Saturday, May 27, 2017

Potol Posto - Parwal in Khus Khus gravy

Generally people say authentic Bengali dishes are complex and takes a lot of time but this one is a simple fast and yummy authentic Bengali dish made of potol /parwal and poppy seeds. Earlier we were not getting fresh parwal in Bangalore but now-a-days a Bengali supplier in my place has brought fresh parwal. Hence I am now making a lot of parwal dishes - this one is the second one on a traught. This dish used to be made in our home very often when grandma visited our place. Hope this olden golden Bengali dish will satisfy your taste-buds very easily.

Preparation Time: - 15 min

Cooking Time: - 18~20 min

Servings: - 3~4 persons


  1. 7 pieces of Potol or Parwal – approx. 250 gm. in weight
  2. 1 medium size Onion chopped
  3. ½  tsp Kalonji / Black Jeera
  4. 3 Green Chili (you can use more according to your taste)
  5. 1/3 cup Poppy seed
  6. 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  7. 1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli powder (you may use more if you want)
  8. Salt and sugar as per taste
  9. 5 tbsp Mustard Oil ( To make this an authentic Bengali preparation you can use mustard oil but you can use vegetable oil if you dislike the pungent smell of Mustard Oil )


  1. Peel the skin of the Potol (pointed gourd) and cut lengthwise into 4 pieces. My parwal pieces was big and that is why I cut into 4 pieces – for smaller ones you can cut into halves. Thin pieces ensure proper frying. It is better to apply little bit of turmeric powder and salt to the pieces and keep it aside for some time. If you are in a hurry you can skip this.
  2. Take 1/3 cup of poppy seeds (approx. 30 gm) and blend in a mixer grinder with little water to make ½ cup of poppy seeds paste. During blending you can add a green chili if you want.
  3. Chop the onion into thin slices.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a kadai/ non-stick pan. Fry the parwal pieces till they turn light brown. Keep aside on tissue paper so that extra oil is absorbed.
  5. In the same kadai, add and heat remaining oil. Sprinkle Nigella seeds to it. Add a green chilli.
  6. When they splutter add the onion.
  7. Sauté till the onion turn golden brown and soft.
  8. Now toss Potol / Parwal pieces into the mixture. Stir and mix so that spices are mixed properly with parwal. Add a slit green chili.
  9. Next you add the poppy seed paste and sprinkle little water. Continue cooking for few minutes so that the raw smell of poppy seeds go away.
  10. Add little water and mix everything well. Turn the burner into low flame and continue cooking till the patol / parwal is done. When the gravy becomes thick stir a little so that it does not get stuck in Kadai.
  11. Turn the flame off and garnish with the last green chili.

Serve this side dish with Steamed rice. Sometimes I served this dish with homemade tawa roti or Khichdi and guests / family had enjoyed.

As always please feel free to comment, criticize and seek if any help is required. I am all ears.

Zomato Restaurant Review - The Eatery - Four Points by Sheraton Bengaluru Whitefield


I got some nearbuy vouchar for the Lunch buffet in this place and it was really value for money. Hence on a Sunday the whole family visited this place and boy, we were happy to check this one. The starters were not many but quality was good and served on the table. The main course has many options to choose from and all were good. Though I should say the veg ones were little better. The welcome drink was a nice Gulkand milk shake and the chats were equally good. Special mention should be for Dahi Vada.  The ambience was excellent, service was quite quick and waiters were polite. The best part of the buffet was the desserts - Moong Dal halwa, gulab jamun, cheesecake and three flavors of ice cream ( vanilla, black currant and Gulkand). The only negative I can tell is the lack of variety of starters and food was finished strictly at 3:00 PM. Frankly we expected a more flexible time on Sunday. Overall a 4.0 rating from my side.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Narkel Potol - Pointed Gourd / Parwal curry in coconut gravy

Pointed gourd or Parwal or simply Bengali Potol is often not known of its health benefits. But this humble vegetable often aids digestion and good for constipation. It even helps you to loose excess fat and is also good for skin as it purifies the blood. It acts against ageing and keeps cholesterol level under control.
When I thought of creating this preparation I saw there are many ways people have cooked this yummy dish. I cooked each of them and sort of blend their ways and created it in my style.  Some of them garnish with raw coconut but I preferred fried coconut. You can add fried onion in the initial stages of the preparation but I prefer against it. I used a mixture of oil and ghee to enhance the aroma of the preparation.

Preparation Time: - 20 min

Cooking Time: - 25~30 min

Servings: - 2~3 persons


  1. 8 pieces of Potol or Parwal – approx. 300 gm. in weight
  2. 1 ½ inch long fresh Ginger
  3. 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  4. 1 or 2  Bay leaves
  5. 1 inch Cinnamon broke into 2 pieces
  6. 2 cloves
  7. 1 or 2 Green Chili (you can use more according to your taste)
  8. ½ cup grated Coconut
  9. 2 tbsp Coconut Milk
  10. 1 tbsp Ghee
  11. 1 tsp Turmeric powder (optional)
  12. 1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli powder (you may use more if you want)
  13. 1 tsp Cumin / Jeera powder
  14. 1 tsp Coriander powder
  15. Salt and sugar as per taste
  16. 6 tbsp Vegetable Oil ( To make this an authentic Bengali preparation you can use mustard oil but I used a 50:50 mixture of Sunflower and Mustard Oil )
  17. ½ tsp Garam Masala


  1. Peel the skin of the Potol (pointed gourd) and slit lengthwise 3~4 times. This is done to absorb the spices properly in later stages. Please remember not to make too deep cuts so that the Parwal is kept in one piece.
  2. Brake and scrape a small coconut. Add little bit of water and blend well in a blender. 
  3. Also add 2 tbsp lukewarm water to the coconut powder to make a thick mixture of coconut milk. 
  4.  Cut the fresh ginger and grind in a mixer to make ginger paste.
  5. Take a tawa and roast the cumin powder for few seconds. Keep aside.
  6. Heat 3 tbsp oil (I used a 50:50 mixture of mustard and sunflower oil) in a kadai/ non-stick pan. Shallow fry the parwal pieces with turmeric powder (optional) and salt till they turn golden brown. Keep aside on tissue paper so that extra oil is absorbed.
  7. In the same kadai, heat 1 tbsp oil and shallow fry the grated coconut. Keep aside. 
  8. Now use the same kadai and heat rest of the oil with 1 tbsp Ghee. 
  9. Now add bay leaves, cinnamon stick, clove with a green chili to it.
  10. Sauté for a minute and add cumin seeds. Wait till the spices crackle.
  11. Add ginger and grated coconut to the mixture (keep 2 tbsp fried grated coconut for later use in garnishing) – Stir continuously till the mixture is properly fried.
  12. Now add the fried parwal pieces. Sprinkle Kashmiri Red Chilli powder, salt, coriander powder. You can add red chilli powder if it suits your taste. You can even add 2~3 more green chili to it. I generally keep the chili factor less as all of my dishes are kids-friendly.
  13. Mix well and pour the coconut milk. Add ¾ cup of water and sugar to taste.
  14. Cover and cook for 8~10 min. Check intermittently if the potol is done. You may sprinkle water if needed.
  15. Remove the cover and cook till the excess water is absorbed and gravy becomes very thick as we Bengalis call “Ga-Makha-Makha”.
  16. You may wish to add a bit of Shahi Garam Masala to enhance the smell and the taste of the preparation. I did it.
  17. Turn off the flame and garnish by sprinkling fried coconut with roasted Jeera powder.
Um mm mm – I can smell the nice aroma of the dish and I start salivating thinking about the yummy taste of the same. Serve this side dish with Puri, chapatti, steamed rice and even with veg fried rice. You can try my Carrot rice or Peas pulao.

As always please feel free to comment, criticize and seek if any help is required. I am all ears.