Potol Recipe | Bengali Aloo Potol

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Yes, it is a fact that Bengali cuisine is popular for its many varieties of non-vegetarian dishes, including fish preparations. But it is also not wrong to say that this food culture offers some of the most delectable vegetarian dishes, some of which are naturally vegan and even without any onion or garlic in them. One such dish is this Potol Recipe or the Aloo Potoler Dalna. This Aloo Potol Recipe is a typically Bengali spiced curry, simple yet sophisticatedly sumptuous in flavors.  

aloo potoler dalna garnished with coriander leaves and served in a blue rimmed white bowl with text layovers.

About Aloo Potol Recipe

To begin with, the literal meaning of this Bengali Potol Recipe:

Aloo – Your favorite, my favorite, everyone’s favorite ‘potato’

Potoler – Potol is ‘pointed gourd’ or more commonly parwal in Hindi, and the Bengali suffix ‘-er/-r’ means ‘of’

Dalna – A basic curry or gravy with typical Bengali spices and spice blends

Parwal is one of my favorite vegetables and in addition to this Aloo Potol Recipe, I also make a simple parwal fry, potol posto (another Bengali favorite with pointed gourd and poppy seeds) and the Punjabi style Parwal ki Sabji.

Another specific feature about this Aloo Potoler Dalna is, this dish also fits perfectly under the ‘niramish’ category. The logic is that in Bengali cuisine, a dish qualifies as niramish or true-blue vegetarian, when it is prepared without certain heat inducing plant-based ingredients too, like onion, garlic, some lentils, etc. 

I make this Potol Recipe in the same way I make the Aloo Phulkopir Dalna (potato cauliflower curry), where the Bengali garam masala also plays an important part. Both these curries pair deliciously with steamed rice, phulka, chapatis or Luchi alike.

However, this Aloo Potol Recipe is not a quick one and takes a good amount of time to get done, as compared to other curry recipes where everything is added in a pan and cooked. In this Aloo Potoler Dalna, you have to first pan fry the vegetables in mustard oil and then add to the gravy or curry.

This way, the dish turns out to be completely unique in taste. Also, for best results, I would suggest to use mustard oil. The pungency of mustard oil cannot be matched by any other oil.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Aloo Potol

Make Bengali Garam Masala

1. In a dry grinder or coffee grinder, take seeds of 2 green cardamoms, 1 inch cinnamon and 2 to 3 cloves.

If using cassia cinnamon, then use ½ inch of it.

green cardamom seeds, cinnamon and cloves added to a grinder jar for making bengali garam masala for aloo potol recipe.

2. Grind to a fine powder. You can also crush these spices in a mortar-pestle. Remove the Bengali garam masala and keep aside.

spices ground to a fine powder for the bengali garam masala for making aloo potol recipe.

Prep Veggies & Fry Them

3. Firstly, rinse 250 grams pointed gourd (potol/parwal) very well in water. Then, peel them. You can even lightly scrape off the skin, if you want. Chop the pointed gourds in 2 to 3 pieces. 

There are seeds and pith in this vegetable. If the seeds are mature and large, vertically slice the parwal in 2 parts, scrape the seeds and pith and then chop. If the seeds are tiny and tender, you don’t need to remove the seeds and pith.

peeled pointed gourd chopped into 2 to 3 pieces for making aloo potoler dalna.

4. Add ⅛ teaspoon turmeric powder and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Adding both turmeric and salt is optional and can be skipped.

turmeric powder and salt added to pointed gourd pieces for making aloo potoler dalna.

5. Mix well.

turmeric powder and salt mixed well with the pointed gourd pieces for making aloo potoler dalna.

6. On a low to medium flame, heat 3 tablespoons mustard oil in a kadai or pan and let it come to its smoking point.

heating mustard oil in a pan.

7. Reduce the heat and add the pointed gourd pieces.

pointed gourd pieces added to the hot mustard oil.

8. Mix well and begin to fry the pointed gourd pieces on medium-low to medium heat. Fry them in batches.

frying pointed gourd pieces for aloo potol recipe.

9. Fry the pointed gourd, stirring often, for even cooking.

frying pointed gourd pieces.

10. While the potol is getting fried, rinse, peel and slice 2 medium to large (250 grams) potatoes into cubes.

 Sprinkle ⅛ teaspoon turmeric powder, ⅛ teaspoon salt and mix well. Adding both turmeric and salt is optional and can be skipped.

turmeric powder and salt mixed with peeled and chopped potato cubes.

11. Fry potol pieces till light golden. You just need to fry them till they are almost cooked.

frying pointed gourd pieces till light golden.

12. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper towels.

fried pointed gourd pieces placed on kitchen paper towel.

13. Now, add the potato cubes in the same pan.

potato cubes added in hot mustard oil in the same pan.

14. Fry potato cubes, stirring often, for even cooking. Fry till you see golden spots on the edges and the potatoes are almost cooked.

frying potato cubes.

15. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper towels.

fried potato cubes kept on kitchen paper towel with fried pointed gourd pieces.

Make Aloo Potoler Dalna

16. Now in the same oil, add 1 bay leaf (tej patta) and ½ teaspoon cumin seeds.

bay leaf and cumin seeds added in the hot mustard oil in the same pan.

17. Let the cumin seeds splutter.

cumin seeds spluttering in hot mustard oil.

18. Now, add ¾ cup finely chopped tomatoes and stir.

finely chopped tomatoes added to the oil.

19. Add 1 slit green chili and 1 teaspoon minced ginger or ginger paste.

slit green chili and minced ginger added to the tomatoes in the pan.

20. Mix well and begin to sauté tomatoes on low to medium heat.

sautéing tomato mixture.

21. Sauté till the tomatoes soften and turn mushy.

sautéing tomato mixture till soft and mushy,

22. Next, add the spices listed below:

  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • ½ tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
spice powders added to tomato mixture.

23. Mix and sauté for a minute on low heat.

spice powders mixed well in the tomato mixture.

24. Add ½ to ⅔ cup water.

water added to spiced tomato mixture.

25. Mix well.

water mixed well in the spiced tomato mixture.

26. Now, add the fried potol pieces and potato cubes.

fried pointed gourd pieces and potato cubes added in the tomato curry.

27. Season with 1 teaspoon sugar and salt as per taste.

sugar and salt added to the vegetables.

28. Mix again.

seasonings mixed well in the vegetable curry.

29. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer on medium-low heat for 6 to 7 minutes. Check the Aloo Potol curry in between. If the curry looks dry, then add some more water.

simmering aloo potol recipe in a covered pan.

30. Simmer till the Aloo Potol curry thickens a bit. The potatoes and potol will also be completely cooked in 6 to 7 minutes.

simmering aloo potol curry till it thickens a bit.

31. Once the vegetables are done, add the prepared Bengali garam masala.

prepared garam masala added to the vegetable curry.

32. Then, add 1 teaspoon ghee. Adding ghee is optional and can be skipped.

adding ghee in the potol recipe.

33. Mix well and turn off the heat.

ghee mixed well in the aloo potoler dalna.

34. Serve Aloo Potoler Dalna with steamed rice, chapatis, paratha, luchi or poori. You can also garnish with some coriander leaves while serving.

aloo potoler dalna garnished with coriander leaves and served in a blue rimmed white bowl with text layover.

Expert Tips

  1. The potol or parwal has to be rinsed well and then peeled or lightly scraped and chopped. If the seeds are large and mature, discard them. If tiny and tender, you can keep them.
  2. If you have Bengali garam masala ready at home, add about ½ teaspoon of it. Then, no need to grind the whole spices separately.
  3. You can use tomato puree in place of chopped tomatoes in this recipe.
  4. It is best made in mustard oil to keep the traditional Bengali aspect intact. However, if you have an aversion towards this particular oil, then use any other oil in this recipe.
  5. Add water according to how you want the consistency of the curry to be.
  6. In the end, you can add some ghee to enhance the flavor of this dish. This is optional.

More Bengali Recipes To Try!

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potol recipe, aloo potol recipe, aloo potoler dalna bengali recipe

Potol Recipe | Bengali Aloo Potol er Dalna

Aloo Potol or Aloo Potol er Dalna is a delicious Bengali curry recipe made with aloo (potatoes) and potol (parwal or pointed gourds) made without onion and garlic in a curry base of tomatoes, spices and herbs.
4.78 from 9 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Cuisine Bengali
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 3
Units

Ingredients

For frying veggies

  • 250 grams parwal or 7 to 8 parwal (potol or pointed gourds)
  • teaspoon turmeric – for pointed gourds
  • teaspoon salt – for pointed gourds
  • 250 grams potatoes or 2 medium to large potatoes
  • teaspoon turmeric for potatoes
  • teaspoon salt for potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons mustard oil for frying

For bengali garam masala

  • 1 inch cinnamon or ½ inch cassia cinnamon
  • 2 to 3 cloves
  • 2 green cardamoms

For curry

  • 1 tej patta (Indian bay leaf)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¾ cup tomatoes – finely chopped or 2 medium-sized
  • 1 green chili – slit
  • 1 teaspoon ginger – minced or ginger paste or 1 inch ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander Powder
  • ½ tablespoon cumin powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or add as required
  • salt as required
  • ½ to ⅔ cup water or as required
  • 1 teaspoon Ghee – optional

Instructions
 

Making bengali garam masala

  • In a dry grinder or coffee grinder take seeds of green cardamoms, cinnamon and cloves. If using cassia cinnamon then use ½ inch of it.
  • Grind to a fine powder. You can also crush these spices in a mortar-pestle. Remove the Bengali garam masala and keep aside.

Chopping and cleaning potol

  • Firstly rinse 250 grams parwal (pointed gourds) very well in water a few times. Then peel them. You can even lightly scrape of the skin if you want. 
  • Chop the parwal in two to three pieces. There are seeds and pith in the parwal.
    If the seeds are mature and large, then vertically slice the parwal in two parts. Scrape the seeds and pith and then chop.
    If the seeds are tiny and tender, then you don’t need to remove seeds and the pith.
  • Add ⅛ teaspoon turmeric powder and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Adding both turmeric and salt is optional and can be skipped. Mix well.

Frying potol and aloo

  • On a low to medium flame heat 3 tablespoons mustard oil in a kadai or pan and let it come to its smoking point.
  • Reduce the heat and then add the parwal or potol pieces.
  • Mix well and begin to fry the parwal on a medium-low to medium heat. Fry them in batches.
  • Fry the potol stirring often for even cooking.
  • When the potol is getting fried – rinse, peel and also slice potatoes in cubes.
  • Sprinkle ⅛ teaspoon turmeric powder, ⅛ teaspoon salt and mix well. Adding both turmeric and salt is optional and can be skipped.
  • Fry parwal pieces till light golden. You just need to fry them till they are almost cooked.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper towels.
  • Now add the potato cubes in the same pan.
  • Stirring them often fry for even cooking till you see golden spots on the edges and the potatoes are almost cooked.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper towels.

Making aloo potol curry

  • In the same oil, now add 1 tej patta and ½ teaspoon cumin seeds. Let cumin seeds splutter on a low heat.
  • Now add ¾ cup finely chopped tomatoes and stir.
  • Add 1 slit green chili and 1 teaspoon minced ginger or ginger paste.
  • Mix well and begin to sauté tomatoes on a low to medium heat.
  • Sauté till the tomatoes soften and turn mushy.
  • Next add coriander powder, cumin powder, kashmiri red chilli powder and turmeric powder.
  • Mix and sauté for a minute on low heat.
  • Add ½ to ⅔ cup water and mix well.
  • Now add the fried potol (parwal) and aloo.
  • Season 1 teaspoon sugar and salt as per taste. Mix again.
  • Cover pan with lid and simmer on medium-low heat for 6 to 7 minutes. In between do check the aloo potol gravy and if the curry looks dry then you can add some more water.
  • Simmer till the aloo potol curry thickens a bit. The potatoes and parwal will also be completely cooked within 6 to 7 minutes.
  • Once the veggies are done, add the ground Bengali masala of cloves, cinnamon and cardamoms.
  • Lastly add 1 teaspoon ghee. Adding ghee is optional and can be skipped.
  • Mix well and turn off the heat.
  • Serve Aloo Potol Dalna hot or warm with chapati, paratha, luchi or poori or steamed rice. You can garnish with some coriander leaves also while serving.

Notes

  • For an authentic taste to the dish, use mustard oil. If it is not available to you, use any of your preferred cooking oil, but know that the taste and flavor will be different. 
  • If the potol or pointed gourds have large mature seeds, then remove them. 
  • For premade or homemade Bengali garam masala, add about ½ teaspoon of it. In this case, you do not need to grind the spices separately.
  • Add less or more water depending on the consistency of the curry you prefer.

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Potol Recipe | Bengali Aloo Potol er Dalna
Amount Per Serving
Calories 229 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 663mg29%
Potassium 683mg20%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 920IU18%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 2mg10%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 51mg62%
Vitamin E 1mg7%
Vitamin K 16µg15%
Calcium 81mg8%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 28µg7%
Iron 6mg33%
Magnesium 47mg12%
Phosphorus 90mg9%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Potol recipe from the archives, originally published in January 2018 has been updated and republished on February 2023.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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4 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this recipe which appears so easy now after seeing the photographs of cooking. Whenever I want to cook a food item to surprise my wife it’s your website that I look at. Your presentation is very good.5 stars

  2. Best recipe…I am know a fan of you madam…thank you very much for sharing all your recipes5 stars