This is my Mum’s recipe and I haven’t changed anything. After all there is little scope of change when the recipe is just perfect.
Whoever thought of stuffing Pôtol or Parwal or Pointed Gourd with mince meat was obviously dealing with some very strict non-vegetarians.
Though there is a vegetarian version of the Pôtoler Dorma too, but my Mum makes it with keema/mince meat only. Only because we were spoilt and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Its important you choose the right kind of Pôtol for the Dorma. I’d suggest fat, long ones, which are easy to stuff.
And when you have found the right kind of Pôtol, which is usually during the Summers, try making the Pôtoler Dorma with this recipe.
Ingredients for Pôtoler Dorma are:
6-8 long, fat parwal/pôtol
250 grams mince meat (I used goat meat)
1+1 small red onions, finely chopped
1 medium size ripe tomato
2 + 2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
1 + 1 turmeric powder
1 + 1 red chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 small stick of cinnamon
2 green cardamoms
2 bay leaves
Pinch of garam masala powder
2 + 2 tablespoons mustard oil (or any cooking oil)
Wash and clean the pôtol. With the back of a blunt knife, gently scrape the top skin (yes, that darker green layer) off, but do not damage the vegetable. Cut one end off, just the tip, so you can start scooping out its insides.
With a thin long knife (blunt) start scooping the seeds and young flesh from the pôtol. Retain the insides in a bowl.
Heat oil in a pan and toss the hollowed pôtol for a couple of minutes in it. Remove before they start turning brown.
In the same oil, add the chopped onions and sauté till they get golden in color.
Now add the mince meat, red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, the insides of the pôtol, ginger-garlic paste, and salt to taste. Mix everything together and let it cook till the meat is done. Stir fry the mince meat and spices and dry all moisture.
This is the stuffing that goes inside the pôtol. Let it cool completely before you start the next step.
With your hands, start stuffing this mixture little by little into the already sautéed pôtol.
Heat two tablespoons oil in a pan and add the cinnamon stick, cardamoms and bay leaves. Sauté for half a minute and add chopped onions.
Fry the onions till light brown. Add ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, turmeric powder, and chopped tomatoes.
Cook this for about 5-6 minutes on low heat. Let the tomatoes break down, help them do so with the back of your spatula. Season with half a teaspoon of sugar (optional) and salt.
Pour three-fourth cups of water and boil for a few minutes till the tomatoes and spices become one with the water. Now add the stuffed pôtol.
Turn the heat off and sprinkle a pinch of homemade garam masala powder. The Pôtoler Dorma is a main and is best eaten with plain Basmati rice.
For a vegetarian version of the Pôtoler Dorma, try using soy chunks, soaked in water and minced along with some finely chopped potatoes, sautéed and stuffed in the pôtol.