Aloo parwal curry is a humble vegetarian dish made for regular meals in any typical Indian household. The specialty of the dish is that it’s extremely flavorful even without onion and garlic and comes out in a jiffy!
Today’s recipe of aloo parwal curry is one of my childhood comfort foods. Ummm… that may not be technically correct but I will come to that. What I want to mean is that it is one of those curries which used to make its appearance at least once in a week, especially in summers as parwal is a seasonal vegetable available in abundance during hotter months. Summers are not too good with respect to vegetables which is why I used to get bored of same old curries repeating itself every now and then. That’s the very reason why I had to think twice before declaring that this aloo parwal curry was indeed a childhood comfort food.
Honestly speaking I was not at all fond of this veggie when I was little. It’s only during the adulthood that I rediscovered this cute green vegetable and actually fell in love with it. There are various recipes which you can make with parwal, but today I bring you the most humble and simplest one – the aloo parwal curry. It’s spicy but not too hot to handle and it’s without any onion or garlic which makes it too quick and easy to make. Additionally this no onion no garlic aloo parwal curry is also a good choice if you are looking for Jain recipes.
Parwal, or ‘potol‘ as called in Bengali, is quite popular with Bengalis and also in North India. It hasn’t been that popular yet in Southern India but with the cultural amalgamation in this global era, I am pretty sure it’s not too far to reach equal popularity in down South too. When we moved to Bangalore 7 years back, we could hardly find this vegetable in farmers’ market or even in any supermarket. But now it’s available in ample amounts and I could not be more happier about it!
Mostly Indian curries start with a base of fried onion and ginger-garlic. But this aloo parwal curry, or aloo parwal ki sabzi as known in Hindi, is completely different and that’s the best part of it. The vegetables are fried at first and then sauteed with spice mixture for good 10 minutes. Finally they are boiled in water until cooked through and the gravy reaches its desired consistency. The gravy is not too watery in this curry and mostly has a clinging consistency. It pairs best with rice and dal for a fulfilling Indian lunch with a side of fresh cucumber-tomato-onion salad. Finally wrap up the meal with a generous helping of gajar ka halwa or rice kheer/payesh as dessert and you will be just on top of the world! Good food at its best! Try this aloo parwal masala curry and let us know how it turned out!
- Parwal - 500 gms
- Potato - 4, small or medium
- Mustard oil - 4 tbsp
- Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
- Dry red chili - 1, broken
- Green chili - 1, chopped
- Ginger paste - 2 tbsp
- Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
- Cumin powder - 3 tsp
- Coriander powder - ½ tsp
- Red chili powder - ½ tsp
- Sugar - ½ tsp
- Salt to taste
- Ghee - 1 tsp
- Cut both the ends of each parwal and peel them. We generally peel the skin in alternative strips lengthwise to make it look good. You can even peel it completely. Then cut each parwal into 2 or 3 pieces depending on the length. Wash and set aside.
- Peel and cut the potatoes into 4 pieces each. Wash them well and set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespooons of mustard oil in a wok and add the parwal pieces to it. Fry the parwals until they turn golden brown on all side. Then take them out and set aside on a plate.
- Add the remaining oil to the wok. Once the oil is hot, temper it with dry red chili and cumin seeds. Let them crackle and become fragrant for 30 seconds.
- Then add the potato cubes and fry them until golden brown. This would take about 10 minutes on medium heat.
- While the potatoes are frying, add all the powdered spices to a small bowl - turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and red chili powder. Also add the ginger paste to the same bowl and add quarter cup of water to it. Blend everything using a spoon to make a smooth spice paste.
- Once the potatoes are golden brown, add fried parwal pieces and the spice paste to the wok and saute them on high heat until the water is absorbed and oil starts to release from the spices.
- Then add about 2 cups of water and season with sugar and salt. Bring the water to boil, then cover and cook on low flame for 8 to 10 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft and cooked through. You can check the doneness of the veggies by pressing them with the back of your wooden spoon.
- Adjust the thickness of the gravy as per your liking - boil off any excess water or add little more if too dry and bring to boil again. Check and adjust for seasoning if needed.
- Finally drizzle the ghee on top and remove from flame. Serve the hot aloo parwal curry with rice. Enjoy!