Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Aloo-Potol Bhaja/ Potato and Pointed Gourd Fry/Aloo-Parwal Fry – Simple side-dish for lunch-time

Bengalis like their lunch to be spread of assortments. To start with they will prefer ghee bhat, then some sheddho (like aloo sheddho), a pora can be served (the begun pora), a bhaja and then some Shukto can come. This does not complete the Lunch plate for there is more in store. Along with bhat there is dal. Maybe a niremish tarkari and macher jholor or jhal or paturi or sorshe mach or macher tak or even a mach bhaja or a mangshor tarkari. This can be accompanied with a tak or chutney which is more on the sweeter side and lunch is complete. Did I miss out something…memories drying up with the changes, ha ha ha…

This was the lunch spread I enjoyed in my childhood served on Kanshar thala and kanshar bati. How lucky was the feeling then to think food was served on golden plates and bowls.
Time has changed and also food habits. My childhood days saw so many people working at home to help look after the different chores at home. And with Thakur the Cook, there was always varieties cooked at home. Houses were big with large space and the kitchen separate from the living area. Now flats are preferable and helping hands are fewer.

Along with all this change coming in, so have the eating habits. The Kahsha has given way to steel and glass utensils. The Unoon (home-made clay oven) that burned with coal fire has soon lost its sheen and gas stoves are the favourites now. And the Micro-oven also adds so much help in cooking.

Anyway the poor Potol is waiting to be listed for the day.

A simple Potol-aloo bhaja, so simple and time saving, yet very tasty. Some don’t like potol but I feel this simple cooking can no doubt change the thought.
Vegetables needed:

Potol/parwal/pointed gourd: 6-8
Potatoes medium size: 3


Peel the skin and cut them lengthwise as in the picture.

Mix the potol and the aloo, wash and drain the water.
Next add ½ tsp. of haldi powder and salt to taste and rub with the veggies and keep it for a couple of minutes.

Take a kadhai, heat about 2 tbsp of mustard oil.
Once hot add the vegetables and stir fry.

Simmer the heat and cover.
Remove the cover from time to time and give it a stir.

Continue this stir fry for 4-5 minutes.

By now the aloo and the potol will have become ¾ cooked.
Increase the flame and stir fry for another couple of minutes and its ready.

Serve for lunch this hot aloo-potol bhaja.
Can be the main dish and can also be a side-dish if there are accompaniments to go with the lunch thali.

It also tastes good with hot parathas but not luchis. Those who want to avoid paratha can have their share of the bhaja with ruti/rotis.

A simple dish can also carve a niche for itself in the 'Home Menu Card'.

© gouriguha 2015