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Friday, 16 October 2015

Potoler Rezala (Parwal / Pointed Gourd Curry - Bengali Style)

          Mutton Rezala and Chicken Rezala are two very traditional and popular Bengali style aromatic non-vegetarian dishes. It is cooked in a creamy yoghurt based gravy. They are very much a part of the menu in many Bengali eateries in and around Kolkata. 

          It is usually cooked in mustard oil and some ghee to give an authentic flavour to the dish. So today I decided to try doing it the vegetarian way with some Potols (Parwals / Pointed Gourds). The spices remain very much the same with a slightly different twist in the method of cooking. 

          This recipe calls for a gravy with a slightly thicker consistency. With a slight aroma coming from the rose water and the nutty flavour from the almond paste, this makes it a sure shahi dish. But it is mildly spiced, mostly coming from the ground peppercorns. Enjoy it with naan, paratha, roomali roti, rice, pulao, etc.

  • 10-12 Potol / parwals / Pointed Gourds, cut into half and shallow fried
  • 2 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp. spice powder (see recipe below)
  • 1 tsp. red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 8-10 cashew nuts
  • 1/2 cup fried onions
  • 1 tbsp. rose water
  • sliced onion & coriander leaves to garnish
Dry roast & grind - 
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 mace
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. peppercorns
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 " cinnamon stick

          Blend together cashew nuts, fried onion and yoghurt till smooth. Keep aside. Heat oil and ghee in a pan and temper with bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamoms and cloves. Saute for a few seconds.

          Add the ginger-garlic paste, ground spice powder and chili flakes mixed with some water to form a paste. Saute till oil separates.

          Now add the fried parwals, salt, turmeric powder and 2 cups water. Cover and simmer for 4-5 minutes till the gravy is slightly reduced.

          Add the cashew nut paste and the rose water. Give it a mix. Cover and cook a further 1-2 minutes. Serve, garnished with sliced onion and coriander leaves.


                               Scrape the Parwals and slice into half.

                                         Heat oil and fry them on both sides till light brown.

                                        Temper the same oil with bay leaves, cinnamon, 
                                         cardamoms and cloves.

                                        Add the ginger-garlic paste, ground spice powder 
                                        and chili flakes mixed with some water. Saute till 
                                        oil separates.

                                       Add the fried parwals, salt and turmeric powder....

                                     ....followed by 2 cups water. Cover & simmer for 4-5 

                                 Add the cashew paste & rose water. Mix well and simmer 
                                  further for 1-2 minutes.

                               Serve, garnished with sliced onion and coriander leaves.

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