A subtly spiced stew like curry, this Instant Pot Olan is winter melons and black eyed peas cooked in coconut milk. It is a part of the Kerala feast, Sadya, and is served along with rice and a multitude of other curries.
A lot of the Kerala style vegetarian curries and sides are so very simple and it is the simplicity that lets the vegetable be the highlight of the dish rather than all the spices that go in it. In this stew like curry, Olan, made winter melon and black eyed peas in coconut milk, the only other ingredients are Thai green chillies and ginger. While the heat from that forms the base layer for this curry with the taste of the melon and black eyed peas still staying prominent, the coconut milk adds a sweet dimension to it along with some creaminess and it is finished off with some coconut oil and curry leaves, which rounds up the flavors.
What kind of beans is used in Olan?
Olan can be made with black eyed peas or vanpayar / red cow peas / red chori beans. The black eyed peas is available in WholeFoods and such, while you can get the other beans in any Indian store in your area.
What is the vegetable commonly used in making Olan?
I love using winter melon for Olan, but yellow pumpkin and dosakaya / lemon cucumber can also be used in making Olan.
Instant Pot Olan
Don't forget to check out Step-by-step instructions with photos in the body of the post above
- Soak the black eyed peas for 4 hours or so.
- Add the winter melon, drained black eyed peas, water, ginger and green chillies to the inner pot of the Instant Pot.
- Close the lid. Turn the knob to sealing and press MANUAL. Adjust time to 6 mins.
- Let it cook under pressure and once it is done, let the pressure release naturally. (NPR). The little pin near the sealing knob will fall down, once pressure is fully released.
- Open the lid of the Instant Pot. Mix everything well.
- Press CANCEL and press SAUTE. If there is excess water, let it saute for a few minutes and evaporate. If not, add the coconut milk and salt.
- Let it cook for 3-4 mins till it all comes together.
- Now top with the coconut oil and curry leaves and give it a good stir.
- Serve with rice.
Looking for more Kerala Sadya recipes? You can find them all here: