Sunday, 28 December 2014

Olan (Ash Gourd and cow peas cooked with Coconut milk)

Ash gourd (Kumbalangha/poosinikkai/Petha Kaddhu) is one of the most commonly used vegetables in South  India. Accordingly to yoga/naturopathy, Ash Gourd is considered the best - No.1 vegetable in the list of Satvic foods... This is because Ash gourd cures a lots of diseases and is an excellent absorber of toxins in the body.  
Explaining the benefits of this vegetable will consume reams of paper... :)

Soaked Red Cow Peas
The other ingredient used in this dish is red Cow peas. Red Cowpeas is a great source of antioxidants and  vitamin A. Cowpeas play a vital role in the prevention of a wide range of diseases. The high protein content in cowpeas helps maintain healthy skin by accelerating the process of skin repair. The antioxidant properties of these legumes are due to the presence of vitamin A and vitamin C, which protects the skin cells from damage caused due to free radicals.
Cowpeas are also low in the glycemic index (GI) as compared to other commonly consumed legumes and lentils. Foods that are low in GI are good for people suffering from diabetes as these foods help in maintaining blood sugar levels within normal range. 
Lets now get straight into the steps to cook Olan.

Ash guard  -1/4 kg
Red cowpeas (vanpayar)  - 250 gm
Coconut  -1/2 grated
Green chilly -3 NOS
Coconut oil - 1 table spoon
Curry leaves-5-6 leaves
Salt  to taste


Soak the cowpeas in water over night. The size of the cowpeas would increase to around 1.5 times. Overnight soaked cowpeas would look like the below.

Wash the cowpeas thoroughly. Cook the cow peas in the pressure cooker. For every one glass of cow peas put minimum of 2 glasses of water. Add salt as required. Once cooked keep aside.

Coconut Milk
Preparation of coconut milk:

Take the grated coconut and grind it in the mixie. Take the ground coconut and squeeze it with your hands to extract the milk out of it. You will get approx. 200 ml of coconut milk. This is the coconut milk that we would use in this dish. Keep it aside.

Cut and clean the ash gourd. Chop the ash guard into small cubes (approximately 2 cm of each side). Add 2 glasses of water. Cut the green chilly in length wise and mix it with  the ash gourd pieces. Cook  this in low flame.  Once the Ash guard is cooked, add the cooked cow peas and curry  leaves into it.  

Cook the mixture for another two minutes. 

Then add  thick coconut milk and turn of the heat just prior the dish start boiling.

Garnish with one table spoon of coconut oil …..

Olan is ready!! Serves 7-8 people. This is a side dish to be eaten with rice. 

#olan, #ashgourd, #ashgourdhealthbenefits, #coconutmilk, #keralarecipes, #indianrecipes, #vegetarian

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