Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Summer memories : Potala Aloo Bhaja

I am in a nostalgic spree, so here is my summer time memories again!
Summer was the time for long afternoon siesta and happy munching on makka poda (lightly roasted corn) and chat session (both food and gossip) with cousins. Though I was an only child, I never was lonely during summer vacations. Either lots of my cousins would come over and we would spend  time wrestling, chatting, teasing each other at our place or we would all head over to my grandma's place.All meals would be on the floor with us lined up against the wall and eating on banana leaves (if it isn't pakhala of course) while mom and aunts would keep serving us. Any and everything seemed yum and palatable then, even things that seemed disgusting at home. One of the things that I didn't like growing up was potala or parwal or pointed gourd. In summer there used to be very few vegetables available and potala used to be abundant. And it didn't help that we had a huge garden where this grew in abundance. One of the following potala dishes: potalo rasa, potala bhaja, potala stuffed , aloo potalo tarkari or potalo chutney would be made nearly every day! And I wasn't a happy camper.

Things changed when I started working in Delhi. Summers in Delhi were worse. Very few vegetables were available and the prices were atrocious. And after few years there, I started missing potala during summer. And now I am a serious convert and don't hesitate to buy it at 7$ a pound from the local Indian grocery whenever I see it and sometimes even get from the frozen section.
 The fry here is made from the fresh potala/parwal.

1/2 pound of potala or parwal
1/4 pound of potatoes (you can add more if you want)
1 table spoon of ginger garlic paste
1 tea spoon of turmeric powder
1 tea spoon of chili powder
2 table spoon of oil (I used olive oil)
1 tea spoon of Cumin powder or garam masala powder (not both)
Salt to taste

How To
Peel the potala/parwal.
 Cut the potatoes and potala/parwal in thin stripes.
Heat the oil in the pan. Add the potatoes and potala and cook for 2-3 minutes in medium heat.
Add the ginger garlic paste, salt, turmeric and chili powder and mix well.
Reduce heat, cover and cook until the potatoes and potala cook through (about 20 min).
Add the cumin powder or garam masala and cook on high heat for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and enjoy!