Potol Aloo Korma is a rich and creamy Bengali curry made with potol/parwal or pointed gourd. This korma is a thick, semi-dry gravy with the sweetness and richness of cashews that beautifully complement the tartness of tomatoes. The combination of aloo potol/parwal or potatoes and the pointed gourd is very famous and a fairly regular one in the Indian states of Bengal, Assam, and Bihar and is prepared in its own unique way everywhere.
This Potol Aloo Korma, however, is not a common vegetarian preparation that goes on the menu on a regular daily basis. It is a special intricate dish prepared on special occasions or on nights when the light and plain curries bore you.
Potol or pointed gourd is a nutritious vegetable with a crunchy and chew outer layer and mushy interior. Its crunch and bite complement the mushy texture of potatoes. This dish is a perfect choice if you’re looking to create something exquisite and fancy with regular vegetables. I absolutely love this recipe. Just mop up this royal vegetable preparation off with some butter naan, rumali roti, or plain parathas, and you’ve got yourself a heavenly meal.
Tips To Perfect This Potol Aloo Korma Recipe
- Cut the potol and potatoes into big chunks. This helps retain the bite and crunch in all the vegetables and prevents them from getting mushy and soggy in the curry.
- The korma is cooked in two batches. In the first batch, we fry our potatoes and potol in a way that they are cooked properly as well as have a crunch to them. This will help the vegetables in holding their shape and texture and not getting overcooked in the final curry.
- The second step is to cook the highlight of this potol aloo korma recipe – its luscious gravy. The base of this gravy is a mixture of beaten curd and cashew cream. The cashew cream is made fresh by soaking some cashews in hot water for 30 minutes and grinding them with a few tablespoons of water or milk to get a thick paste. These two ingredients change the whole flavour profile and texture of this delicious recipe. The other ingredients are normal Indian curry items such as onions, ginger-garlic paste, and the usual spices – coriander, cumin, turmeric, black pepper, garam masala, and red chili powder. All these spices harmonise and create a recipe so delicious, it will make you lick your fingers!
Preparation time – 20 minutes
Cook time – 40 minutes
Serves – 3
- 7 pointed gourds – each cut in half.
- 3 medium potatoes, cut into cubes
- 3 tbsp mustard oil
- 2 cardamom
- 1 dried red chilli
- 1-inch cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 tsp nigella seeds/kalonji
- 1 slit green chilli (add more if you want it spicy)
- 2 cloves
- 1 tsp sugar (optional)
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp whisked curd
- 12 cashews, ground to a paste with 2tbsp milk/water
- 1.5 cup finely chopped onions
- 2 cups tomato puree (fresh)
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp fennel powder
- 500 ml hot water
- 1 tbsp Kasuri methi
- 1/4 tsp garam masala
- Start by chopping off both ends of the pointed gourds. Scrape each pointed gourd with the help of a knife to get rid of the outer layer.
- Cut each of the potol in half and keep aside.
- Heat mustard oil in a deep dish pan or kadhai and let it smoke.
- Add in the potatoes cut in cubes and fry, stirring occasionally till they turn slightly brown.
- Take the potatoes out of the pan and set them aside.\
- In the same oil, add the chunks of pointed gourd and fry for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once done, take the fried pointed gourds out and set them aside.
- In the same heated pan, add in the whole spices – bay leaves, dry red chili, green cardamom, cinnamon stick, and cloves.
- Add in the nigella or kalonji seeds and one slit green chili.
- Fry them for a few seconds.
- Throw in the finely chopped onion and give it a good stir to combine it with the tempering.
- Saute the onions, stirring occasionally till they turn translucent.
- At this point add in the sugar. However, it is optional and you can totally skip it.
- Fry the onions till they turn nice and golden brown.
- Now add in the fresh ginger-garlic paste, combine it well with the onions and cook thoroughly until the raw smell of garlic is lost.
- Once the onions, ginger garlic are done, it’s time to add in our dry spices – salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, fennel powder.
- Cook the dry spices for a few minutes. Now add in a dash of hot water to homogenize the spices well.
- To this, we will now add the fresh tomato puree.
- Mix it well with everything and cover and cook it on low flame for 5 minutes.
- Once the tomato mixture is properly cooked, add in the beaten/whisked curd, followed by the cashew paste.
- Combine well and cook for a few minutes.
- Now, add the fried potatoes and potol to the curry.
- Give it a good mix such that all the chunks of vegetables are coated in the luscious creamy gravy.
- Add in 500ml of hot water and cook till the potatoes are soft and you attain your desired consistency.
- Finally, top it up with some crushed dried Kasuri methi and garam masala powder.
- Mix well and take it off the heat.
It makes the perfect vegetarian delicacy for a get-together menu or just another Sunday night. Pair it with some vegetable pulao or butter naan and you’re good to go. Do try this recipe and trust me, you are going to fall in love with it.