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Doi Potol or Dahi Parwal

As a kid I was a fussy eater and almost never liked any vegetables – green or otherwise. My mom used to have a tough time with me I am sure. Not that I really like vegetables now but still eat much more vegetables than as a kid.

There are these vegetables which are really popular among the Bengalis like ‘Begun’ (brinjal), ‘Bandhakopi’ (cabbage), ‘Kochu’ – I have no idea what it’s called in English or Hindi or in any other language. And I hate almost all of these. But now since I have Mr. Husband who likes traditional Bengali food at times I have to venture into the kitchen to re-invent some of these.

This is potol/ pointed gourd. Image from Shutterstock
Potol ‘or ‘parwal as called in Hindi (its Pointed Gourd in English – that’s what Google told me) is also as popular in a Bengali household. You will definitely find a ‘potol-bhaja’ in the beginning of your menu if you are up for a hearty Bengali meal. Now that’s little main stream how much ‘potol-baja’ can one have? The next two famous things a Bong cooks up with this ‘potol’ are ‘potoler dorma’ & ‘doi potol’.

This is Kundru. Image from Google
It’s difficult to get good fresh ‘Potol’ in this city. They also have this thing called ‘Kundru’ which almost looks like ‘potol’ but is much smaller in size and is hard when you are going to cut. So don’t get that ‘kundru’ if you want to make any Bengali ‘Potol’ preparation.  

Over the weekend I had some time with me to cook up something little special and here I am with a traditional ‘doi-potol’ recipe. Will do the ‘potoler dorma’ some other time.

So lets get to our 'Doi Potol' recipe

All that you Need

  1. Potol/pointed Gourd – 6-8 pieces
  2. Fresh Yogurt – 1 cup
  3. Paanch Foron – 1 tspn – If you don’t know what this is please refer to Tip #3 in Tiny Tips)
  4. Mustard oil – 1 table spn
  5. Turmeric powder – ¼ tspn + ¼ tspn
  6. Red chili powder – ¼ tspn
  7. Cumin powder – ¼ tspn
  8. Coriander powder – ¼ tspn
  9. Ginger paste – 1 tspn
  10. Salt – to taste
  11. Green Chili - 1

Let’s get Started

- Scrape the ‘potol’ lightly so that the skin comes out and clean them under water. Don’t peel but scrape it with the edge of a knife.

- Dust ¼ tspn of turmeric powder and salt over the ‘potol’/pointed gourd and  keep aside

- Heat mustard oil in a frying pan

- Once oil is hot add the ‘potol’/pointed gourd and fry them lightly so that water (within the vegetable) dries up.

- Once the ‘potol’/pointed gourd is fried add the ‘paanch phoron’

- Add ginger paste and mix well with the fried the ‘potol’/pointed gourd

- Take yogurt in a separate bowl and mix all the dry spices – turmeric, red chili powder, cumin powder and coriander powder. Mix well to form a smooth paste.

- Add this spice and yogurt mixture to the ‘potol’/pointed gourd in the frying pan and mix them well

- Add salt to taste and add the green chili. I refer to break the chili in two halves so that you get the flavor in your food with less heat

- Cook in low flame for 10 mins or till you see oil on the sides of the pan.

- Add little water in your yogurt bowl and use up all the spice mix that might be left over in the bowl. Since this preparation is a semi dry one don’t add much of water. Cook for 5 mins.

And there you go your Bengali traditional Doi Potol is done.

It tastes best with hot rice.

Try and let me know how you liked it.

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