Olan – A Kerala Delicacy

Olan is a much sought after keralite dish that is part of any festive occasion,function or wedding. Except for the strong flavor of coconut oil it does not boast of any distinct or tangy flavors yet its fame has spread far and wide and the dish is part of most Hindu weddings in Tamil Nadu as well now a days. The dried Karamani or Black eyed Peas that is added here is an excellent source of protein making this an extremely healthy dish to eat.

Easy to make and wonderfully delicious to eat!

Ingredients:
White Pumpkin [Poosanikkai] – 1 cup
Yellow Pumpkin [Maththan] – 1 cup
Green Chillies – 4
Salt – To taste
Black eyed Peas [Dried Karamani] – 1/4 cup
Coconut Oil – 2 Tlbs
Coconut Milk – 1/2 cup Optional
Green Karamani- 1/4 cup Optional
Curry Leaves
Method:
Soak the Black eyed peas overnight. In the morning pressure cook it and keep aside.
Peel skin and cut both pumkins into 3 to 4cm cubes of about 1/2cm thickness.
Wash green chillies and make a slit in each.
If using green Karamani wash and cut them into 1 inch long pieces.
In a pan cook the pumpkin + slit chillies + green karamani + salt with enough water till the vegetables are tender.
While it is cooking take a cup of grated coconut and churn it in the mixie with a little bit of water and extract thick coconut milk.
Once the vegetables are soft add the pressure cooked black eyed peas + the coconut milk and cook on very low heat till it is absorbed a bit.
Switch off the heat add coconut oil + curry leaves. Mix well, check on salt and serve.

Tips:
Since pumpkin on its own has water content do not pour too much water to cook the vegetable.
Do not over [ pressure] cook the dried karamani or they will get smashed while mixing
While coconut oil is a must coconut milk is optional.
Always pour the raw coconut oil after you remove the dish from the heat for better flavor.

Spicy Turmeric Milk

TURMERIC – Treasure Chest of Cures

Words will not suffice to extol the goodness and benefits of Turmeric. Apart from being a staple ingredient in Indian cooking, it is perhaps one of the earliest known herbal remedies with records dating back its existence to as early as 600BC.

Curcumin found in the root of the turmeric is said to have amazing healing qualities. Apart from adding color and flavor to food, turmeric acts as an antiseptic and it perhaps knows its powers that Indians have made it an integral part of their everyday cooking.

Turmeric soothes the liver and cures indigestion.
Lowers Cholesterol and is an effective antibiotic.
Cures irritable bowel syndrome and is best recommended to get rid of hang over.
Blood is purified with the intake of juice of raw turmeric
Turmeric has great cosmetic value. Regular use is said to make skin, soft, smooth and fair and reduce the growth of facial hair.
The presence of turmeric plants around the house is said to ward of snakes and leaves of turmeric plant are said to be good mosquito repellants.

Spicy Turmeric Milk

An ideal concoction to relieve cold, cough and chest congestion. Best had before going to bed at night.

Ingredients:
Boiled Milk – 200ml
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Coarsely powdered Pepper – ½ tsp

Method:
Mix all ingredients and heat milk on low flame till it is very hot. Stir well and have it as hot as you can.
Add ½ tsp of sugar for children who may fuss a bit to have the turmeric milk as it is.