It is the Mahalaya of 2020 today: the day when we Bengalis deeply believe that Goddess Durga descents to Earth from Heaven. Surprisingly, for the first time in my life I experienced that Durga Puja is almost a month away from Mahalaya. Such a big gap between Mahalaya and Durga Puja is very rare. This is a strange year indeed.
Nothing can stop us from the euphoria of Durga Puja
As we live in Mumbai, for the first time, my family will probably not visit any Durga Puja Pandal, although we will worship Ma Durga at home with the same devotion. Debi darshan will be on social media and TV! Owing to the Coronavirus pandemic, we are still avoiding social events and gatherings. So, this year, there is no thrill of Pujo shopping, too! But that doesn’t stop us from the euphoria called Pujo. We will do shopping, but of some different kind. Time will unfold more on this.
Will get to know traditional Bengali food like never before
At my home, I plan to celebrate pujo by having a memorable family time. AN and I plan to cook traditional Bengali dishes for the family. Each of these dishes will be festive enough to make each day special. These festive Bengali dishes are perfect to ease the countdown till pujo. These Bengali recipes for Durga Puja, some familiar and some unfamiliar, promise to bring out the Baangaaliyana or “Bengalihood” in every Bengali food-lover through pure Bengali temptations. Bengali festive dishes that arise out of simple ingredients from a Bengali pantry, will be the star. For Durga Puja 2020, my blog Cosmopolitan Currymania will showcase some extraordinary Bengali recipes in the coming days. By the way, if you are a new reader and love Bengali recipes, then you will have a good time on my food blog! And hope you already visited my new YOUTUBE CHANNEL, too!
Talking about Bengali cuisine and Bengali vegetarian dishes, if Potol (or Parwal) is the vegetable that doesn’t leave you with enough choices, apart from well-known Bengali Niraamish dishes like Potol Posto, Potol Rosha, Potol Bhaja or Potoler Dalna… here’s the dish that will knock your socks off. An intensely flavoured Bengali vegetarian dish called Mouri Potol is what all you want, probably. Whole pointed gourds are fried to perfection and cooked lovingly in a fennel-seed-dominated aromatic spice base… the Mouri Potol is definitely one of those Bengali dishes that is a forgotten Bengali recipe from the pre-Independence era. Mouri in Bengali means fennel seeds and Potol means pointed gourd. This recipe is a very old Bengali recipe, lost under the tides of time.
I am always excited to try out uncommon Bengali recipes. It is these old Bengali dishes that keep me going. Even in Corona times.
Shubho Mahalaya 2020, everyone. Stay tuned for an array of delectable Bengali dishes that bring out some of the best flavours of undivided Bengal, from the yesteryears. Starting off on this auspicious day with this beautiful Bengali recipe with Potol or pointed gourd (parwal). Enjoy the good taste.
Durga Puja 2020 Recipe | Mouri Potol | Bengali Style Pointed Gourd with Fennel Seeds
- 1 kg Pointed gourd/Potol/Parwal
- 2 tsp Fennel seeds
- 8 Green cardamoms
- 5 Cloves
- 2 tsp Fresh cream
- 2 Small onions (thinly sliced)
- ½ tsp Red chilli powder
- ½ tsp Sugar
- 2 tsp Sour curd
- ½ cup Mustard oil
- Around 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 cup Water
- Peel the pointed gourd (potol/parwal), leaving thin strips of the peel intact. Make six to eight slanted cuts on each gourd.
- Dry-roast the fennel seeds (Mouri) with the cloves and green cardamoms. Make a fine paste with little fresh cream (2 tsp). Set aside.
- In a deep pan, heat mustard oil and on a medium flame, fry the gourds in two batches by sprinkling some salt over them. The gourds take some time to get fried. Remove and set aside when light golden-brown.
- In the same oil, add the sliced onions and fry for 5 min. Add the remaining salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and 2 tbsp water and sauté continuously for a few seconds.
- Add the sugar and sauté until the sugar melts.
- Beat sour curd with a fork and pour into the pan. Sauté continuously for around 10 min on a slow flame.
- When oil starts separating from the spices, add ½ cup water and cook for 5 min.
- Add the fried pointed gourds (potol). Mix the gourds well with the spices in the pan, taking care that these do not break in the process.
- Add the fennel paste and sauté for 2 min.
- Now add ½ cup water. Stir and cover. Let this come to a boil: about 5 min on a medium flame.
- Open the lid and cook until just a little gravy is left, as shown in the main pic. Check and adjust the seasoning before switching off the stove.
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