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By Jayoti Gupta
By Jayoti Gupta

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NGREDIENTS: Pointed gourd (Potol /Parwal) – 12 numbers, soya bean mini-chunks – 2 cups, cashew paste – 4-5 tablespoon, cumin paste – 3 tablespoon, Kashmiri red-chilli paste – 1 tablespoon, green chilli – according to taste, salt – according to taste, sugar – 1 teaspoon, garam masala – 1 teaspoon, ghee – 2 teaspoon, raisins – 7-8 pieces, cashew nuts – 7-8 pieces, Bengali five-spices (Panch Phoran) – 1 teaspoon, radhuni- ½ teaspoon (optional), tomato – 1 big size (pureed), asafoetida (hing)- 1 teaspoon, turmeric powder and mustard oil.


Wash and peel the gourds. Cut their edges and keep them aside for sealing later. Carefully scoop out seeds from the gourds using a spoon.

Boil the soya mini-chunks until they turn soft. Squeeze out excess water and grind them along with green chillies and salt. This is soya keema for filling.

Heat up 2-3 tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add to it asafoetida, 1 tablespoon cumin paste, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder and the soya keema. Cook in low flame while stirring intermittently until the water dries up and absorbs the spices.

Cook it covered for 5 minutes: when the keema turns dry, add the gourd seeds that were scooped out earlier. Add raisins and finely chopped cashew. Cook for some time until the mixture turns soft. Now, take off the pan and let it cool off for a minute.

Fill the cooked keema into the gourds and seal their mouth with the edges that were kept aside. Use toothpicks to pin the sealing.

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ext, heat up 2 tablespoon oil in a frying pan: add a pinch of turmeric and ½ teaspoon salt. Shallow fry the stuffed gourds, be careful that the sealing doesn’t fall apart. Take out the fried gourds when they turn golden brown.

Heat up 3 tablespoon oil and add the Bengali five spices mix, dry red-chilli and bay leaf (tej pata). As the oil comes to smoking, add the tomato puree. Cook it until the raw smell disappears.

Add the remaining cumin paste, Kashmiri chilli paste, green chillies, ½ teaspoon turmeric and salt according to taste. Once the spices are fried add the cashew paste. Cook in low flame for 5 minutes.

Now add lukewarm water according to the requirement for gravy and drop the fried gourds into it. Cook until the gourds become tender.

Add garam masala and ghee. Nawabi Potol is ready: serve smoking hot with rice or roti.

(Originally from Namsai, Arunachal Pradesh, Jayoti Gupta now lives in Bangalore. She teaches history at a private college.)