Pointed Gourd & Potato Curry ~ Tribute Recipe by Jigyasa

by on July 10, 2016

In this post, Mrs. Surya Kantham shares her favourite recipe using pointed gourd and potatoes with Jigyasa Giri. In Odisha where she lived as a young girl, pointed gourd (parwal) is known as Potol. A family favourite, Mrs. Kantham says that this dish can also be prepared using mixed vegetables such as cauliflower, carrots, beans and green peas. You will need approximately 2 cups of chopped vegetables.

Ingredients for Potol & Alu Masala Curry:

  • Potatoes – 3, diced into medium or large cubes
  • Pointed gourd – ¼ kg, cut into thick slices (3-4 slices per potol)
  • Onions – 2 large, chopped fine
  • Tomatoes – 2 large, chopped medium
  • Green Chillies – 3, slit lengthwise
  • Sunflower oil – 3/4th cup or 150-200 ml
  • Sugar – 1 tsp (approx.)
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh coriander – 1 -2 tbsp, finely chopped
  • Cashew nuts or Almonds – 2-3, slivered (if using almonds, soak in water for an hour or two and peel off the skin)

For the paste:

  • Fresh coconut – ½, grated
  • Garlic – 10-12 cloves, pealed
  • Ginger – 2 inch piece
  • Khus Khus (poppy seeds) – 50 gms (a little less than ¼ cup)
  • Cinnamon sticks – 3-4 pieces, roughly 1 inch long
  • Cloves – 6
  • Green Cardamom – 5-6
  • Bay leaf – 1-2

Pointed gourd and potato masala curry


  1. Grind all the ingredients of the paste to a fine consistency, using just as much water as required for the process. Keep aside.
  2. Parboil the chopped potatoes and potols in a pan of water. Strain and keep aside.
  3. In a large wok, heat the oil, add the onions and tomatoes together and sauté for 1-2 mins. Then add the paste and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add the green chillies.
  4. Now add the parboiled vegetables, stir them in, reduce flame, cover and cook until the vegetables are done but not over done. This will take approximately 5-6 minutes during which you must gently stir the curry twice or thrice and add a tsp of sugar and salt to taste.
  5. Switch off flame, transfer to serving bowl and garnish lavishly with chopped coriander leaves and halved Cashews or blanched and pealed almond slivers.

Serve hot with paratha or chapathi.


Note: The oil quantity may seem a lot in today’s health conscious generation. So, use oil as per your individual taste and habit. In our time, we believed in hard work and were physically much more active than people these days. We enjoyed the food prepared by our mothers and gave thanks to the Lord for the tasty meal rather than question its every ingredient.


Jigyasa Giri is a Kathak dancer and choreographer, and founder of Devaniya, the school of Kathak dance. Along with Pratibha Jain, she has co-authored award winning cookbooks. This post is the tribute recipe which Mrs. Surya Kantham shared with Jigyasa Giri. To read an interview with Mrs. Kantham, click here


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