Potol Bhaja Recipe | Parwal Fry | Fried Pointed Grourd

5 from 1 vote
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Potol Bhaja, also known as Fried Pointed Gourd, is a popular Bengali vegetarian dish that features evenly cut pointed gourd (potol in Bengali) coated in a flavorful spice mix and then fried to crispy perfection.

This dish is a delightful blend of textures and flavors, with the crispiness of the fried gourd complementing the aromatic spices used in the coating.

Potol Bhaja is a common side dish in Bengali cuisine and is often served as a part of a traditional meal.

The dish is relatively simple to prepare, making it accessible to home cooks looking to explore the rich and diverse flavors of Bengali cooking.

Potol Bhaja

Key Takeaways

  • Potol Bhaja is a crispy Bengali dish with fried pointed gourd and aromatic spices.
  • It’s versatile, serving as a side, snack, or appetizer.
  • Simple to prepare, it’s accessible to home cooks.
  • Pro tips include fresh gourds, flavorful marination, and careful frying.
  • Serve with rice, dal, and roti.

The ingredients

Potol bhaja ingredients

  • Potol or pointed gourds: 300 gm (cut into longitudinal halves, cleaned & scraped)
  • Turmeric powder: 1 tbsp
  • Red chili powder: 1 tbsp
  • Green chilis: 5 pieces
  • Salt to taste
  • Refined oil: 4tbsp

How to Cook Potol Bhaja (Step by Step Images)?

1. Smear the pointed gourds or potol with 1 tbsp of salt, 1 tbsp of turmeric, and 1 tbsp of red chili powder. Ensure thorough coating. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Smearing the pointed gourds, salt, turmeric, and red chili powder

2. Add 4 tbsp of refined oil to a wok and heat it. Add the pointed gourds and fry them.

(Expert tip: Be cautious to prevent hot oil from splattering when adding the pointed gourds.)

Adding pointed gourds and frying them

3. Flip the pointed gourds and fry both sides until they turn slightly reddish in color over medium heat. Once fried, remove them from the wok and place them on a plate.

Frying both side of pointed gourds

4. Next, fry the green chilis. Once fried, remove them from the wok and place them on a plate.

(Expert tip: Break the ends of the chilis to prevent them from crackling when added to the oil.)

Frying green chili

5. Serve the Potol Bhaja on a plate, accompanied by the fried green chilis.

Potol Bhaja Featured Image

Pro Tips for Making Best Potol Bhaja

To make the best Potol Bhaja (Fried Pointed Gourd), follow these pro tips to achieve crispy and flavorful results:

Choose Fresh Pointed Gourds: Select young and tender pointed gourds for this dish. They should be firm, without any blemishes or soft spots. Fresher gourds are easier to slice and cook evenly.

Slice Evenly: Slice the pointed gourds evenly to ensure they cook uniformly. Aim for thin slices. Consistent slicing helps achieve consistent frying.

Salt and Rest: After slicing the pointed gourds, sprinkle them with some salt and let them rest for about 15-20 minutes. This step helps remove excess moisture from the gourds, which can lead to sogginess when frying.

Drain Excess Moisture: After the resting period, squeeze out any excess moisture from the sliced gourds using a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. This further ensures crispiness during frying.

Use a Flavorful Spice Mix: Create a flavorful spice mix by combining ingredients like turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt.

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Adjust the spice levels to your preference, but remember that Bengali cuisine typically has a mild to moderate level of heat.

Marinate the Slices: Coat the pointed gourd slices generously with the spice mix. Allow them to marinate for at least 10-15 minutes, or longer if time allows. This helps the spices infuse into the gourd slices.

Heat the Oil Well: Use a good amount of oil in a pan for frying. Heat the oil to the right temperature, which is around 350-375°F (175-190°C). Too hot, and the gourd slices will burn; too cool, and they will become soggy.

Fry in Batches: Avoid overcrowding the pan. Fry the marinated gourd slices in batches to ensure they have enough space to cook evenly and become crispy.

Drain Excess Oil: Place the fried pointed gourd slices on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. This step keeps the dish from becoming too greasy.

By following these pro tips, you’ll be well on your way to making the best Potol Bhaja that’s crispy, flavorful, and thoroughly satisfying to your taste buds.

What to Serve with Potol Bhaja?

Here are some popular accompaniments and serving options:

Steamed Rice: Potol Bhaja pairs wonderfully with steamed white rice. The crispy texture of the fried pointed gourd complements the softness of the rice, and you can enjoy it with a simple dal (lentil curry) or a vegetable side dish.

Dal: Serve Potol Bhaja with a comforting Bengali dal like Moong Dal or Chholar Dal. The combination of the crispy gourd and the hearty lentil curry is both satisfying and flavorful.

Roti or Paratha: If you prefer bread over rice, you can serve Potol Bhaja with roti (Indian flatbread) or paratha (layered flatbread). It makes for a tasty and filling meal.

Luchi: If you’re looking for a special treat, serve Potol Bhaja with luchi, which are deep-fried Bengali puffed bread. The combination is indulgent and delicious.

Ultimately, the choice of what to serve with Potol Bhaja depends on your personal taste and dietary preferences.

Feel free to mix and match these options to create a well-rounded meal that suits your palate.

How Does Potol Bhaja Taste?

Potol Bhaja has a unique and delightful taste that combines the mild sweetness and earthiness of pointed gourd with a blend of aromatic spices. Here’s a breakdown of its flavor profile:

Crispy Texture: The star of Potol Bhaja is the thinly sliced pointed gourd, which is coated in a flavorful spice mix and then fried until it becomes crispy and golden brown. The frying process imparts a satisfying crunch to the dish, making it a textural delight.

Mild Sweetness: Pointed gourd has a subtle natural sweetness, and when fried, this sweetness becomes more pronounced. It adds a gentle, underlying sweet note to the dish, which balances the spices.

Aromatic and Fragrant: Bengali cuisine is known for its aromatic spices, and Potol Bhaja is no exception. The combination of spices gives the dish an enticing aroma that is both comforting and appetizing.

Savory and Salty: Along with the sweetness and spiciness, there is a savory and salty undertone, thanks to the use of salt in the spice mix. The salt enhances the overall flavor profile and brings out the other tastes.

Balanced Flavors: The beauty of Potol Bhaja lies in the balance of flavors. The mild sweetness of the gourd, the heat from the spices, and the savory saltiness come together harmoniously, creating a well-rounded taste experience.

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Overall, Potol Bhaja offers a unique combination of textures and flavors. It’s a crispy, mildly spicy, and aromatic dish with a hint of sweetness from the pointed gourd.

Potol Bhaja Alternatives

If you’re looking for alternatives to Potol Bhaja or simply want to explore other dishes with a similar concept of frying vegetables or ingredients to achieve a crispy texture, there are several options from various cuisines to consider:

Bhindi Fry: Also known as Okra Fry, this popular Indian dish involves coating okra (ladyfinger) with spices and frying until it becomes crispy. It’s flavorful and makes a great side dish.

Karela Chips: Bitter gourd (karela) chips are thinly sliced, coated with spices, and deep-fried until they turn crispy. Despite the bitterness of the vegetable, the spices and frying process create a tasty and crunchy snack.

Fried Zucchini: Zucchini slices can be coated with a breadcrumb mixture and fried until they become golden and crispy. They make a great appetizer or side dish.

Pakoras: In Indian cuisine, pakoras are deep-fried fritters made from a variety of vegetables (such as onions, potatoes, or spinach) coated in a chickpea flour batter. They are crispy and often served as a snack or appetizer.

Fried Paneer: Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) can be cut into cubes or slices, coated with spices and besan (gram flour), and fried until it’s golden brown and crispy. It’s often used in Indian curries and snacks.

These alternatives offer a variety of textures and flavors, and you can choose based on your preference for specific ingredients or cuisines.

Each of these dishes showcases the deliciousness of fried or crispy components, making them enjoyable as side dishes, snacks, or even main courses.

Recipe Card:

Potol Bhaja Featured Image

Potol Bhaja (Parwal Fry, Fried Pointed Grourd)

By Mita Mondal
Potol Bhaja, also known as Fried Pointed Gourd, is a popular Bengali vegetarian dish. It involves cutting pointed gourd (known as "potol" in Bengali) into pieces, coating them in a mixture of spices, and then frying them until they turn crispy and golden brown.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 151 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 300 grams Pointed gourd (cut into longitudinal halves, cleaned & scraped)
  • 1 tbsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Red chili powder
  • 2 pieces Green chili
  • 4 tbsp Refined oil

Instructions
 

  • Start by generously coating the sliced pointed gourds (potol) with 1 tbsp of salt, 1 tbsp of turmeric, and 1 tbsp of red chili powder. Ensure an even coating and set them aside for 10 minutes.
  • In a wok, heat 4 tbsp of refined oil. Carefully add the seasoned pointed gourds to the hot oil.
    (Expert tip: Be cautious to prevent hot oil from splattering when adding the pointed gourds.)
  • Fry the pointed gourds, flipping them occasionally, until they attain a slightly reddish hue and turn crispy. Once fried, transfer them onto a plate.
  • Now, fry the green chilis until they are crisp. Once fried, place them on a plate.
    (Expert tip: To prevent crackling, break the ends of the chilis before adding them to the oil.)
  • Serve your crispy Potol Bhaja on a plate, accompanied by the fried green chilis for an extra kick of flavor.

Video

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Notes

Select Fresh Pointed Gourds: Choose young and tender pointed gourds for the best results. They should be firm, without any blemishes or soft spots. Fresher gourds are easier to slice and cook evenly.
Uniform Slicing: Slice the pointed gourds evenly to ensure they cook uniformly. Aim for thin slices. Consistent slicing helps achieve consistent frying, and it ensures that all pieces have the same level of crispiness.
Flavorful Spice Mix: Prepare a flavorful spice mix by combining ingredients like turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. Adjust the spice levels to your preference, but keep in mind that Bengali cuisine typically features a mild to moderate level of heat.
Marination Time: Coat the pointed gourd slices generously with the spice mix, and allow them to marinate for at least 10-15 minutes. Marinating helps the spices penetrate the gourd slices, enhancing the overall flavor.
Proper Oil Temperature: Use an adequate amount of oil in the pan for frying. Heat the oil to the right temperature, which is around 350-375°F (175-190°C). If the oil is too hot, the gourd slices may burn quickly; if it's too cool, they may become soggy. An oil thermometer can be helpful for accuracy.
Fry in Batches: Avoid overcrowding the pan when frying. Fry the marinated gourd slices in batches to ensure they have enough space to cook evenly and become crispy. Overcrowding the pan can lead to uneven frying and lower oil temperature.
Drain Excess Oil: Place the fried pointed gourd slices on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. This step helps prevent the dish from becoming too greasy.
Serve Hot: Potol Bhaja is best enjoyed hot and crispy, so serve it immediately after frying for the best taste and texture.
Accompaniments: Serve Potol Bhaja with steamed rice, dal, roti, or as a snack with chutney or sauce. The choice of accompaniments can vary based on personal preferences.
By keeping these recipe notes in mind, you'll be well-prepared to make delicious and crispy Potol Bhaja.

Nutrition Info (Estimation Only)

Nutrition Facts
Potol Bhaja (Parwal Fry, Fried Pointed Grourd)
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
151
Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
15
g
23
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Trans Fat
 
0.1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
4
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
9
g
Sodium
 
37
mg
2
%
Potassium
 
145
mg
4
%
Carbohydrates
 
4
g
1
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
 
0.2
g
0
%
Protein
 
2
g
4
%
Vitamin A
 
593
IU
12
%
Vitamin C
 
22
mg
27
%
Calcium
 
32
mg
3
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Conclusion

Potol Bhaja is an excellent fried side dish. This is one of the favorite fried dishes for all Bengalis when having steamed rice with Dal.

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It turns out crispy. The sweet pointed gourds, when mixed with red chili powder and served with fried green chilis, reach the next level of culinary expertise and taste outstanding.

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