We have been above and beyond excited about one of our experimental crops this season, the Potol! Or green potato, or pointed gourd as it is also called.
Never before grown on campus, and one few of us in the team had heard of before, we could not have been happier to have grown it so successfully inside our polytunnel on Froebel College.
Potol is a fruit very similar to squash and cucumber, and it does taste very similar to cucumber as well. No wonder really, as they are from the same family, Cucurbitaceae.
A popular dish in Bangladesh, but also in North and Eastern India where it used in curries, stews, soups and even sweets!
Bengali Inspired Potol Curry
Created by Celia Briseid
10 potol/pointed gourds
1 red pepper, chopped
Olive oil or coconut oil for cooking.
200ml coconut milk
Thumbsize fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp mustards seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
pinch chilli flakes
2 bay leaves
½ tsp cumin powder
½ coriander powder
½ garam masala
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste
Prepare your potol by splitting them in half, retaining the base and deseed using a teaspoon. Heat some oil in a hot pan, turning down the heat once you add the oil. Fry the potol lightly, let them simmer on a low heat whilst stirring now and again. They should turn a slight deeper green colour. When ready, remove from pan and set aside.
Add some more oil to you pan, together with cumin seeds, bay leaf, mustard seeds and a pinch of chilli flakes. When the mustard seeds start popping, add the fresh ginger. Fry on medium/low heat until the smell of raw ginger has goes off.
Now add the rest of your spices, except garam masala. Let it cook for 1 minute, then add your fried potol. Add salt (1/2 teaspoon to start) and let cook for another 2 minutes,
Add coconut milk, pepper and sugar and stir well until sugar is dissolved and spices mixed in.
If you can, cover and let simmer for 5 minutes on a low heat. If curry looks too thick, you can add more coconut milk. Thereafter add your garam masala powder, let simmer for another 5 minutes and voila! Taste if more salt is needed, and then your curry is ready to be served.
Serve with boiled rice.
This dish can easily be adapted to feature more vegetables or legumes such as carrots, chickpeas, spinach, chard or anything you fancy!