Tel jhol' is the name given to a light curry, which is infused with kaalo jeere, green chillies, and mustard oil. As the name suggests, 'tel' or mustard oil is an important component of the base of the curry. In such preparations, mustard oil is used twice—once while cooking and at the end for garnish. This intensifies the flavour of the curry. Potol'er tel jhol is a delicacy. This recipe is made with small or kochi potol (pointed gourd or parwal). The baby potol soak up the jhol and become plump and juicy, making for a perfectly delicious, yet light, summer torkari.
- 500 g potol (pointed gourd)
- 30 g mustard oil (for cooking)
- ¼ tsp kaalo jeere (nigella seeds)
- 6 g turmeric
- 50 g water (for mixing the turmeric)
- 4 pcs green chillies
- 10 g sugar
- 14 g salt
- 300 g hot water
- ¼ tsp atta (flour)
- 10 g mustard oil (for garnish)
- Peel potol in alternating strips. Remove the pointy ends.
- Prick the potols from all sides. This will allow the curry to enter the potol.
- Heat mustard oil in a kadai till it smokes and changes colour to a pale yellow. Temper oil with kaalo jeere.
- Add potol. Stir to mix. Add 2 slit green chillies. Cover and fry on medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir intermittently for even browning.
- In a small bowl, mix turmeric powder with water. Add turmeric paste to the kadai. Fry on medium heat for 6 minutes. Add a splash of water if the spices start sticking to the pan.
- Add salt and sugar. Fry until the raw smell of the turmeric is gone (4 minutes).
- Add hot water. Simmer on low heat for 8 minutes.
- In a small bowl, take a few spoonful of the curry and mix flour with it. Pour it back to the kadai. Add 2 more green chillies for flavour. Cover and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Finish with mustard oil. Finally, serve hot with rice.