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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Chingri Potol er Jhal


Potol or Parwal was rarely available outside Bengal. However, with the whole world shrinking I do see them now even in the US at the local Indian grocery store. It is one of those veggies which kids (at least mine) hate eating. So I add shrimps to make it more enticing.

The masala used has to be freshly roasted and ground spices without which the dish is incomplete.


  • 10-12 potol or parwal
  • 3 medium sized potato peeled and cut into quarters
  • 20 medium sized prawns deveined and cleaned
  • 1 small knob ginger
  • 2-3 green chilies slit lengthwise
  • 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. whole cumin
  • 1 tbsp. whole coriander seeds
  • 1 dry red chili
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 2 cloves
  • 1” cinnamon stick
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. ghee (Clarified butter)
  • Mustard oil


Scrape off the skin of parwals and cut them into halves.

Marinate the prawns with 1 tsp. turmeric powder and salt. Keep them aside.

Now dry roast 1 tbsp. cumin seeds, coriander seed, dry red chili, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and 1 bay leaf. Roast till you just starting to get their aroma. Immediately remove them from the hot pan and allow them to cool down.

First dry grind the roasted spices into a powder. Add ginger to it and make a paste with all of these by adding little water.

Heat mustard oil in a pan and fry the marinated prawns on low heat for a minute. Remove and save them for later use.

IMG_1275Temper the same oil with 1 tsp. cumin seeds and 2 bay leaves. Let the sizzle. Add parwal halves and potato quarters to it. Fry on medium heat till the edges of the vegetables take a brownish hue.

Add the spice paste you made and reduce the heat to low. Keep sautéing till the raw smell goes off. You may need to sprinkle some water if the spices tend to burn.

Pour about a cup of water. sprinkle sugar and salt to your taste and mix well.

Cook it covered on medium heat till the veggies are done. Add the fried prawns and let it simmer foe another two minutes.

Add a dollop of ghee along with the green chilies and keep it covered till you serve with plain hot rice.

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