Sorry for this short hiatus. Am not keeping well for sometime and this time its my wisdom tooth which has kept me busy for all the bad reason. Just went through a very painful surgical extraction of the teeth today and the pain is excruciating. Hubby gave me two offers, either to cry in pain or just sit, chill and do whatever I want to with my laptop, while he warms up the dinner and takes care of the baby. I chose the second and here is a quick post to prove my point that Bengalis cook many dishes with coconut other than the famous chingri malaikari.
This pointed gourd dish is called Patal-er Korma and is a satwik dish where no onion or garlic is used. Like any gravy cooked with coconut milk this light, creamy and slightly sweet gravy is the winner which I prefer to cook when guests come over during summer months. When served with basmati rice, lentil and other light side dishes this promises a very satisfying yet light summer meal. Apart from the packed coconut milk I try to add little freshly (or frozen if you think that is good. I never used so have no idea.) Scraped coconut for added texture.
Though the recipe is very easy but fresh ingredients make all the difference. For this dish choose tender pointed gourds which will soak the flavours well.
I prepared this when a few friends came over from Bangalore. Please forgive these bad pictures, it was 4 in the evening when I finished cooking and the guests were about to press the doorbell. What a difficult life we food bloggers have. phew!!!
Here is the simple recipe.
Patal –er korma
Pointed gourd (patol/parwal): 8 medium tender pieces
Ginger paste: 1 tsp
Cumin powder: 1/ tsp
Coriander powder: ½ tsp
Green chilies: 3-4
Coconut milk: 1/3 cup
Freshly scraped coconut: 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds: 1/3 tsp
Whole cloves: 2 pieces
Whole cardamom: 1
Cinnamon stick: little piece
Oil: 2 tbsp
Garam masala powder: ¼ tsp
Wash the parwal, trim the edges then peel skin at 2 or 3 places lengthwise. Cut them in half lengthwise. Smear little salt and turmeric and keep aside.
Mix the cumin-coriander powder and ginger paste with ¼ cup water and set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp oil and fry the pointed gourds lightly or till they are golden in colour. Take out and keep aside.
Add rest of the oil and once its hot add the cumin seeds, lightly crushes whole cloves, cardamom and cinnamon stick and slited green chilies. Once they start to splutter add the spices mixed with water. Add salt, turmeric and start cooking it on low flame till the oil start to ooze out at the sides. Approx. 3 minutes.
Now add the coconut milk and same amount of water. Mix, cover and let it come to boil. Add the fried pointed gourd and check the seasoning. Add the freshly scarped coconut and let it get cooked in the creamy gravy for another 6-8 minutes or till the gravy reduces and the gourd becomes fork tender. The gravy should be thick, creamy and should coat the vegetables beautifully.
Serve with rice, lentil and other dishes of your choice.
A Homemaker's Notes:
If you like you can also add finely chopped onions to this dish. Fry them briefly before adding the spice mix.
Sometimes I also add lightly fried cashews to the dish along with a few pre soaked raisins. this gives it beautiful texture.
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