Friday, June 18, 2010
Aloo Potol-er Dalna – Curried Potatoes and Parwal
Potol is a summer vegetable. Moving away from this Bengali name of the vegetable, you can know it as Parwal in Hindi and Pointed Gourd in English. Aloo Potol-er dalna is a common dish in our home and especially in most Bengali families. Cook it the simplest way or use more spices...up to you.
I always like to cook my curries in a simple way...mainly without onion and garlic. Mrs. B was surprised when I told her I don’t add onion and garlic in cooking this. She said, “Then how will the curry taste? And what about the gravy, do you use lots of tamatar?
I gave her a smile and said, “No tomatoes but simple everyday spices and all the juices and flavours mix together to give out the taste”.
“So you’ll cook and let me get the taste”.
“Of course, what’s the big deal about it?
She tasted the curry and liked it and said, “It tastes really good”.
Here comes my simple recipe.
All that is required:
Parwal: ½ kg
Aloo (potatoes): 4
Tej patta (bay leaves): 3-4
Garam Masala (home-made): ½ tsp
Jeera powder: 1 tsp
Dhania powder: ½ tsp
Lal mirch (red chilli) powder: ½ tsp
Haldi powder: 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar: As to your taste. Add ½ tsp if you don’t like to for the sugar adds colour to the curry and balances the taste with simple spices.
The Potol or Parwal
Now peel the skin of the potol and cut it into half. I don’t peel off all the skin. See in the picture.
Peel the potatoes and make 8 pieces from each one.
Wash the vegetables and set aside.
Put the dhania, jeera, lal mirch and haldi powder in a small bowl and soak it in some water.
Heat oil in a kadhai and as the smoke start rising put in the potol (parwal) pieces and fry till it starts changing colour. Don’t over fry. Take them out. The oil will take a black colour. Don’t throw it away.
Tip in the bay leaves and then the potatoes in the remaining oil. Stir occasionally as the frying process goes on for 4-5 minutes.
Now add the soaked spices and stir. Couple of minutes into this course of action, add the salt and sugar. The cooking process goes on, sometime on low flame and for a time on high flame. Cook till the oil starts separating from the masala. Add the fried parwal stir for a couple of minutes and then add sufficient water, sufficient for the type of gravy you want, and cook till the potatoes and parwal is cooked to be served. Add the garam masala, mix it well in the curry and pour into the serving bowl.
Serve with hot rice along with some dal. It can also be served with roti, paratha or luchi (puris).
Next the taste will speak.