Do potol (pointed gourd) and posto (poppy seeds) work as a summery meal option?

The doi potol posto that I made


I recently met Songita of Blogger's Mind, a social media agency, who told me that I should put up recipes more often on the blog. She said that she had often used recipes I would put up on the blog in the past to cook.

The thing is that I am not a recipe blogger searching for and creating new recipes on a regular basis for the blog. The recipes that I share here are from what I cook at home on a day to day basis. 

The truth is that I don't cook as much these days as I did a few years back. When I do cook, it's old favourites like noodles and pastas, which I have shared quite a bit on the blog, or the odd fish curry or alu posto which are on the blog too. What I do a lot of  these days are grills and roasts. Earlier in the OTG and, since February, in our air fryer. I sometimes share the results of the air fryer cooking on Instagram but haven't really blogged about them

Yesterday, I tried out something new in the kitchen after quite some time and thought I will share it here. 

We cook cauliflowers pretty often these days. Usually as a bhaaji (stir fried dish) and occasionally in the air fryer. However, as someone pointed out on Facebook, cauliflower is not really a summer vegetable. In Kolkata we knew of it as a winter vegetable while growing up thanks to the fulkopir shingara or samosa stuffed with cauliflower along with potatoes that you would get in the sweet shops. Now you get cauliflowers through the year in Mumbai of course.

Of late one has been hearing a lot of people talk about the values of eating seasonal vegetables and produce. So I asked myself, what would be a good seasonal vegetable to cook these days.

Which is when I remembered the good old potol (Bengali) or parwal in Hindi and pointed gourd in English. Mom used to put potol into fish curries in Kolkata or occasionally serve it fried with a simple masala coating. I can't say that I was a big fan of potol while growing up. However, my food boundaries have become broader in recent years and I thought I will give potol a shot.

I got some potol from Lalu's in Bandra's Pali Market in Mumbai. I decided that I will cook it with posto (khus khus/ poppy seeds) and make a potol posto. To which I decided to add some curd as that's always a good idea in summer and Pritha Sen tells me that posto is a coolant too.

Do read: My NDTV Food article on how yogurts is a saviour in summer

Now, let me make something very clear. I didn't get this recipe from my grandmother, mother or anyone so I cannot really call it an 'authentic'/ traditional Bengali recipe. The recipe is something that I thought up of myself but I did use traditional Bengali ingredients. It turned out fairly well and K approved of it so I am sharing it here.

When the dish is ready


My Potol Posto recipe

Ingredients

1. 250 g potol/ pointed gourd
2. 3,4 tablespoons vegetable oil. Mustard oil would make it very traditionally Bengali. I used Canola
3. 1 tablespoon of turmeric and cumin powders and a pinch of salt to smear over the potol
4. 50 g posto/ khus khus
5. 75 g (1 small bowl) dahi or yogurt

Cook

Prep:

Dry grind posto and blend it into the dahi and a pinch of salt in a mixer grinder.

1. Smear potol with salt, turmeric, cumin, cut into 4 to 6 vertical pieces, and shallow fry them till it loses its toughness (I will try it in the air fryer some day and if it works, tell you)
2. Place potol in a microwave vessel
3. Once it cools, add the dahi and posto mix into the bowl and cover the potol. You could add a dash of mustard oil ( 1 teaspoon) for a Bengali flavour
4. Place the dish in a micro before you eat and microwave it for 2 minutes

Eat it with plain rotis or rice.


Hope you read this Songita, and cook the dish.

A guilt free dinner tasted that tasted fairly nice to be honest

PS: If you do have a traditional Bengali potol posto recipe then please share it on the comments section as I would love to try that out
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