Pointed Gourd.....as we call it in common English. Potoler Dorma is stuffed Pointed Gourd. Though I have prepared a vegetarian version with paneer stuffing, the most popular version is with a stuffing of shrimps. Since my vegetarian friends have started believing I do not love them anymore, I had to win back their confidence. As a teen I hated vegetables, but these days preferring them. I feel like may be I had too much of non-veg throughout life and my tastebuds are seeking change. As I said I hated vegetables so much that my mom had to really sweat out planning vegetarian recipes for her foodie daughter. Any veggie recipe at home had to be tasty, otherwise there was threatening of meal boycotts on an all veggie day. Remembering those days, a wave of guilt hits my mind and I question myself, why did they pamper me so much? The answer may be hidden in the question why do I pamper mine so much?
I remember, one day in a week was an all vegetarian day at our home. And that day was a black day for me. Back home from school/college, I would run to my friend's home to taste fish and chicken. That greed is off course the reason for my round shape and all my dreams of becoming a model remained unfulfilled, ha..ha...ha. Jokes apart, I think till date no one has seen a model with 5 feet height, so why cut off my tongue?? I was too wise to do that. I wish to mention here, every thursday was a veggie day at home, and my husband being a childhood buddy, I used to visit their home, straight into his mother's kitchen. An innocent question of aunty what did you cook today would fetch me a big piece of fish with curry n rice. No question of strictness as she was aunty then, yet to be mom-in-law.
I think before I cross all limits, I should go with the recipe. Truly, I decided to prepare a vegetarian version of Potoler Dorma for my vegetarian friends. The more popular non-veg version shall come up some other day. The inclusion of paneer as a stuffing in this particular recipe is also not common, I just felt like. So went ahead with it.
Potol[pointed gourd] : 8
Paneer[cottage cheese/chena] : 200 gm
Posto[poppy seed] : 1tbsp
Tomato : 1 big
Onion : 1 big
Green Chilli : 2
Ginger Paste : 2tbsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As required
Cumin Powder : 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds : 2 pinches
Bay Leaf : 1
Green Cardamom : 3
Cloves : 2
Cinnamon : 1inch stick one
Oil : 4 tbsp
Sugar : 1tsp
Ghee[clarified butter] : 1tsp
Wash and cut the two ends of the potols. Peel the skins keeping little gaps. Now with the edge of a knife bring out the seeds of the potols. Be careful not to break them while doing so. This way you can see vacuums created inside them. Apply little salt and turmeric powder and keep aside covered.
Wash the posto in a strainer. With help of a blender, make a smooth paste of posto, seeds of potol and green chilli. Crumble the paneer with your hands. Slice the onion.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok. Temper with cumin seeds. Add the sliced onions. As they turn golden brown, add the paste. Keep stirring till it separates from oil. Add the crumbled paneer. Add little salt and turmeric.. Stir well for 3 to 4 minutes or till most of the water dries up. Switch off. Your filling is ready. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
Fry the pointed gourds in the same oil till they turn golden brown. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
Once the filling is cold, stuff the holes of the fried potols with the filling with help of the backside of a small spoon.
Add the fried stuffed potols. Cook covered for another 2-3 minutes. Add the sugar and ghee. Stir and switch off. The gravy will be thick. To be served only with steamed rice!!