From the Bong Kitchen: Stuffed Pointed Gourd Or Potoler Dorma

Pointed gourd (परवल in Hindi and পটল in Bengali) is a common vegetable in the Indian kitchen. It is a tasty vegetable with a therapeutic value as well. For its easy digestibility, it’s good for stomach and often given to patients suffering from stomach upset or indigestion. The pointed gourd is found almost all over Asia and perhaps, is imported to the west. The vegetable belongs to the group of Cucurbitaceae or Cucurbita to which cucumber, squash and zucchini also belong.

Conveniently enough, parwal or pointed gourds can be cooked in myriad ways.  A simple fry is delectable while an array of spices can be added to prepare some mouthwatering dishes with this.

Though I love cooking but I’ve shared just a few recipes here on my blog till date. Straight from the kitchen of a bong lady, those were Mutton curry, Steamed Hilsa Fish and Payesh. All these are quintessential Bengali cuisines.

Today, allow me to present a vegetarian dish made with pointed gourds, that is, Stuffed Pointed Gourds in a Spicy Gravy or Potoler Dorma (পটলের দোরমা).

pointed gourd


Pointed gourds – 4-6

For the Stuffing

Mustard oil- 1 tbsp
Onion finely shredded- 1 no.
Chopped green chillies- 2/3 nos.
Ginger paste- ½ tsp
Poppy seed paste – 3 tbsp
Mustard paste- 1 tbsp
Raisins- 15/20 (previously soaked in water)
Cashew paste- 1 tbsp
Coconut (freshly scraped)- 3 tbsp

To Prepare the Gravy

Mustard oil- 3 tbsp (you may use any type of oil)
Coconut milk – ½ cup
Onion paste- 2 tbsp
Garlic paste – 1tsp
Green chilli- 3/4 nos
Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
Red Chilli powder- ½ tsp
Salt, sugar, according to your taste

Cooking Method

Cut one side of the gourd and (big enough to squeeze in a spoon or knife) scrape out the seeds carefully. Heat oil in a pan, fry the gourds lightly adding a bit of salt and turmeric powder and, keep aside.

Heat oil again. Put all the stuffing ingredients in it except the raisins and fry on a low flame until it’s done. Add sugar, salt, raisins and keep on stirring. The colour will become golden-brown. Stuff all the gourds with this mixture and seal the open ends with a little dough made of flour.


After the Initial Stuffing

Heat the remaining oil again.  Add the onion, garlic, ginger paste and mix well by stirring. Cook on a low flame by adding the rest of gravy ingredients. Add a cup of water and bring to boil. Now, carefully place the stuffed gourds into the pan and simmer till the gravy is formed thickly. Cook for about 7/10 minutes. Stir occasionally if needed but take care so the filling may not come out.


Serve hot with roti or steamed rice.


95 responses to “From the Bong Kitchen: Stuffed Pointed Gourd Or Potoler Dorma

  1. I recognized at first glance of your photos that the gourd looked similar to a cucumber and, aha, you say they are of the same family! While I’ve never had any dish with the gourd, I do like stuffed vegetable dishes. I recently had a stuffed meat mixture in a green pepper. Your recipe sounds fantastic, Mani!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful.. never knew you can make parval like this! Actually it never crossed my mind. I’ve seen Bhindi and Karela stuffed and fried lightly and put in a gravy though.. so I guess its a similar concept. But I must try this too, someday! Good one Maniparna!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks a delicious recipe Mani.. And looks similar to our courgettes . We eat them when small but they can grow large and then are called Marrows. They are then stuffed and baked with various ingredients..

    So pleased I just finished eating lunch or I would be hungry again 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That looks utterly delicious Maniparna 🙂 I love Parwal and have tried it in a slightly different form. This one with the mustard and poppy seed paste filling sounds very delicious…I have got to try it and bring into my kannadiga kitchen the flavor and scrumptiousness of this yummy bong curry:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yummy! It’s one of my favourites.
    Potoler Dorma is a Bengali variant of Dolma, which is originally a Turkish dish. Dolma word has derived from a Turkish word “dolmak”, which means “to be filled, be full”. Dolma is generally stuffed with ground meat.
    During the times of the Nawabs of Bengal, this dish came to the region with its Turkish name, with the only noticeable change being the vegetable, fish, shrimp, poppy seeds, grated coconuts and/or raisins are used for stuffing. Of course, Dolma became tastier Dorma when it reached Bengal. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I still remember my childhood days when I used it eat it raw thinking it as a cucumber 😀😀

    Definately worth trying as you described …but I fear something should go wrong

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Sounds delish. I don’t think some of the items in the recipe I will find here on the Island. I would have to go to Vancouver on the lower mainland where they have an east indian quarter and perhaps there I can find the ingredients the next time I see myself on the lower mainland

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Didn’t know you were quite the cook, Mani. This dish looks delicious 🙂 I think the pointed gourd is similar to the bitter gourd…maybe they are from the same family. For a long time I didn’t like this vegetable, too bitter for my liking .Bur slowly and surely over the years it has grown on me. I like the way you cook it – friend and simple 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We don’t have an authentic Bengali restaurant nearby, and I’m always on the lookout for new cuisine, so I’m going to attempt a recipe or two. The mutton sounds delicious as well. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow brilliant. I am bit excited to read this food post and photograph from you. Beautiful recipe. From a great photographer like you, I am looking forward to see more of your food posts and photographs.

    Liked by 1 person

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