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Sunday, 24 August 2014

Aloo Potoler Dalna (Parwal/Pointed Gourd Curry - Bengali Cuisine)

           Parwal or Pointed Gourd cooked with potatoes is a common and a favourite dish among Bengalis. It goes well with poori / chapattis. For a non-veg, version, it can be cooked with prawns. For the vegetarians, vadials / mangodi (lentil dumplings) along with green peas can be used. The parwals can be substituted with lauki (bottle gourd), cauliflower, pumpkin or cabbage as per you choice.

  • 8-10 Parwals, chopped into roundels of 1/2" thick
  • 2 small potatoes, cubed
  • 3-4 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. coriander-cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste/2 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 tsp. ghee (clarified butter)
  • salt to taste
  • chopped coriander leaves to garnish

          Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a pan and saute the Parwals till light brow. Keep aside. Add the remaining oil and temper with bay leaves, cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon and cumin seeds. Allow it to splutter.

          Add the potatoes and saute till light brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste, coriander-cumin powder, turmeric powder, tomato paste and garam masala powder mixed with a little water.

          (If using chopped tomatoes, saute the masala paste and add the tomatoes) Fry the masala till oil separates from the sides of the pan. Add the fried potatoes and the fried parwals, green chilies, salt to taste and 1 1/2 cups water.

          Cover and cook on low flame till soft. When done, add the ghee and mix well. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves. A great side dish with Luchis (pooris).

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