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Parwal Aloo Subzi - A Delicious Pointed Gourd and Potatoes Dish
Parwal Aloo Subzi
Parwal Aloo Subzi is a Bengali dish, often cooked on special occasions where the flavors of the parwals and it's combination with aloo lends the subzi an indelible perfection. While it is cooked on special occasions, it's popularity has made it a regularly prepared dish in every home. Parwals are actually prepared in several different ways, one of which involves stuffing them with potatoes or onions, while another involves marinating them with salt and turmeric, and frying them. The latter, known as parwal fry or as it's kinown in Bengal, Potol Bhaja, is enormously tasty and doubtlessly winsome. Incidientally, parwals are known as Patal in Eastern India (and Potol in Bengal). Parwal is basically pointed gourd, and aloos are potatoes.
I have used paanch foran or the five spices blend, and cumin powder which adds the flavorful base that is just right for this subzi. In the variation, I have used cumin seeds for the tadka and coriander and cumin paste, which really do lend a very special taste to the dish.
So, check out the recipe for this super flavorful subzi.
- 200 gms parwal (pointed gourd)
- 2 medium size potatoes
- 1/2 tsp paanch foran (five spices blend)
- 2 medium size onion
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 green chillies
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- Salt (according to taste)
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 5 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
- 1 bay leaf
1. Lightly peel the parwals. Then, slit each parwal longitudinally and cut into half.
2. Peel the potatoes and cut each one into 1 inch cubes.
3, Cut onions and tomatoes finely.
4. Cut each green chilli longitudinally.
Instructions for cooking
1. Heat oil in a pan and on a slow to medium flame, fry the parwals and potatoes separately till they're 90% done, and keep aside.
2. In the same pan, add bay leaf and paanch foran, and when they splutter, add onions, and stir fry till these onions change in color. Now, add ginger-garlic paste and stir fry for a minute.
3. Add tomatoes and green chillies, and stir fry till they're cooked. Now, add 2 tbsp of water, then, turmeric, chilli and cumin powder to it. Stir fry for a minute. You will notice soon that the oil starts to separate from the masala.
4. Add the fried parwals and potatoes. Fry them for a minute or two, then, add 2 cups of water, salt and sugar.
5. On a slow flame, with the lid on, cook the vegetables till they're tender. Switch off the flame.
6. Your delicious Parwal Aloo Subzi is ready.
There's another variation for this dish prepared without onions, where cumin seeds and bay leaves are used for the tadka, along with coriander and cumin paste, turmeric and chilli powder, and green chillies. Then, fried parwals and potatoes are added along with half a cup of water, with salt and sugar of course. This is not as much of a curry as the above preparation but it's quite flavorful and just as delicious - the cumin and coriander do add a great taste to this preparation.
If you've never had parwal or pointed gourd, you don't know what you're missing. I never really tried it as a kid and I know now what I was missing myself. This is an awesome veggie which, if cooked right, turns out fabulously. The seeds are just so juicy and crunchy and it's one of the many good things about the parwal. The rest of the vegetable has so much flavor that it does 'color' up the entire dish so well. Potatoes are traditionally added into the dish and it totally enhances the taste of the subzi.
So, do try this out, and enjoy.