Monthly Archives: August 2012

Chocolate Cake: A guest post at My Experiments and Food


An old, good friend of mine, M, who was brought to me by fate and has stayed with me by choice runs a blog ‘My Experiments and Food’. The blog focuses on delicious recipes – some that I have tasted in her house, and some that I have tried myself in my kitchen.

Once she discovered my blog on food, she requested for a post on my chocolate cake. I was more than happy to share. Between her newborn, captivating baby daughter and her tight work schedule I am delighted that she not only found the time to read my blog, but also to post my write up!

I am so excited – you can now read about how to make delicious chocolate cake on here on blog at

It is a quick and simple recipe – the basic for which got handed down to me by my mother, with additions from my side to ensure its more chocolatey than her version.

This is the direct link to the specific post, but I encourage you to read the rest of her blog.

The Chocolate Cake!


Alu-potoler Dalna (Potato-parwal vegetable)


If I were to mention it, you will not believe the number of recipes that I have to share with you. I have been cooking for a long time now, and have my favorites and my standards. I havent even touched the surface of that.

The main hurdle, always, is time! Time! Time! To write a blog may be a moment of inspiration. But that inspiration takes time to come. Then, the photographs. A food blog is incomplete without photographs. And I want to take good photographs. But when you are cooking, where is the time to whip out the camera? When you are a full time 9-6 worker, where is the time to photoshop? When you are married, with an amazing husband, where is the inclination to sit in front of a laptop and write about a dish that you would rather be feeding him?

Ah well!

So then I compromise. I bring to you as many recipes that I can, with as many un-fixed photographs as I can. And I hope to lighten my burden 🙂

Now, the last time I mentioned the awesomeness of posto, and soon, I saw this update on potol posto. On the same lines as the jhinge posto I made this Sunday, this dish uses parwal / point gourd. The delight of the memory!
I remembered the parwal I had bought. And I decided last night, to make the potol posto. Unfortunately, there was no more posto at home! Oh sad me!

Parwal or Potol

Parwal or Potol

However, I love alu-potol. And this, then was the perfect opportunity to make the Alu-Potol that I have loved as a staple since I was a  kid. Called Alu-potol-er dalna.

(For the uninitiated, Potol, is the Bengali word for Parwal, also known as point gourd. Potol is pronounced like potole)

This is a preparation which is dry-ish, rather has a thick gravy that should coat the vegetables. You can, of course make it thinner, but I have always preferred it “makha-makha” – dry.

The Recipe

200gms Parwal – peeled and cut.
1 large potato (alu)
2 large tomato, chopped. You can also use tomato puree.
Chopped ginger
Whole Jeera (cumin seeds)
Bay leaf (Tej patta) -2 small
Jeera powder – 1/2 tsp
Red Chili powder
Turmeric powder -1/2 tsp
Mustard oil

How to cut the Potol: To preserve the nutirents from the parwal, do not remove all the skin. Part of the skin needs to be peeled, since it is rather tough. However, leave little slivers of greenery on the gourd after you are done – it looks rather lovely, like stripes. Cut the ends, and then cut each parwal into a half legthwise, then each half into two or three equal parts.

Peeled Parwal (Potol)

How to cut the Potato: Dice into 1/2 inch cubes, matching the size of the parwal peices

To Make:

Heat some mustard oil in the wok. Put in the potol pieces when hot, till they are seared and take them out. The parwal gives off a sweet smell when its seared. Its a delicious smell. Look out for it.

Similarly, sear the potatoes and take them out. (no smell when you sear potatoes, unless oil & potatoes remind you of french fries…yum!)

Heat the remaining oil (you can add more oil if none is left. I tend to finish the whole process within 2 tbsp of oil)

Add the jeera seeds and bay leaf. Add in the chopped ginger and saute.

To this, add cumin powder, turmeric powder and red chili powder.

Quickly add in the potato before anything burns. And saute it well, so that the potato is covered with the masala.

And then add in the chopped tomato. Mix it well together, and add salt. Let it cook for some time, maybe a minute or two.

Add the seared potol pieces, and mix it in well.

Add a little water, and then cover and cook till the potatoes are done.

You can cook it to the desired thickness.

I like it thick, and not too watery, irrespective of whether I am eating it with rice or roti. It tastes good with both. Bon Apetit!

Alu Potol – almost ready!

Short Method:

oil+parwal -> remove

oil + potato – > remove

Oil + cumin seed + bay leaf -> splutter + chopped ginger -> saute + cumin powder+chili powder + turmeric powder + potato ->coat +tomato ->cook

+ Seared parwal +water ->cover & cook till potatoes are done

Ready to be devoured!