Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Potoler Dolma

Potoler Dolma is a  Bengali dish, prepared with "Potol",  Potol is the Bengali name for Parwal also known as Pointed Gourd in English.

"Potoler Dolma"
Dolma is a common term used in Middle eastern countries for stuffed vegetables. Do check this link if you would like to read more about  Dolma  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolma)
Potol or Parwal is a very versatile summer vegetable which is used in different ways to prepare savory and sweet dishes.
Parwal aur aloo ki sabzi, Parwal aur Aloo ke Sookhi SubziPotol Bhaja are few of the other recipies of Potol or Parwal on the blog.


Potoler Dolma is basically fried and stuffed potol, cooked in a mildly spicy gravy made with onions, cashew and coconut ,the stuffing could be meat, shrimps or even vegetables. The recipe which I am sharing is a vegetarian recipe of the Potoler Dolma, where the stuffing is made with Paneer and Potol pulp.



Potoler Dolma is a bit time consuming dish as it involves several steps, like scooping out the pulp of the potol, frying the empty potol shells, preparing the stuffing and the gravy, trust me this is a must try dish and the end result is just delicious. Serve it along with Steamed Rice or with Luchi's, I'm sure you and your loved ones will relish it it a treat for one and all.


So here is a step by step recipe for Potoler Dolma....

Ingredients

Potol / Parwal - 5-6
Oil for frying - 4 tablespoon

For the stuffing

Onion, finely chopped - 1 small
Paneer, crumbled - 1/2 cup
Potato, boiled and mashed - 1 small
Ginger grated - 1/2 teaspoon
Green chili, chopped - 1 no.
Green coriander, chopped - 2 tablespoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Raisin, chopped - 1 tablespoon
Bhaja Masala - 3/4th teaspoon
Oil - 2 tablespoon
Salt to taste

For gravy

Onion - 1 medium
Tomato - 1 medium
Green chili - 2 (mild ones)
Ginger paste - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2teaspoon
Red chili powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Garam Masala Powder - 1/4th teaspoon
Cashew nuts, soaked in water - 10 pcs
Fresh grated coconut - 2 tablespoon
Oil - 2-3 tablespoon
Salt to taste
Freshly chopped green coriander for garnish

Preparation for the Potol

Wash the Potol,trim the ends, scrape the waxy coat with a knife. use a potato pealer and peal the thick skin as shown in picture.



Now carefully hollow out the potol ensuring that you ceep the other end intact. you could either use the back of the spoon, I used my potato pealer as its not very thick.



Don't discard the pulp, we will sue it for the filling. If the seeds are really tough then just try and discard the seeds.


Heat around 4 tablespoons of oil in a kadhai, and fry the Potol until almost done and it starts to turn brown. Drain and keep aside on kitchen tissue.




Preparation for the gravy

Finely chop the onion from the gravy list of ingredients, wash it in water to open up the layers. Drain and try to squeeze out as mush water as possible. Heat oil in a kadhai (I used the left over oil in which I fried the Potol) fry the onions until they get a nice golden brown colour. Drain and keep in a bowl.




Add 1/2 a cup of water and let the onions soften. Once soft grind it into a paste and keep aside.




Roughly chop the tomato and green chili and grind it into a fine paste.


Make a paste of cashews and coconut by adding some water, once done add half a cup of water, dilute the paste and keep aside.




Make a paste with 1/2 teaspoon of red chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon of ginger paste and 2 tablespoon of water.



For the filling

Mix 1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger along with some water and half teaspoon of turmeric powder along with 1 tablespoon of water. keep aside.



Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in a kadhai, add the chopped onions, fry until they start to turn translucent. Add the reserved Potol pulp and green chilies and fry for 2-3 minutes.




Add the turmeric and ginger mix along with salt, mix well and fry until oil starts to appear on the sides.



Add the crumbled paneer, mix well and fry for 2 minutes.



Add mashed potato along with chopped green coriander and chopped raisins, mix well and the bhaja masala, fry for 2-3 minutes, turn off the flame and let it cool to room temperature, or until its comfortable enough for you to handle.



Divide the stuffing mixture into 5-6 equal portions and carefully stuff the fried potol and keep aside until we prepare the gravy.




For the Gravy

Heat oil in a kadhai or frying pan, carefully add the masala paste and fry until the raw smell of ginger disappears. Add the fried onion paste, mix well and fry for 2-3 minutes.



Add the tomato and green chili paste and fry until oil starts to appear on the sides.




Add the Cashew and coconut paste, mix well, add garam masala, if needed add some water to adjust the consistency of the gravy and cook on high flame until the gravy comes to a roaring boil.




Once the gravy starts boiling, reduce flame and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add the stuffed Potol, and let it simmer in the gravy for another 5 minutes.



Turn off the flame, garnish with chopped green coriander and serve hot with Luchis, Puris, Chapati or even with plain steamed rice or with  Jeera Rice. 




Notes:

Please look for nice big plum and firm Potol for the dolma. Small Potol are difficult to scoop.
I prefer de-seeding the pulp before adding to the filling as no one at my home likes the seeds, however you could add it along with seeds as well.
While frying the potol, be careful not to brown it too much, we want to preserve the green colour of the potol.
Bhaja Masala is abengali bend of roasted spices, it adds a very unique taste to the dish, here is the link for the same, http://www.spicynotes.net/2014/04/bhaja-masala.html, this spice blend is used for a variety of Bengali dishes.
For this recipe I have mentioned oil under the list of filling as well as gravy and some extra for frying the potol, if you check carefully I have actually used 4-5 tablespoon of oil, I havent deep fried the potol,first add 4 tablespoons of oil and fry the potol, once done,use the same oil to fry the fry the onions, drain the onions and use the same oil to prepare the gravy. Just use fresh 2 tablespoon oil to prepare the filling.
Please go a bit slow with the salt,keep in mind that we have added some salt while frying the onions too.
Last but not the least, you can adjust the consistency of the gravy as per your taste preference. I had prepared around 6 potols, kept three in gravy as I wanted to serve it with rice while the other three were semi gravy which goes well with Luchi or chapaties.

 



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