Chaal Potol

Potol (pointed gourd) in a silky sauce with perfumed rice, cashews and raisins—a recipe for special occasions

  • Cooking time
    50 minutes
  • Calories
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Chaal potol is my mother's specialty that she makes on special occasions in the summer months—specially for Noboborsho or Poila Baishakh lunch, or when we are expecting guests. Potol or pointed gourd is cooked with short-grained, perfumed rice like Gobindobhog, and garnished with raisins and cashew for an extra flourish.

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5 servings
  • 500 g potol
  • 250 g potatoes
  • 50 g tomato
  • 50 g gobindobhog rice
  • 15 g cashew nuts
  • 15 g raisins
  • 10 g vegetable oil
  • 35 g mustard oil
  • 2 pcs dried red chillies
  • 2 pcs bay leaves
  • 2 pcs cardamom
  • 2 pcs cloves
  • 1 pc cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 15 g ginger paste
  • 8 g cumin powder
  • 4 g coriander powder
  • 3 g turmeric
  • ¼ tsp red chilli powder
  • 10 g salt
  • 20 g sugar
  • 2 pcs green chillies
  • 8 g ghee
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • 350 ml hot water


  1. Rinse the gobindobhog rice, and spread it over a colander to air-dry completely.
  2. Wash and peel the potol in alternating strips, and halve each one. Cut the potatoes in 4-cm cubes, dice the tomato and slit the green chillies.
  3. Mix together ginger paste, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric and red chilli powder with 50 g water and set aside.
  4. Heat 10 g vegetable oil in a kadai. Add the cashew and raisins, and fry gently on low heat for about 20 seconds. Add the dried gobindobhog rice to the pan and continue frying until the rice is translucent. Remove from the oil and set aside.
  5. To the same pan, add 35 g mustard oil. Heat it until it starts to smoke gently and turns pale yellow. Add the potol with 2 g salt, and fry them on medium-high heat until well browned. This should take 6 to 8 minutes. Drain from the oil and set aside.
  6. Now temper the oil with dried red chillies, bay leaves, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and cumin seeds. Then add the potatoes. Fry until potatoes are lightly coloured (about 4 minutes).
  7. Add the spice slurry we prepared earlier. Cover and sauté on medium heat until oil separates from the spices. Add a splash of water whenever the pan dries out and continue cooking.
  8. Add 10 g salt and 20 g sugar, and continue cooking. Also add the diced tomatoes and two slit green chillies.
  9. Once the tomatoes have softened, add the fried cashew, raisins and gobindobhog rice. Cook these, covered, with the spices, adding a little water at a time, until the rice is about 80% cooked.
  10. Then add the fried potol. Continue cooking until both the potol and rice are done, but take care that they don't turn mushy. Add only a little water at a time, just enough to cook the potol and rice.
  11. Finish with two more slit green chillies for flavour, gorom moshla and ghee. Cover and rest for 2 minutes before serving.

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