Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Parwal Aur Aloo ki Sabzi

"Parwal Aur Aloo ki Sabzi"

Parwal Aur Aloo ki Sabzi, is a a simple everyday dish, commonly prepared in Calcutta and Odisha.

Parwal is also known as Potol in Bengali and Odisha, as Pointed Gourd in English, its mainly cultivated in Eastern and Northern parts of the Indian Subcontinent, hence a common green vegetable to these regions. Parwal, has many health benefits which makes it nutritious. It is rich in Vitamin A, B1, B2, and C, calcium to name a few. It has minimal calories in it and helps lower cholesterol, its easy to digest and is recommended for people suffering from stomach ailments.

Though a common vegetable from Northern and Eastern India but differs in preparation. In Northern India it usually prepared as a dry side dish or sometimes a thin gravy too, in Calcutta and Odisha it is prepared in a thick gravy also known as Dalna in which the parwal and potatoes are deep fried and cooked in a spicy curry. Parwal is commonly used in Calcutta to prepare the famous Parwal ke Methai.
The recipe which I am sharing is my mom's recipe, its a simple and quick dish prepared in the pressure cooker hence comes very handy as a busy weekday vegetarian dinner option. Parwal aur Aloo cooked is  in Mustard oil along with Paanch phoran...which gives the dish a distinctive Bengali taste.Serve it along with chapati or paratha or make it special by serving along with Luchi.


Parwal / Potol /Pointed Gourd - 5-6 medium size
Potato - 2 medium
Onion - 1 medium
Tomato - 1 medium
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Onion paste - 1 tablespoon
Coriander powder - 1 tablespoon
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Paanch phoran - 1 teaspoon
Whole dry red chilli - 2
Sugar - 1/4th teaspoon
Salt to taste
Mustard oil - 2 tablespoon


Wash and trim both ends of the parwal, scrape the waxy skin and slit it lengthwise into two. Parwal usually has a white center along with tender seeds but at time they are a bit yellowish and have hard seeds. If the seeds are hard then discard the seeds and the yellow portion and slice them diagonally into approximately 1 cm thick.

Wash and peal the potatoes, slit lengthwise into 2, slice them horizontally approximately 1 cm thick. 

Peal and finely slice the onion. Chop tomatoes and ginger, grind together to make a smooth paste.

Mix together the onion paste along with coriander powder, red chilli powder and turmeric powder and a little water to make a wet masala paste.

Heat mustard oil in a pressure cooker, add Paanch phoran and broken red chillies. Once the spices start popping add the sliced onion and fry for 2-3 minutes or until it starts to turn light brown.

Add the chopped Parwal and Aloo, mix well and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the wet masala paste and fry for 3-4 minutes.

Once the raw smell of the masala is gone add the tomato and ginger paste, salt ,sugar mix well and fry until oil starts appearing on the sides on the cooker. 

Add around 1 cup of water, bring it to a boil, close the lid of the pressure cooker, put the whistle and pressure cook until 2 - 3 whistles.

Turn off the heat and let all the steam escape before you open the pressure cooker.

Serve hot along with Luchi, paratha or just enjoy it with simple chapati.


I prefer to use mustard oil for this recipe as it gives an authentic flavor to the recipe however you could replace it with any other cooking oil.
I have slightly scraped the parwal just to remove the outer shiny coat, these days most vegetables are sprayed with a variety of chemicals and even coated with wax which is not safe. Scraping the vegetable helps us avoid consuming these harmful elements and also maintains the crispness of the parwal.
Please adjust the quantity of water as per personal preference and the consistency of gravy required.