Olan or Erissery

It was last September we got invited to celebrate Onam at a friend's place. We were greeted by traditional lamp in the front door decorated with nice flowers. Her house was decorated nicely. Traditional Keralite knick-knacks were scattered artfully throughout the house. Everyone was dressed in traditional white sarees and kurta-dhoti. Table was set with traditional Banana leaves. Kitchen counter was decorated and there was lot of food! Onam special food was prepared by my two friends. Let me remember what I ate that day -Avial, Sambar, Karela chips, Papad, Rice, Olan, Pachadi, brown Payasam, white payasam and few things I do not remember names of!! I had tasted all these things separately but it was my first time to taste all these delicious preaparations all at once. And oh boy! Was I full or what! It was all tasty homemade food with wonderful company. 


I decided to make everything that I ate there one by one by one. After making Pineapple Pachadi, I decided to make Olan or Erissery as my friend R calls it as. I decided to look for recipe in Ammini Ramachandran's Grains, Greens, and Grated Coconuts. I bought this book more than a year ago per ET's recommendation. I have made various things from the book include Pepper Rassam, Plantain curry. It is wonderful book to have in your collection. The recipes are authentic and Ammini's writing style is warm. Ammini's recipe calls for whole moong beans but according to R traditionally it is made with Red Cori (Azuki beans). So I decided to make it with Red Chori and Butternut squash and results were amazing. I cut down amount of coconut and used green chilies instead of red chili powder as suggested by another friend. I am not sure what to call it, Olan or Erissery, but its a something we love. 

Olan or Erissery

This is how I make it-

1 Cup Red beans
3 Cups Butternut Squash
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
2 tsp Cumin Seeds
4 tbsp Fresh Coconut (I used Frozen)
3-4 Green Chilies
Salt per taste
Water as needed

Seasoning -
1 tbsp Oil
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
2 Dried Red Chilies
10-12 Curry Leaves

Preparation -
Dry roast red chori for 5-6 minutes on medium heat. Wash it thoroughly. Add 3 cups of water, turmeric and salt. Cook it in pressure cooker until its fully done. about 15-20 minutes on medium heat.
Peel, remove seeds from butternut squash. Chop the squash into 1/2" pieces. Add squash, little water and pinch of salt in a heavy bottom pan. Cover and cook until its soft. It will take about 8-10 minutes.
Once the beans are cooked, mash them with spoon and mix it with cooking squash.
Grind cumin seeds, coconut and green chilies together to smooth paste with little water.
Mix the paste with cooking bean-squash mixture. Let it cook all together for few minutes.
Heat oil in small kadhai, add mustard seeds. Add broken red chilies and curry leaves after mustard seeds starts spluttering. Fry it for a minute or so and pour over cooking beans-squash. Mix welll.
Serve with rice or chapati.

Tip - 
  • If you cant find Red chori, you can use black eyed peas. 
  • Traditionally it uses pumpkin but I like flavor of butternut squash so I used it.
  • You can garnish finished dish with more coconut.
I am sending this to MLLA-33, event started by lovely Susan and currently hosted at Ammalu's Kitchen
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  1. Mints, how delicious that sounds. And I love that beautiful picture of the samayi with the flowers around it. :)

  2. Your blog is wonderful.It opened up the wonders of Maharashtrian cuisine to me.That is Erisheri. Olan is made typically with white pumpkin and black eyed peas.

  3. Kerala recipe is looks delicious.Your blog is so nice,you have nice collection of recipes.I am happy to follow you.I like to invite you to visit my blog.

  4. Long time no update???


  5. Hi...landed into your blog while googling. Nice recipes u have!!! Please drop by mine whenever u find time :-)



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