Potol Bhaja or deep fried Pointed Gourd is a very common Bengali dish. In most Bengali homes one such bhaja dish is a part of daily meals, be it Begun Bhaja, Aloo Bhaja or Mach Bhaja. Potol Bhaja is a very easy, quick and simple dish which can be made with minimum ingredients and a great accompaniment to any meal.
I consider myself lucky to be born in Kolkata and to have grown up in this wonderful city, all thanks to my great grandparents moved to Kolkata almost 90 years ago. We have lived in a Bengali Neighborhood, have lots of Bong friends, have adapted a lot of Bengali customs and food over the years...and just love it.
In our home as well lunch is incomplete without one such dish, my so very North Indian hubby has also adjusted his taste buds accordingly and loves them too. Just a few days ago I came across these really nice Potol, at the supermarket, just could'nt keep my hands off them,,,As it was the weekend so had to prepare Dal Chawal...ekdum MIL style, as that''s how hubby dear loves it accompanied with my favorite summer vegetable Potol Bhaja..
So here is the quick and easy recipe of Potol Bhaja...traditionally Potol Bhaja does not have chili powder but I have added it to suite to our North Indian taste.
Potol / Parwal / Pointed gourd - 6-8
Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Red chili powder - 1/2 teaspoon (Optional)
Salt as per taste
Mustard oil for frying - 4 tablespoon
Cut off the ends and scrape the potol, wash thoroughly and cut it lengthwise into half. Make length wise slits in the potol and keep aside. Be careful while making the slits, in case the seeds are hard,go slow or you may end up hurting your hand.
Heat mustard oil in a kadhai or a heavy bottom frying pan, once the mustard oil is smoking hot, turn off the gas for a minute or two. Re heat the oil and carefully slide the marinated potol one at a time. Fry until golden brown. Remove carefully with a slotted spoon,place on paper towel to remove excess oil. Repeat process until you finish frying all the potol.
I have made this in Mustard oil but you cam use any oil which is regularly used in your home.
Adding red chili powder is optional, I have added it as that's how my mum has been preparing all these years.