Summers in India bring intense heat and incessant sweat, but lots of fruits and some special vegetables too. In fact, there are some vegetables that you won’t quite relate to continental or for that matter any well-known cuisine outside India. One of such special variety is Potol (Patol), Parwal in Hindi and Pointed Gourd in English.
Potol is widely used in Bengali cuisine. Some famous ones are Potol Alur Jhol (Parwal Alu Curry), Potol Korma, some fish items such as Potoler Dorma (Fish stuffed Parwal), Potol diye Macher Jhol (Parwal Fish curry) and Potol diye Singhi Macher Jhol (made infamous by Pyalaram, a character in Tenida series). In fact, there is even a well known sweet prepared with Potol, called Potol Mishti.
Or simply, Potol Bhaja with Bhaat and Dal.
Without further ado, let us have a simple Potol (pointed gourd) recipe – Alu Potoler Tarkari, or Bengali style Pointed Gourd with Potato Curry.
Ingredients for Alu Potoler Tarkari
- 5-6 pointed gourd (Potol / Parwal)
- 1 medium size potato
- 1 medium size onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 6-8 cloves of garlic
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
How to Prepare Alu Potoler Tarkari
- Lightly skin the Potol, and cut laterally into two equal halves. If its too large, then cut into 3 pieces
- Peel the potato and cut into medium square pieces
- Heat oil in a wok, and separately fry the Potol and potatoes till lightly brown. Keep aside
- Remove the mustard oil used for frying and pour in 1 tablespoon of oil in the same wok
- As the oil gets heated, throw in the onions and garlic cloves. Sauté till the onions turn pinkish
- Put in the fried vegetables, ginger-garlic paste, and all other spices except the garam masala. Season with salt
- Toss for sometime till the spices coat the veggies
- Pour in water and let it cook till the vegetables are tender
- Sprinkle the garam masala and serve with warm rice and dal.
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