Oolan is an authentic dish from the land of Kerala. This is one of the favorite dish which can truely satisfy the Mallu tooth in me. I crush the papadam on the chooru (rice) and pour the creamy oolan on top, mix them all together and I am all set for the lovely culinary ride. First mouth – smile, second mouth – happiness, third mouth – ecstasy, next mouth – satisfaction and last mouth – sadness (because my plate goes empty). Thanks to S chechi for introducing me to an array of mallu dishes since childhood. I love the meen curry, kappa, puttu-kadala, appam- chicken curry, erricherry, pulicherry,parotta-chicken, Nei-nendrapazham; to name a few. The thoughts about them make me crave for more.
Oolan can be made with many vegetables and legumes but today I prefer to stick with pumpkins. This delicate dish is made by cooking pumpkin in coconut milk and green chillies. The original flavor is brought by the earthly coconut oil and aromatic curry leaves.
Oolan – Kerala side with white pumpkins and coconut milk
- 1 cup white pumpkin
- 2 geen chillies slit
- ½ cup coconut milk (thick)
- ½ cup coconut milk (thin)
- 12-14 curry leaves
- ½ tbsp coconut oil
- Fill the cooker with water and place the pumpkins and green chillies in a small stainless steel container and cover with a fitting plate. Don’t add water to the pumpkins.Place this small container inside the pressure cooker. Cover them and cook the pumpkin and green chillies for 2 whistles.
- I prefer to use fresh coconut instead of dessicated one and also prefer to prepare fresh coconut milk. Grind 1 cup fresh shredded coconut with 1 cup water to a thick paste. Strain them with a sieve and keep the thick extract aside. Now add 1 cup water and squeeze the coconut water out. This one is the second extract and is less thick than the previous one. Set them both in separate bowls.
- Heat the coconut oil in a kadai. Once they get heated up, throw in the curry leaves and saute for couple of minutes. Add the cooked pumpkins and green chillies to the tempered oil. Pour the thin coconut milk and cook covered for 5-10 minutes. Then pour the thick extract and add salt. Cook for 2 minutes and check for the taste. Add further salt if needed.
- Serve hot with steamed rice and papadam/ chips.