Sunday, April 14, 2013

Potol Posto (Pointed gourd alias Parwal in mustard-poppy paste)

I have lot of Bengali friends and that's how I developed a taste for their cuisine but never felt the need to cook  their dishes as they were there to cook for me.

It's only when I shifted to Bangalore that I started missing Bengali cuisine. Recently while going through old issues of  Good Housekeeping I came across some Bengali recipes and that's when I thought of making Potol Posto. Immediately called up my Bong friends and cleared whatever doubts I had and could successfully conjure  up Potol Posto.

Potol ( parwal).            350 gms
Yellow Mustard seeds.   1 1/2 tbsp
Black Mustard seeds.     1/2 tbsp
Poppy seeds.               1 tbsp
Coconut grated.           50 gms
Green chillies.             3-4 no.
Turmeric pd.               1/2 tsp
Mustard oil.                 1+ 1+1/2 tbsp.
Salt                            1/2 +1/2 tsp or to taste
Sugar.                        1 tsp
Water.                       1/2 cup*

Method :
  1. Soak both the mustard seeds and poppy seeds in water for 20 min.
  2. Wash and peel parwal.
  3.  Cut them into thick slices.
  4. If parwal seeds are blackish in colour , remove them.
  5. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non stick wok, sauté parwal till slightly soft. Keep them aside.
  6. Grind soaked seeds, green chillies, salt and coconut to a fine paste using water as required. 
  7. Heat 1 tbsp oil in the same wok and fry the paste for a couple of minutes.
  8. Add sautéed parwal and 1/2 cup water. Mix lightly so that parwal slices are coated with spice paste.
  9. Cover and cook on low heat till parwal is done.
  10. Remove from fire.
  11. Add sugar and 1/2 tbsp raw mustard oil. Cover and let it rest for a few min.
  12. Serve  hot with an Indian bread of your choice.
Notes :
*  Instead of 1/2 cup water u can use 1/2 cup tender coconut water.
The mustard - poppy paste can be made in the mixer but I  stone ground it. (traditional and preferred method)
While grinding mustard seeds, please add a little salt to avoid it from getting bitter.