Now add it to the cut vegetables and green chillis and let it cook on a low/medium flame for some time. The vegetables has to turn soft but not mushy.Add salt to taste and tip in the remaining (thick) coconut milk. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Add the coconut oil & curry leaves and take it off flame. Enjoy it with rice.



  1. Priya, I barely got over your pineapple pachadi when I saw something similar!! The yellow chunks really look like the pineapple pachadi at a glance & I went DROOOOOL once again, I am very tempted to try both ur dishes especially the pineapple one as I have a nice, fat & fragrant pineapple ripening in my kitchen!!

  2. looks delicious... fabulous recipe..

  3. Seems like a classic ~ will save the recipe to try :)

  4. Looks delicious, classic recipe.

  5. Never know this one...
    thanks for sharing...

  6. wow delicious recipe,love to try it...

  7. Hi Priya, the Olan looks really comforting with the mild taste and vibrant colours. :)

    A good discussion that you've started at the beginning of the post. I observe that in western countries, children are given mobile phones at a very young age, mainly as a security measure (I mean, to remain connected with the parents any time). With the increasing crime rates in India, I think this should be a welcome step. However, parents should see to it that the children use them responsibly. :)

    A car at the age of 14?? Ooops!! Doesn't the law enforce the minimum age for license to be 18? :(

  8. @schmetterlingwords -- yup mobile phones in this day and age is not an entirely bad thing to have, but will the parents ensure that it is not misused??? and yes the pros does outweigh the cons and a strict enforcement of rules that come with having the gadgets must be enforced by the caretakers/guardians/parents. regarding the car it seems the 14 yr old kid was gifted a car by his grandparents and is learning to drive under guidance so that he can shift to a bigger & meaner car when he attains the age of 18 !

  9. @schmetterlingwords - my concern other than their being misused is, kids are given everything even before they need or wish for it, do parents also take time in instilling the valuable lesson of value of money ??

  10. ஒருமுறை தோழியின் வீட்டில் சாப்பிட்டிருக்கேன்,இதுவரை வீட்டில் செய்ததில்லை,நன்றாக இருக்கு...

  11. I made this over the weekend! As you rightly said in my house we use, ash gourd, pumpkin and karamani!lovely clicks!

  12. i did'nt know making olan was this simple...thx for sharing. i thought it involves a lot of steps. this is so easy...hv to try soon

  13. Hi Priya,

    yes, parents have to differentiate between what a kid 'needs' and what the kid/parent 'wants'. I agree with you that, nowadays gadgets in the hands of children have become more of a social status to the parents. Sad state of affairs!! :(