Delicious Olan Recipe: A Kerala Coconut Milk Curry

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Christina Ross
Christina Ross
I'm a human being on planet earth. I've lived hundreds of lifetimes. In this incarnation I'm here to advance medicine.
Olan is a traditional South Indian dish that hails from the beautiful state of Kerala.
This delectable curry is known for its mild and soothing flavors, making it a perfect accompaniment to a variety of main dishes.
Made with a handful of ingredients, Olan is not only easy to prepare but also incredibly healthy. In this article, we’ll take you through the steps to create this delightful coconut milk curry that will tantalize your taste buds.
NameDelicious Olan Recipe
CuisineKerala, India
Prep Time15 minutes
Cooking Time25 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Yield4 servings


  • 200g white pumpkin, diced into small pieces
  • 100g ash gourd (winter melon), diced into small pieces
  • 1 cup sliced long beans (also known as snake beans)
  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit lengthwise (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 cups thin coconut milk
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • 2 tsp coconut oil


Prepare the Vegetables

Wash and dice the white pumpkin and ash gourd into small, uniform pieces.

Slice the long beans into 2-inch pieces.

Cook the Vegetables

In a deep pan, add the diced pumpkin, ash gourd, and long beans.

Pour in the thin coconut milk, add green chilies, turmeric powder, curry leaves, and a pinch of salt.

Cover the pan and cook the vegetables on low heat until they are tender. Stir occasionally.

Add Grated Coconut

Once the vegetables are cooked, add the fresh grated coconut to the pan.

Mix well and let it simmer for a few more minutes.

Finish with Thick Coconut Milk

Now, pour in the thick coconut milk. Stir gently to combine.

Simmer for a couple of minutes, ensuring the curry does not come to a boil after adding thick coconut milk.


In a separate small pan, heat the coconut oil.

Add a few curry leaves and allow them to splutter.

Pour this tempering over the prepared Olan.

Serve Hot

Your delicious Olan is now ready to be served. It pairs wonderfully with steamed rice.

Olan is not just a dish; it’s a burst of flavors that transport you to the tranquil backwaters of Kerala. Its mild, coconut-infused taste is a testament to the culinary richness of South India. Whether you’re a fan of South Indian cuisine or simply looking for a wholesome, vegetarian side dish, Olan is a must-try recipe. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and savor the magic of Kerala in your own kitchen with this delightful Olan recipe.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 160
  • Total Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 10g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 480mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 13g
  • Dietary Fiber: 3g
  • Sugars: 5g
  • Protein: 2g

10 Simple And Creative Variations Of The Classic Olan Recipe

1. Spicy Olan with Red Chilies

Spicy Olan with Red Chilies

Give your Olan a spicy twist by adding red chilies to the coconut milk curry. The heat complements the creamy coconut base perfectly, adding an extra layer of flavor to this traditional dish.

2. Olan with Mixed Vegetables

Olan with Mixed Vegetables

 Experiment with a medley of vegetables like carrots, beans, and peas in your Olan. The combination of different veggies adds color and a variety of textures to the dish.

3. Vegan Olan

Vegan OlanĀ 

Make a vegan version of Olan by skipping the tempering with coconut oil. Use vegetable oil instead, and you’ll have a dairy-free and delightful curry that’s perfect for vegans.

4. Olan with Tofu

Olan with Tofu

For a protein boost, toss in some cubed tofu into your Olan. It not only adds creaminess but also makes the dish more satisfying.

5. Olan with Cashews

 Olan with Cashews

Elevate your Olan by garnishing it with roasted cashews. The crunchy texture and nutty flavor are a delightful contrast to the creamy coconut milk.

6. Olan with Pineapple

Olan with Pineapple

Add a tropical twist to your Olan by incorporating chunks of fresh pineapple. The sweet and tangy pineapple pairs beautifully with the coconut milk.

7. Olan with Drumstick

Olan with Drumstick

Enhance the flavor profile by including drumstick (moringa) in your Olan. The subtle bitterness of drumstick complements the creamy curry.

8. Olan with Tomatoes

Olan with Tomatoes

Introduce a touch of acidity by adding diced tomatoes to your Olan. They add a refreshing twist and balance out the richness of the coconut milk.

9. Olan with Curry Powder

Olan with Curry Powder

Infuse your Olan with aromatic Indian curry powder for a unique flavor profile. The warm spices in the curry powder create a delightful fusion of tastes.

10. Olan with Fresh Herbs

Olan with Fresh Herbs

Elevate your Olan with fresh herbs like cilantro or mint. Sprinkle them on top just before serving for a burst of freshness and color.

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