The Summer Favourite Parwal Or Potol And Ways To Make It
Image Credit: Parwal is summer special vegetable/ Pic- Ayandrali Dutta

It’s important that we eat seasonal. This is the least we can do when we talk of sustainability. Parwal or potol as we know is a summer vegetable and is available in abundance these days. Also known as pointed gourd, patol, parval, patola or potal and colloquially as the Green potato of India it is used to make some great variety if dishes. Loaded with A, vitamin C, potassium, phosphorous, and more micronutrients, this one in ayurveda is known to treat fever, skin infections and more. Parwal also helps to purify blood tissue and stimulates the liver and hence is best for jaundice. The young ones which are not ripen are sees a creamy white flesh which is moist, and firm from inside. It’s loaded with small sized seeds. When cooked it gets a much soft texture. Parwal is known to have nutritional value and digestibility. 

Here are few dishes that you can cook with Parwal

Potol Bhaja

The humble green potato can be simply peeled and made into a thing long slice and then marinated with some turmeric and salt and fried in mustard oil. The semi crunchy fry goes best with some masoor dal and hot rice. It’s a complete meal in itself. 

Doi Potol

Ghee and garam masala gives flavour to the dish/ Pic- Ayandrali Dutta

 This rich yet less spicy and no onion & garlic dish that is cooked in slow fire is an all-time Bengali favourite. Whole parwal are peeled and then fry gently. Then slowly in the remaining oil some dry spices like Coriander powder, turmeric powder & Kashmiri red Chili powder or Deggi Mirch is added and cooked with vert less water and then slowly the curd is added to it. Once it come to boil the parwal is added and cooked slowly till it becomes soft. The dash of ghee and pinch of garam masala gives that extra notch to the dish. This subtly sweet yogurt based dish goes best with rice or parotta.

Potoler Dolma

This dish that sees a stuffed parwal either with some chena / paneer and dry fruits or meat keema has it’s roots in the Armenian cuisine. Dorma primarily means scooping out the vegetables and then stuffing it with lot of things as preferred. This dish the Potoler dolma though is an Armenian dish but ovee the period of time the Bengali from Calcutta adopted it as their own giving their touch to the dish. The 1886 cookbook Pakpranali by Biprodas Mukherjee also sees the mention of this dish. This loved dish of the Bengali’s that sees the flavours of garam masala and ghee is today a staple delicacy in Bengali households and it goes best with rice. 

Potol Mishti/Parwal Mithai

This sweet is a great example of using vegetables in sweets. This happens to be an age old and almost like a lost recipe from the eastern provinces of India, this is very common in most sweet shops in Kolkata. Made with pointed Gourd, Milk Solids (Khoya), Sugar and Dry Fruits, this one is best eaten chilled and yes don’t forget that silver foil for attention.