Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Alu Parwal: Potatoes cooked with Pointed Gourd

Someone once asked me, “What is the English name for Parwal?” I did not know the answer then, but today, after a Google search, and a wiki research, I feel enlightened. It’s “Pointed Gourd”. Not “Snake Gourd” as the first search told me.
Pointed Gourd, or Parwal / Potol as it is commonly known in India, is botanically termed as
Trichosanthes dioica. Snake Gourd, on the other hand, is Trichosanthes cucumerina.

Parwal is a popular vegetable in India and is commonly cooked along with Potatoes. Alu Parwal or Alu Potol, whether dry or with gravy is a side dish eaten with rice or chapattis. Another variation is a dessert – Khoye ke Parwal – where the parwal is made hollow from inside, steamed, filled with sweetened khoya and dry fruits, and dipped in sweet syrup.

The tricky part for me when I first made Parwal was – how to peel it. One needs to scrape off the skin with a knife rather than peeling it completely with a peeler, cut off both the ends, and slice it length wise.
If the gourd is fresh, the seeds will be soft and it is not important to remove the same. If it has ripened, the seeds tend to be hard with a blackish / brownish tinge. I prefer removing the seeds in the latter case.

Sharing my recipe for a very simple Alu Parwal Dry, flavoured with only cumin and turmeric. It works best with Dal – Rice, or with Roti.

Parwal: 5 – 6
Potato: 1 medium
Mustard Oil: 2 - 3 tbsp
Turmeric: ½ - ¾ tsp
Jeera / Cumin Seeds: ½ tsp
Red Chili Powder (optional)

- Scrape the skin off the Parwals, and cut off the ends. Wash it and slice it lengthwise
- Wash the potato well, and cut it length wise, with the skin on
- Heat the oil in a pan / kadhai.
- Add jeera / cumin. When the seeds begin to splutter, add the turmeric, sliced parwal, potatoes and salt.
- Mix well, cover and cook on low heat till the vegetables are soft.
- Keep stirring in between to ensure that the vegetables donot stick to the bottom. You may add little water if the oil seems to be less
- Serve hot as an accompaniment to dal – rice and / or chapattis.

This is also my entry to
Weekend Herb Blogging # 203, the event started by Kalyn, adopted by Haalo of Cook (Almost) Anything Atleast Once, and hosted this week by Marija.

1 comment:

  1. I have never heard of Parwal before :) Sounds great! Thanks for joining this week's WHB!


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