Saturday, June 13, 2009

parwal ki bhujia or aaloo parwal ki lehsuni bhujia..

alu parval ki lehsuni bhujia

This is a very simple stir fry vegetable which is called bhujia in UP. Parwal or parval is pointed gourd, also known as patal or potol. This small gourd looks like a miniature snake guard and is considered cooling and detoxifying according to  Ayurveda.

This sukhi sabzi can be a side dish with daal chawal lunch or it can be a main accompaniment to roti or paratha. I remember carrying this bhujia to school in my lunch box, with tikona parathas of course.

This is one of the few recipes I make in exactly the same way as my mom used to make it. I usually keep experimenting and improving my recipes on the ground of health and nutrition, but this bhujia is the best representation of healthy, tasty and easy everyday Indian food and keeps repeating in my kitchen every summer.

Parval comes only during summers, I have tried growing parval many times but haven't been successful yet.

(2 large servings)

250 gm parvals
100 gms potatoes with skin
5-6 fat cloves of garlic or a few more if you like
dry red chillies or green chillies to taste
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1.5 tbsp mustard oil
1/4 tsp methi and cumin seeds each


Just scrape the parvals using a paring knife, cut the parwals lengthwise in four pieces or six and some potatoes too in thin wedges.

alu parval

Heat mustard oil in a pan, throw in a tsp of methi and jeera seeds each and when they crackle put the parwals first.

Stir fry till they are pinkish and then add the potato wedges and fry till they are pinkish too. Add salt to taste and turmeric powder is added along with a generous amount of garlic and green chilly paste. This paste is the main taste maker in this bhujia and it is always made in mustard oil.

After adding all these, stir fry and slow cook  till the aroma of cooked garlic is predominant and the bhujia is ready.

I make this bhujia in minimum oil. Just about 1.5 to 2 tbsp for 250 gm parwal and 100 gm potatoes, unpeeled new potatoes taste best.

It is easier to make it in more oil as it fries well but when using less oil you just have to be patient with the frying. A heavy bottomed pan and low heat works best for low oil version. Taste is the same for both the versions.

alu parval ki lehsuni bhujia

I prefer serving this bhujia with daal chawal for our lunch. It makes a healthy lunch with daal and boiled rice, plain curds and papad goes well with it but I like just this bhujia with my daal chawal for the rich garlic pleasure, nothing else is required between my dal chawal and bhujia.

I like the crunchy methi seeds in this bhujia too, if you don't like the slight bitter crunch of methi seeds, you can omit that and use only cumin seeds for tempering.

I am telling you one of my hack for this recipe too. Sometimes I use a past of garlic powder, chilli powder and turmeric powder mixed together with a little water to make this recipe too and it has never disappointed me. Slow cooking is the key in this recipe, keep the gas on low flame, keep stirring every couple of minutes and this bhujia will cook perfectly.

Do let me know of you try this recipe. It gives me immense pleasure to introduce the recipes from my homeland and the pleasure multiplied when you all find the recipes useful...