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 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
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.
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.