Potoler Dorma -- Fish Stuffed Pointed Gourd

Friday, April 22, 2011

 With 2 canned sardines lying around for a while, I decided to make Potoler Dorma with it. Now Potol (Parwal) is something I am not too fond. My childhood memories of potol are not too good. I remember dreading the summer season after the so-full-of-green-vegetables winter. Summer meant only jhinge (ridge gourd) and potol, and while I loved jhinge, I was bored with Potol very soon.
But times change and with things change too.

When this not-so-loved vegeteable of mine became scarce once I moved out of Bengal, I began to miss it and whenever I found some dish related to it I gladly gobbled it up. I even went to the extent of carrying kilos of it on a two-day train journey from home to down south in Mysore!

Outside the country I was overjoyed on seeing packed frozen versions of it, and bought 2 packets of it. My joy vanished as soon as the pack was thawed. What remained was a soggy, watery vegetable which didn't have much resemblance to the fresh green vegetable I was used to seeing in my hometown market.

This time when my father bought home some fleshy green Potols from his trip to the bazaar in Bangalore, the whole family was pleasantly surprised. Half of those were made into a curry by my mom, and with the other half I decided to make Potoler Dorma. I've never had Dorma before, so I don't know what it should taste like, but I can say my experiment didn't fail :)


Potol: 8 pieces

For the stuffing:
Tinned sardine: 1 can

For the gravy:
Garam masala powder: ¼ tsp
Turmeric: ½ tsp
Red chilli powder: ½ tsp (adjust according to taste)
Salt: To taste
Sugar: 1 tsp


Cut one end of the potol and with the back of a spoon scoop out the insides. Season the potols with with salt and turmeric and set aside.

Mash the tinned fish with a fork and set aside.

In a pan, heat oil, add sugar and let it caramelize. Once sugar turns brown, add the ginger, garlic and onion paste and fry until the raw smell of the masala is gone.

Now add the fish and cook until fish is done. You can also add some tomato ketchup to the fish mixture. Once done, let the stuffing cool.
Now fill the hollowed out potols with the fish stuffing.

Fry each of them carefully and set aside.

To make the gravy, add some garam masala powder (you can also use whole garam masala), turmeric, chilli powder and onion-ginger-garlic paste to hot oil and cook until brown.

Once the masala is cooked through, add water and bring to a boil. When the gravy starts thickening add the stuffed potols, cook on high heat for a while and serve hot with steamed rice.


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