Coffee’s MBP ~ Jugalbandi’s Olan

jugalbandi’s olan
fabulous floating flavors ~ no compromise ~ jugalbandi’s olan

Fighting the battle of the bulge lately, I have been avoiding fried food, butter, oil, ghee, nuts, coconut, etc — you know the drill — all the good stuff 😦
That made Coffee’s MBP theme for June perfect for me: Going Lite!

One thing I love about Indian cuisine is its adaptability. In most cases, one can reduce, or even eliminate the fat in a dish without compromising on taste.
Bee and Jai of Jugalbandi have a knack for creating great-looking lighter versions of some classic dishes; their olan was no exception. I have seen many olan recipes, of course, and they all tempt me. I decided to try this one because it didn’t call for oil. I further lightened it (and, I suppose, lost some of the true flavor in the process — all in the name of my blue jeans!) by using lowfat coconut-milk-in-a-can.

Otherwise, I followed Bee and Jai’s recipe to the letter, and I must say, even with the lowfat coconut milk, the final product was rich and delicious. I can only imagine how decadent it would be if made the traditional way with fresh coconut milk, and coconut oil to finish.

Thanks Coffee, for choosing a perfect theme to help me stay on track and thanks Bee and Jai, for a delicious recipe!

olan in EAPG comport
lite yet luscious olan in early american pattern glass ~
hand-painted michigan comport circa 1900


Some olan recipes with different ingredients that I intend to try just as soon as the jeans are back to normal 😉

Annita’s version with red gram dal

Shynee’s version with red beans (as part of a fabulous feast!)

Priya’s version with acorn squash



  1. Coffee said

    That pic looks fabulous!!!!! I am just awed by your love for Indian cuisine Linda and you add your own touch to it in a fabulous way. 🙂

    Thanks for this lovely entry. 🙂

    You always have something sweet to say, Coffee — thank you! 🙂 Can’t wait to see the other “lite” goodies you’re collecting.

  2. sra said

    That looks lovely, and v lite!

    Thank you, Sra — it was a tasty recipe! 🙂

  3. Suganya said

    If you are not happy with canned coconut milk, try making fresh at home. Its not difficult at all with frozen coconut flakes avl everywhere. You can control how thick the milk can be. Also, even the light coconut milk taste better that way! Lovely entry 🙂

    Hi Suganya, I do have the flaked coconut in the freezer — got it especially to try making the milk myself. Next time I will do this on a weekend when I have time to experiment with making it — thanks! 🙂

  4. sia said

    low fat coconut milk? now i have to check my grocery shop… u r right linda, the freshly sqeezed coconut milk and coconut oil gives amazing taste compared to the canned ones. as suganya said, try using frozen one which comes close to the fresh coconut cream.
    beauiful recipe with beautiful pic. love that bowl u used, very pretty indeed 🙂

    Hi Supriya, and thanks — glad you enjoyed 🙂
    Several manufacuters make lower fat cocout milk, marketed as “lite” or “light” — including Taste of Thai and Thai Kitchen — don’t know whether you get that in UK though. One of these days I’ll try with the *real thing* 🙂

  5. trupti said

    I cannot be drooling this early in this morning. But I am 🙂
    That is such a great dish! I don’t use a lot of coconut milk in my recipes….but if there is a “lite” brand around, I must try something with it.

    What a pretty glass thingamajig. 😉

    You were up bright and early today! Taste of Thai and Thai Kitchen both make a “lite” version — it’s got the flavor but not the special body and richness of regular. Glad you liked the thingamajig 😉 I’ve got a closet full of that stuff!

  6. indosungod said

    Linda, the olan looks beautiful in your glass cup. Now I see going lite and eating happy can go hand in hand!!

    Thanks ISG — it was tasty for sure. Hope you have a great day! 🙂

  7. sandeepa said

    Linda…I love that cup and the olan looks great too.

    Thanks Sandeepa 🙂

  8. Asha said

    Look great Linda although I like gravies little thicker.Beautiful presentation too,great looking glass there!:))

    Hi Asha, and thanks. I like thick gravies better too — but with this coconut I was satisfied with the thin version. It actually did thicken up a little overnight – potato in it helped I’m sure. Your egg rassa is on the menu for this weekend — can’t wait 🙂

  9. Jyothsna said

    Olan is great anyday! 🙂

    Hi Jyothsna, having finally made some, I heartily agree 🙂

  10. anusharaji said

    i simply luv the glass……;)

    Thank you Anusharaji… collecting old glass is a hobby and it’s more fun when you can use it 🙂

  11. Mishmash! said

    Linda…you amaze me each and every time with your posts and love for indian food…and this time a kerala dish….Incredible !


    Hi Shn… I am hooked that’s for sure. Can’t think of a better addiction! 😉

  12. mandira said

    the olan looks delicious. perfect for the summer!

    Hi Mandira — it was nice and light especially with the tender ash gourd. Hope you’ve got summer weather up your way now. It’s been cold here this week!

  13. Nupur said

    That looks healthy and nourishing, the sort of food that one feels so virtuous while eating 🙂 And just look at that glass!
    It is true, the Jugalbandi duo is wonderful at lightening up our favorites.

    That’s a great way to phrase it Nupur — virtuous! Too bad that feeling doesn’t last through every meal in my kitchen 😉

  14. Revathi said

    Hmm Coconut milk minus the fat.. wonder would that be ?? Sure looks great though !! Let us know when you are able to get in those skinny jeans again 🙂

    Hey Revathi — it’s not completely innocent — it really only has 1/3 less fat, or 1/3 the fat… something like that. Thanks for the encouragement 😉

  15. bee said

    linda, we’re in the colorado wilderness living off bagels. thank heavens for the internet connection. the bagel tastes so much better when i’m looking at your dish. for low fat and convenient coconut milk, we use 1/3 cup coconut miilk powder and water for a cup of coconut milk.
    thanks for the kind words.

    Yet another way to get coconut milk! I’ll remember that one, and thanks for *your* kind words. Lucky you guys, eating bagels in Colorado. I was there last July (have some pics up here somewhere).
    It was my first time and I’d love to go back. Enjoy and look forward to seeing your pics upon your return 🙂

  16. […] What better way to go lite than ‘no oil cooking’ . Linda tries out this variation of Olan where she goes one step ahead to make it even lighter by using low fat coconut milk! Clever girl!! […]

  17. […] What better way to go lite than ‘no oil cooking’ . Linda tries out this variation of Olan where she goes one step ahead to make it even lighter by using low fat coconut milk! Clever girl!! […]

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