Potol Korma Recipe | Parwal Korma

5 from 2 votes
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Potol Korma is a delectable and aromatic Bengali dish that features pointed gourd (potol) cooked in a rich and flavorful curry.

This traditional recipe highlights the perfect balance of spices and textures, making it a favorite among those who enjoy authentic Bengali cuisine.

The dish is a harmonious blend of tender potol, simmered in a luscious gravy made with yogurt, coconut milk, and an assortment of aromatic spices.

The distinctive feature of Potol Korma lies in its ability to bring together the mild bitterness of potol and the creamy, mildly spiced gravy, resulting in a taste that’s both comforting and exciting to the palate.

Potol Korma

Key Takeaways

  • Potol Korma Essence: Potol Korma is a Bengali dish featuring pointed gourd cooked in rich curry with balanced spices, yielding an aromatic and comforting taste.
  • Creamy Harmony: The dish harmoniously blends tender potol with yogurt, coconut milk, and spices, creating a creamy and velvety texture.
  • Distinctive Flavor: Potol Korma combines mild bitterness of potol with a creamy, mildly spiced gravy, resulting in a unique yet comforting taste.
  • Accompaniment Choices: Potol Korma pairs well with steamed rice, pulao, or Indian breads like roti or naan, enhancing the dining experience.
  • Culinary Exploration: Preparing Potol Korma allows you to delve into the cultural richness of Bengal, creating an authentic dish that showcases regional flavors.

The Ingredients

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

Preparing the Potol

1. At first cut both edges of potol or pointed gourds and slightly peel the skin. Then with a knife slit in between the halves of it so the spices and the gravy can easily enter it while cooking.

Preparing the Potol

Preparing the Paste

2. First, prepare a paste in the mixing bowl by adding yogurt, ½ tbsp or more turmeric powder, red chili powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, and coriander powder. Mix everything thoroughly, adding a little bit of water to create a smooth paste. Beat all the ingredients together and set it aside.

Preparing the Paste

The Cooking

3. Next, heat 3 tbsp of mustard oil in a wok until it becomes hot. Add the potol or pointed gourds into the hot oil and stir-fry them over medium heat.

Heat tbsp of mustard oil and adding potol

4. Sprinkle ½ tbsp of salt and ½ tbsp of turmeric powder and continue frying until the gourds turn light brown in color. Flip the pointed gourds to fry them evenly on all sides.

(Expert tip: You can marinate the pointed gourds with salt & turmeric before frying and adjust the amount of oil as per your preference. Be cautious to avoid splattering when adding anything into the hot oil.)

Frying potol

5. Once the pointed gourds are fried, remove them from the wok and set them on a plate. Add 2 tbsp of mustard oil to the same wok and heat it up.

Pointed gours are fried and adding oil

6. Now, add all the whole spices like cumin seeds, bay leaf, dry red chili, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, and cloves. Sauté them for a few seconds until they release a pleasant aroma.

Adding cumin seeds, bay leaf, dry red chili, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, and cloves. and sautéing

7. Then, add the chopped onions and continue stirring until they turn golden brown in color. Add the grated ginger and garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes until the raw smell disappears.

Adding chopped onions, ginger garlic paste and sauteing

8. Now, add the previously prepared spice paste to the wok. Sauté everything and cook it over low heat. Add a little bit of water to the bowl containing the spice paste and use this spice mixed water to adjust the consistency in the wok. Stir everything well for 5 minutes until the oil starts to release.

Adding spice paste, water and stirring

9. Next, add the fried potol or pointed gourds to the wok and stir for 2 minutes. Add 1 tbsp salt and cashew paste. Rinse the cashew paste bowl with a little bit of water and add this paste mixed water into the curry. Stir everything thoroughly.

Adding fried potol or pointed gourds, salt, cashew paste and mixing

10. Pour 1 cup of coconut milk into the curry. Mix everything and cover it for 5 minutes.

Pouring coconut milk and mixing

11. After 5 minutes, uncover the wok and you will find that it is almost done. Now, add the remaining coconut milk and cover it again for 2 minutes.

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Adding remaining coconut milk and mixing

12. Uncover the wok, and you will see that the korma is ready. Add 1 tbsp sugar, garam masala, and 1 tbsp ghee. Cover it with a lid for a few more minutes.

Adding sugar, garam masala, ghee and mixing

13. Finally, open the lid, and your Potol Korma or Parwal Korma is ready to serve. Turn off the flame.

Parwal Korma is ready

14. Transfer Potol Korma to a serving bowl. Enjoy this delectable and royal dish!

Transferring Potol Korma to a serving bowl

Pro Tips for Making Best Potol Korma

Here are some pro tips to help you make the most delicious Potol Korma:

Choosing Fresh Potol (Pointed Gourd): Select fresh and tender potol for the best taste and texture. Avoid potols that are too mature or have tough skin.

Prepping Potol: Wash and peel the potol before cooking. You can choose to keep them whole or cut them into halves or quarters, depending on your preference.

Frying Potol: Lightly fry the potol pieces in oil before adding them to the gravy. This step enhances the texture and flavor of the dish.

Yogurt and Coconut Milk: Incorporate yogurt and coconut milk to create a creamy and velvety gravy. Be sure to whisk the yogurt before adding it to prevent curdling.

Ginger and Garlic: Use fresh ginger and garlic paste for the best flavor. You can adjust the quantity to your taste preferences.

Sautéing: Sauté the ginger-garlic paste and spice mix well to release their flavors. This step is crucial for developing the depth of taste.

Cooking Time: Allow the potol to cook until they are tender but not mushy. Overcooking can lead to a loss of texture.

Balancing Bitterness (Optional): Potol has a mild bitterness. To balance this, you can soak the sliced potol in salted water for a short while before cooking. This step also helps retain their vibrant green color.

Cashew Paste: Adding a smooth cashew nut paste to the gravy enhances the richness and creaminess of the korma.

Slow Simmering: After combining all the ingredients, let the korma simmer on low heat. This slow cooking allows the flavors to meld and develop.

Garnishing (Optional): Finish with a touch of saffron strands, fried onions, and chopped cilantro for a visually appealing presentation.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to preparing a delightful Potol Korma that captures the essence of Bengali cuisine.

What to Serve with Potol Korma?

Potol Korma is a rich and flavorful dish that pairs wonderfully with a variety of accompaniments. Here are some traditional and complementary options to serve with Potol Korma:

Steamed Basmati Rice: The mild flavors of steamed Basmati rice work perfectly with the creamy and aromatic Potol Korma. The rice serves as a neutral base that allows the korma’s flavors to shine.

Biriyani: If you’re looking to elevate your meal, serve Potol Korma with fragrant biriyani. The combination of the flavorful korma and the aromatic rice dish creates a delightful contrast of tastes and textures.

Naan: Soft and pillowy naan bread is an excellent choice for mopping up the creamy korma gravy. The bread’s slightly chewy texture complements the richness of the dish.

Roti: Whole wheat roti or chapati provides a healthier option to pair with Potol Korma. The simplicity of roti balances the richness of the korma.

Paratha: Flaky and layered paratha adds a delightful crunch to the meal. Its buttery texture works well with the creamy korma.

Pulao: Fragrant vegetable pulao or saffron-infused rice can be served alongside Potol Korma for a complete and aromatic meal.

Remember, the choice of accompaniment depends on your personal preferences and the occasion.

Whether you opt for traditional rice, bread, or something more elaborate like biriyani, the goal is to create a balanced and enjoyable dining experience where the flavors of the Potol Korma shine.

How Does Potol Korma Taste?

Potol Korma Featured Image

Potol Korma offers a unique and delightful flavor profile that’s characteristic of Bengali cuisine. The taste of Potol Korma can be described as follows:

Creamy and Rich: The base of the korma is rich and creamy, thanks to the combination of yogurt, cream, and cashew paste. This gives the dish a luxurious and velvety texture.

Mildly Spiced: While the dish contains a blend of aromatic spices, the spiciness is usually on the milder side. The emphasis is more on the richness of the gravy and the subtle flavors of the spices.

Aromatic: The use of spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg imparts a wonderful aroma to the korma. The fragrance is warm, inviting, and comforting.

Slightly Sweet: The inclusion of cashew paste and cream can lend a mild sweetness to the korma, which balances the other flavors and adds depth to the taste.

Bitter-Sweet: The potol (pointed gourd) itself has a mild bitterness that adds a unique element to the korma. However, through proper cooking techniques and balancing of flavors, this bitterness is usually subdued and contributes to the overall taste without being overpowering.

Subtle Nuttiness: The cashew paste used in the gravy imparts a subtle nuttiness that complements the other ingredients.

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Balanced Flavors: The combination of the creamy gravy, tender potol, and aromatic spices creates a harmonious balance of flavors. Each element enhances the others without dominating the overall taste.

Comforting: Potol Korma has a comforting and homely quality to it. The flavors are not overly intense, making it a dish that’s easy to enjoy and appreciate.

Overall, Potol Korma offers a sophisticated yet approachable taste that’s sure to please those who enjoy subtle and nuanced flavors.

The combination of creamy richness, aromatic spices, and tender potol creates a memorable culinary experience that’s both comforting and intriguing.

Potol Korma Alternatives

If you’re looking for alternatives to Potol Korma or want to explore similar dishes with different main ingredients or flavors, here are a few options you might consider:

Paneer Korma: Substitute the potol with paneer (Indian cottage cheese) to create a delicious and creamy Paneer Korma. The paneer absorbs the flavors of the rich gravy, making it a popular choice among vegetarians.

Chicken Korma: If you’re a fan of non-vegetarian dishes, try Chicken Korma. Tender pieces of chicken are cooked in a luscious and aromatic gravy made with spices, yogurt, and cream.

Navratan Korma: This dish features a mix of vegetables and sometimes fruits, nuts, and paneer in a creamy gravy. It’s a colorful and flavorful alternative that’s popular in North Indian cuisine.

Malai Kofta: Malai kofta consists of deep-fried vegetable or paneer balls served in a rich and creamy tomato-based gravy. It’s a festive dish with a wonderful blend of textures and flavors.

Shahi Korma: Shahi Korma is a royal dish that usually includes tender meat (like lamb or chicken) or vegetables in a luxurious gravy enriched with cream, nuts, and aromatic spices.

Mushroom Korma: If you’re a mushroom lover, consider making Mushroom Korma. The earthy flavor of mushrooms pairs well with the creamy korma sauce.

Lauki Kofta Curry: Lauki (bottle gourd) koftas (fried dumplings) are served in a spiced tomato-based gravy. This is a lighter alternative that still offers the richness of a korma-style dish.

Dal Makhani: For a lentil-based alternative, try Dal Makhani. This classic North Indian dish features slow-cooked black lentils and kidney beans in a creamy tomato gravy.

Vegetable Korma: Instead of potol, use a mix of vegetables like carrots, peas, potatoes, and beans to create a colorful and nutritious Vegetable Korma.

Remember, the essence of korma dishes lies in the creamy, rich gravy and aromatic spices. Feel free to experiment with different main ingredients while keeping the essence of the korma intact.

Recipe Card:

Potol Korma Featured Image

Potol Korma (Parwal Korma)

By Mita Mondal
Potol Korma is a traditional Bengali dish that features pointed gourd (potol) cooked in a rich and aromatic curry. The dish is known for its creamy texture, balanced use of spices, and the incorporation of ingredients like yogurt, coconut milk, and cashew paste.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 5
Calories 332 kcal


  • 500 grams Pointed gourd (peeled, slit longitudinally & cleaned)
  • 2 pieces Dry red chili
  • ½ tbsp Cumin seed
  • 4 pieces Green cardamom
  • 2 pieces Clove
  • 1 piece Bay leaf (broken into halves)
  • 2 pieces Cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp Garam masala
  • 1 tbsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp Red chili powder
  • tbsp Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp Turmeric powder (grated)
  • 1 inch Ginger (grated)
  • 1 piece Onion (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • ½ tbsp Sugar
  • 100 grams Yogurt
  • 2 tbsp Cashew paste
  • 1 cup Coconut milk
  • 5 tbsp Mustard oil
  • Salt to taste


  • Begin by trimming the edges of the potol (pointed gourd) and gently peeling the skin. Cut a lengthwise slit to allow the spices and gravy to infuse while cooking.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine yogurt, ½ tbsp or more of turmeric powder, red chili powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, and coriander powder. Mix well, adding a touch of water to achieve a smooth paste. Beat the ingredients until fully blended and set aside.
  • Heat 3 tbsp of mustard oil in a wok until it's hot. Add the potol or pointed gourds and stir-fry them over medium heat.
  • Sprinkle ½ tbsp of salt and ½ tbsp of turmeric powder, continuing to fry until the gourds take on a light brown hue. Flip the gourds to ensure even frying on all sides.
    Expert Tip: For a richer flavor, marinate the gourds with salt and turmeric before frying. Adjust the oil quantity according to your preference, and take care to prevent oil splatters when adding ingredients.
  • Once the gourds are fried, set them aside on a plate. Add 2 tbsp of mustard oil to the wok and heat it.
  • Introduce whole spices like cumin seeds, bay leaf, dry red chili, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, and cloves. Sauté for a brief period until a delightful aroma is released.
  • Incorporate the chopped onions and continue stirring until they turn a golden brown hue. Add grated ginger and garlic, sautéing for another 2 minutes to eliminate any raw scent.
  • Add the previously prepared spice paste to the wok. Cook over low heat, adjusting the paste's consistency by adding a bit of water from the bowl containing the paste. Stir well for 5 minutes, allowing the oil to release.
  • Introduce the fried potol to the wok, stirring for 2 minutes. Add 1 tbsp of salt and the cashew paste. Rinse the cashew paste bowl with water and include this mixture in the curry. Stir thoroughly.
  • Pour 1 cup of coconut milk into the curry. Mix well and cover for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, uncover the wok. Add the remaining coconut milk and cover again for 2 minutes.
  • Uncover the wok to reveal the ready-to-serve korma. Add 1 tbsp of sugar, garam masala, and 1 tbsp of ghee. Cover with a lid for a few additional minutes.
  • Remove the lid and your Potol Korma or Parwal Korma is ready. Turn off the flame.
  • Transfer the Potol Korma to a serving bowl and savor this exquisite and regal dish!


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Potol Selection: Choose young and tender pointed gourds (potol) for the best results. Avoid overripe or tough ones, as they can impact the texture of the dish.
Marination (Optional): Marinating the potol with a pinch of salt and turmeric before frying can enhance the flavor and tenderness of the vegetable.
Oil Usage: Mustard oil is traditionally used for its distinct flavor, but you can use any cooking oil of your choice. Be cautious when adding ingredients to hot oil to prevent splattering.
Frying Potol: Fry the potol until they turn light brown, ensuring they remain slightly firm and don't become too soft. Overcooking at this stage can result in mushy potol.
Spice Paste: Adjust the quantity of red chili powder and spices to your preference for spiciness. Kashmiri red chili powder adds color without excessive heat.
Whole Spices: Whole spices like cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves add depth to the flavor. You can adjust their quantity based on your taste.
Cashew Paste: Soak cashews in warm water before blending to make a smooth paste. It contributes to the creamy texture and richness of the korma.
Coconut Milk: Homemade coconut milk is preferred for the freshest flavor, but canned coconut milk is a convenient alternative.
Simmering: Let the korma simmer on low heat to allow the flavors to meld together. This slow cooking process develops the rich taste.
Sweetness: Adjust the sugar quantity according to your taste preference. It helps balance the flavors and enhances the overall taste.
Garnish: Saffron strands, fried onions, and chopped cilantro make for an appealing presentation, but they're optional.
Accompaniments: Serve with steamed rice, pulao, or Indian breads like roti or naan for a complete meal experience.
Personalization: Feel free to personalize the recipe by adjusting spice levels, substituting ingredients, or adding vegetables or paneer for variation.
Cultural Experience: Preparing Potol Korma not only offers a delicious meal but also a chance to immerse yourself in the flavors and culture of Bengal.
By keeping these recipe notes in mind, you'll be able to craft a delightful Potol Korma that's perfectly tailored to your taste preferences and cooking expertise.

Nutrition Info (Estimation Only)

Nutrition Facts
Potol Korma (Parwal Korma)
Amount per Serving
Calories from Fat 270
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Potol Korma or Parwal Korma is a royal dish made with cashew paste and coconut milk, giving it a creamy and delectable taste.

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This aromatic coconut milk-based curry is best served with roti, pulao, laccha paratha, etc.

The blend of ghee and garam masala creates a truly delightful and royal culinary experience. It’s a delightful side dish for dinner and lunch.

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