Saturday, August 25, 2012

Potol Dolma - A delicious bengali recipe

My ma could do magic with Potol, which we know as Parwal in Hindi and, I guess Pointed gourd if you care to know, in English.  Coming back to the topic of magic, Ma made some amazing dishes with Potol ... patla potole'r jhol (simple gravvy) with nothing but kalo jeera (onion seeds) and green chillies to a spicier version of potole'r jhaal. Potol Dolma or Stuffed Potol  is special, since it is slightly more elaborate, it is usually made as a special dish when guests are at home.

Here, I have not found good quality Potol ... but, I have a distinct memory of the vegetable and all rmagic that can be done with it. Try this and, you will keep licking your fingers... 

For the Dolma
1. Whole Potol/Parwal (1 pound)
2. Stuffing - choose any paneer or cheese, boiled fish meat, cooked minced meat, coconut/onion/nuts mix (about 1/2 pound)
3.   Red Chilli powder (pinch, to taste)
4. Oil for deep frying
5. Salt to taste

For the Curry 
1. Onions (1-2)
2. Ginger (1" piece)
3. Jeera Powder (1 tsp)
4. Dhania Powder (1 tsp)
5. Turmeric Powder (1 tsp)
6. Red Chilli Powder (1/2 tsp)
7. Garam Masala (1/2 tsp)
8. Bay Leaves (1)
9. Salt to taste
10. Ghee (1 teaspoon)
11. Oil (2 tbsp)

Make the Dolma first
As you can see in the ingredients, the stuffing for dolma can be either vegetarian mix or non-vegetarian.   The common choices are minced panner, or coconut/onion/nuts mix for vegetarian stuffing, and minced meat or boiled fish for non-vegetarian. First prepare the potol by lightly scrapping the skin, and cutting thin circles off the two edges. From one of the ends, start scooping the seeds out. Use your own tool, but, dont hesitate to use a hair pin as well ... try keeping the potol intact. Now, insert the stuffing in each potol, and seal the end with some flour paste. Deep fry the potols and keep them aside to be put in the gravvy/curry. 

Preparing the Curry
Make a paste of onion and ginger. In the oil, add Bay leaf. Next mix the ginger onion paste, with turmeric and chilli powder, and add to the oil. Keep sprinkling water, so the spices are fried, but, do not stick to the pan. Next add the other spices and keep frying on low heat. Add 1/2 cup of warm water and let it simmer. After 5 minutes, once the water gets to a boil, lower the heat and add the potol dolmas. The oil will rise, as the gravvy thickens. Just before putting the heat off, add garam masal and a tea spoon of ghee for aroma. 

Serve with plain white rice. And, enjoy!