10 Indian Parwal Dishes You Must Enjoy This Summer
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Call it pointed gourd, parwal, potol or by any other regional Indian name, but nobody can deny that this vegetable is a delicious summer staple. The health benefits of eating parwal are many. Packed with dietary fibre, vitamins and proteins, parwal is well known as an immunity boosting veggie which also improves digestion, aids weight loss, reduces oxidative stress and can even help prevent anaemia. But ask any Indian and you will know that these health benefits aren’t the only reason why we collectively love eating parwal dishes. 

The other, and sometimes more important, reason is the taste and flavour of parwal. The green, striped exterior of the veggie turns crispy very easily, and so do the seeds within. Sure, they do get stuck in your teeth occasionally, but still, everybody loves eating parwal seeds, right? Because it has a cylindrical or oblong shape, parwal is also very easily hollowed and stuffed. This makes parwal one of the most versatile vegetables in the world, and regional Indian cuisines prove it. 

From a variety of fried parwal dishes to experimenting with many parwal stuffings, India’s many regional cuisines have a whole repertoire of pointed gourd dishes. Not only do these dishes taste very different from each other, but they also provide immense variety to your plate. This is the reason why this immune-boosting veggie should be a part of your summer diet. Here are all the regional Indian parwal dishes you could try this summer.  

Video credit: YouTube/Yummy Cafe by Neha

Parwal Ka Chokha

Bihari cuisine boasts of many types of Chokha or mashed vegetable dishes, but a prime one is Parwal Ka Chokha. The mildly spiced dish is prepared by steaming scraped pointed gourd, which is then mashed and topped with green chillies, salt and coriander leaves. A very simple, peasant-style dish, Parwal Ka Chokha is perfect for hot summer lunches. 

Potol Chingri Dorma 

There are plenty of stuffed pointed gourd recipes from across India, but there is only one that boasts of a non-vegetarian stuffing. Potol Chingri Dorma is a culinary gem from Bengali cuisine, and so festive is this dish that it is even served during weddings and special occasions. Small prawns are mixed with poppy seeds paste and mild spices, then stuffed into hollowed parwal and cooked to perfection. 

Parwal Na Ravaiya

This stuffed parwal recipe from Gujarat is an outstanding no onion-no garlic dish. The stuffing for this Parwal Na Ravaiya is made with groundnuts, chana dal, coconut and spices like red chilli and green chilli. So, not only does this stuffed parwal recipe have a nutty flavour, but it is also very spicy. The stuffed parwal in this case are first steamed and then a tadka is added on top. 

Potala Rasa

Also known as Aloo Potala Rasa, this pointed gourd dish originates in Odisha. The parwal and potatoes are cut into large chunky pieces and fried and set aside. Then a rich and thick gravy is made with onions, tomatoes, coconut and a generous amount of spices. The parwal and potatoes are added back to the curry and cooked until done. 

Parwal Chi Bhaji

Originating in Maharashtra, this pointed gourd dish is quite spicy and a favourite in the region. Usually, the parwal are only slit a bit to make this dish instead of chopping it up, which makes this Parwal Chi Bhaji look like a Bharwa Parwal dish. Traditionally made using a spice blend featuring Byadgi chillies, peanuts, coconut and sesame seeds, this dish is served with rotis and parathas. 

Potol Posto 

Poppy seeds have a very cooling effect on the body, especially during summers. This is the reason why Potol Posto is such a favourite with Bengalis during summer. To make this one, a paste is made with poppy seeds, green chillies and some mustard seeds. Parwal is fried with some tempering, and then this spice paste is added to make a dish with a thick gravy. 

Parwal Kobbari Masala

This spicy coconut-based parwal dish from Andhra Pradesh and Telengana is a must-have during summers. The pointed gourd is cut into long chunks and cooked with onions and a very special spice blend, which is dominated by coconut. Parwal Kobbari Masala is spicy and has a thick gravy that is eaten with any kind of flatbread or rice. 

Parwal Ki Mithai

Another Bihari specialty, Parwal Ki Mithai is also popular in Uttar Pradesh. The pointed gourds are scraped, deseeded and then boiled in a sugar syrup until the vegetable turns slightly translucent. Then, it is removed, cooled down and stuffed with mawa or khoya and plenty of dry fruits. If you haven’t tasted this unique, green-coloured sweet dish yet, you don’t know what you are missing. 

Bharwa Parwal

This Punjabi dish is a staple whenever pointed gourd is in season, and is cooked across all North Indian states with love. A spicy stuffing is made using gram flour or besan, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and other spices. Parwal is then scraped, slit and deseeded, and the stuffing is added in. These stuffed parwal are then fried and often also added to a spicy gravy. 

Potol Bhaja

The simplest parwal dish in the world, Potol Bhaja is eaten across Bengal, Assam and Odisha—but versions of the dish are also prepared in other states. The recipe for this one literally calls for just four ingredients: parwal, salt, turmeric powder and oil. The pointed gourd is scraped and cut in half, then fried in oil with turmeric powder and salt, and enjoyed with dal and rice.