Sunday, August 7, 2011

Aaam ke aam guthliyon ke daam...

No, not one more post about mangoes. Done with them for this season I guess. This post is about a rather unusual dish that I got to sample about two weeks back. Delighted by the taste I have been asking for more.
Unless you are from Eastern India the dish will sound strange. It is made with Parwal(Potol) and Alu(Potato) peel. Yes, you read that right. Vegetable peel has uses beyond the face pack.

In the East we typically cook vegetable peel with some mustard paste( in the days of the joint families and tons of household help, enough vegetable peel got collected from a day's cooking). Mix the vegetable peel with the ground mustard paste and let it cook in the embers(remember most of the cooking got done in wooden fires) after all the cooking had been done. I have had this before. Both Grandma and later my Mom used to make this at home during my growing up years.

But this one made by my help from Bangladesh was quite different in texture/form and taste. Unless somebody told you that it was made from the vegetable's peel I bet you would not be able to guess. IncidentallyBangals make better cooks than ghottis( people from West Bengal). I have more friends from East Bengal and have sampled some great food. Potoler Kouda as it is called(I just discovered) is perfect as an accompaniment with plain rice or roti.

Potoler Kouda
serves: 2
Peel of about 14/15 medium sized potol/parwal
Peel of 2 large sized potatoes
Onion: 1 large onion, sliced fine
Kalonji/kala jeera: 1 tsp
Green chillies: 1/2( according to taste)
Oil: 2 tbsps


  • Boil the potato and potol peel for about ten minutes to soften them.

  • Drain the water and grind to a fine paste along with 1/2 green chillies

  • Heat the oil in a kadai( I am told the more oil you use for this dish the tastier it is going to be, I would suggest you stay with not more than 2 tbsps), add the kalonji and let them sputter.

  • Next add the sliced onions and wait till they turn glassy.

  • Add the ground paste and keep sauteing till it dries up and starts to leave the side of the kadai.

  • Serve hot.

Made with the most basic of ingredients and packed with a lot of goodness and taste. Remember your early lessons, the peel has the maximum nutrition. It is the simplicity of this dish that makes it truly unique. I am told this tastes best with " sedho bhaat"( steamed rice). I have tried it as a spread on toast. While I know this is an unusual twist to a traditional dish it tastes quite nice. As I write the post I see the dish making its way as canape toppings, add some hung curd to it and viola a nice, spicy dip. Yes, some creativity and an experimentative palate will see this going places.

Bon Apetit and Happy Cooking!

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