Patoler Niramish Dolma (Lentil stuffed pointed gourd)

2:12 AM

What happens when you have a long weekend packed with shopping, cleaning, cooking, partying with good company and a 12 hours walk-athon in one of World’s best amusement park pushing a 3 and half years old kid in stroller? The immediate result could be non existent limbs, so sore that it almost convinced you that collapsing on the station floor is not that a bad idea. The fact that they have cranked up heating system to keep you warm in this chilly season, lures you more to it. Specially when closing your eyes will avoid all curious and non approving gazes of the passers by. Bless the person who said deal everyday at a time... tomorrow would be a different day and will deal with what may come. 

But then you have a 3 and half year old baby, who is tired too by sitting in his pram all day. And by the time you are done with weighing the pros of con of your passing out reverie the kid starts to demand a hot soak. 

Also you have a husband working in the IT sector, which means his legs are on the verge of getting extincted, sitting all day in front of the computer. And a day like this makes him actually evaluate the idea of persuading you and the kid to make a few changes and push the cart with him in it. failing which he start practicing his long standing dream of doing moonwalk…or is it walking in sleep. Whatever!!!! The final verdict was you had to pull yourself and everyone together to bring home in one piece, serve them dinner and then all collapsed on the bed like a house of cards facing a strong blow.

The next day isn’t good either. The limbs get knotted in such a bad manner that even a gallon of strong coffee and a hour long soak in the bathtub may not cure it. you feel like a  heaped mound of mashed potato that went cold and enjoying its vegetating mode. Not moving a single part of your body and seating like a star fish with your back on the wall. 

The kid asks thousands of questions and all you do is replying him in mono syllables. When the day grows old you just push yourself to bath and feed the kid, telling him he should always eat fried egg and rice as its very good for him. Trying to hide the fact that you hardly have any will power left in your body. And then when he sleeps (as he is always tired of seating in his pram and always demands a  hot soak to relive his tired limbs) you just feel like continuing with your vegetation mode. 

But then all moms of super active kid’s know how precious the time is when their bundle of joy sleeps, and doing nothing seems like making utter waste of a prized resource. So you get to your thinking mode and a great idea flashes through so bright that you are almost convinced of your sheer intelligence. Why not to share a recipe on the blog while enjoying this solitude…this will serve two purpose. All you have to do is move your fingers and voila the hungry blog baby is fed for a week while you enjoy doing nothing.

So here it is the recipe for today. However tired I am  trust me this recipe is for keeps. A very traditional Bengali recipe called Patoler Dolma or stuffed pointed gourd in spicy gravy. No not your everyday recipe but make it when you have time and you are not damn tired. Even best if you cook this when guests come over, they will soon talking of your culinary genius.

Though the recipe is quintessentially Bengali but it borrowed its name from Mediterranean cuisine. Dolma generally refers to Turkish food where stuffed vegetables (mostly with spicy rice) and little pouches of stuffed grape leaves enjoy a special place. Today I have the pure vegetarian recipe of Dolma with cooked chana dal stuffing. In this recipe the quality of the pointed gourd plays a major role. Please choose the ones which are tender and fresh. My maa also prefers to use patol that are longer and slender.

Patoler Niramish Dolma.

Pointed gourd: 6 pcs
Bengal gram: ½ cup (chana dal or cholar dal)
Scraped coconut: 2 tbsp
Ginger Paste: 1+2 tsp
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Cumin powder: 1 tsp
Chili powder: ½ tsp
Tomato: 1 large:
Turmeric powder
Garam masala powder: ½ tsp
Oil: 1+1 tbsp+for frying the gourd

For tempering
Cumin seeds: 11/2 tsp
Bay leaf: 1
Green chilies: 2
Cloves: 2
Cinnamon: ½ ‘ piece

For bhaja masala:
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Coriander seeds: 1 tsp
Fennel seeds: ½ tsp
Whole dry red chili: 1

Wash the lentils till the water runs clear. Soak it for 15 minutes. Then boil it with a pinch of turmeric and water till soft and mushy. Drain the water completely and immediately mash it to get a almost smooth paste. It should be soft and should form a loose dough.

Prepare the patol or the Pointed gourds:
While the lentil is boiling prepare the gourds. Cut one pointed edge of the gourd. With a knife lightly scrape the skin of the gourds. Now using the back of a spoon scoop out the soft flesh and seeds. Be careful not to puncture it, at the end you should have a perfectly hollow shell to stuff. Repeat the process for the remaining pieces. Wash and drain the water. Smear little salt and keep it aside.

Heat a pan with oil for frying the gourds. We are definitely not deep frying here but put enough oil to make them golden brown on all sides. Drain and place on kitchen papers.

Heat a pan and dry roast the bhaja masala ingredient on low flame till they are nicely browned. Pound in a mortar and pestle for a coarse powder. Keep aside.

In the same mortar and pestle pound the flesh and seeds of the gourds to a coarse paste. Keep aside.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Once its hot add ½ tsp cumin seeds and 1 chopped green chilly. Once they start to splutter add 1 tsp of ginger paste and a pinch of salt. Fry for a minute and then add the flesh of the gourds. Sauté for a few minutes or till the raw smell is gone (2-3 minutes). Mix in the boiled and mashed lentils. Add salt, a pinch of sugar and little turmeric. Cook on low flame till everything is mixed together and the mixture start to leave the sides. Mix in the bhaja msala and the scraped coconut. Mix, adjust seasoning and keep aside.

Once the stuffing is cool to touch stuff the fried gourd shells. Be sure to put enough of the stuffing and stuff it tightly or it will start coming out when cooked in gravy.

Curry sauce:
To make the curry sauce mix in the rest of the ginger paste, cumin-coriander powder, chili powder in 3 tbsp water. Keep aside.

Now that we need to place the gourds side by side it helps if you use a flat frying pan for this.

Heat 1 tbsp oil and temper with cumin seeds, whole cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf and chopped green chilly. Once they splutter add the soaked spice paste. Add a pinch of salt and cook on low till oil start to separate. Add the chopped tomato and  little salt (to taste) and cook on low till everything mixes together (approx 5-6 minutes). Wait till oil start to reappear and then add 1 cup warm water. Bring it to a boil and then carefully place the stuffed gourds in the gravy side by side. Using a spatula cover the top with the gravy. Cover and let it simmer on low for 8-10 minutes. It helps if you can turn the gourds to cook it evenly on all sides. 

When the gravy thickens sprinkle the garam masala powder and serve hot with plain rice.

A Homemaker's Notes:
The recipe is quite lengthy and defintely need some time so it helps if you make the stuffing beforehand.

Maa also stuff and cook small brinjals with the leftover stuffing and it taste delish too.

Serve it: Original Recipes from Home, hosted this month at Krithi's Kitchen.
MLLA: 54, the most loved event tarted by Susan. This month hosted at my friend Sukanya's Saffronstreaks.
Bon Vivant 10#Festive feasts at Sumee's culinary bites.

dolma recipe, recipes for dolma, turkish dolma, armenian dolma, bengali dolma recipe, bengali niramish dolma recipe, lentil stuffed vegetable recipe, dolma in spicy gravy, how to prepare dolma, how to scoop patol, patoler dolma, cholar dal die dolma, cholar dal patol, best dolma recipe, vegetarian dolma stuffing, 

You Might Also Like


  1. Loved the read ...reminds me of my old days..and yes the dish is exotic.... never tried with lentil stuffing....

  2. wonderful write up dear. very yummy and delicious recipe. Thanks for sharing. Generally amra shrimp or paneer stuff kori patol e. But tomar ta really innovative.

    today's recipe:

  3. wow Sayantani :) dish looks very inviting and interesting too, lovely fall clicks

  4. Lovely write up and beautiful pics...When are you back in India ? Enjoy your stay there. I haven't cooked too much with potol, but this sounds and looks delish !

  5. Very nice and yummy dish, quite new to me too

  6. Unique dish,looks so yum,thanks for sharing this yummy recipe dear..

  7. Nice writeup. This Dolma is something new to me. Learning many new recipes from your blog whenever you post something.

  8. Never cooked this pointed gourd.Beautiful fall pictures. Stuffed gourds looks fabulous and droolworthy.

  9. Loved reading the write up....Dish looks super tempting....

  10. Beautiful clicks. My hubby and kids don't like the gourd except for me. I love it spicy.

  11. loved ur post, the dish also looks yummy !!!

  12. Love the clicks and your post.. That looks so good. i have never tried this dish before.! Wonder how it tastes

  13. healthy n yummy recipe...nice cliks as always...
    Iam back to blogging...Plz..visit 1ce dear...
    Visit my new
    face book page

  14. I know this if off topic but I'm looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is needed to get setup? I'm assuming having
    a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I'm not very web smart so I'm not 100% positive. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
    My blog post - borkum riff

  15. woah. awesome pictures. you know what? i think the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” has finally come true for me.
    but seriously. these pictures are only worth two words. Make these. =D

  16. nice pics as always..yummy.
    BTW plz viist my space n check out my new FB page.Thanks in advance..

  17. Beautiful recipe. Lovely pictures too.

  18. Very nice clicks !! Beautifully peresented ...

  19. Very nice clicks !! Beautifully peresented ...

  20. Happy new Year Sayantani to you and yours !
    Its a very nice and cozy kind of writing, loved reading the entire lenght of it.
    I have done potoler dalma in many ways but stuffing the potols with chanadal never crops in my mind, must say its fantastico. And those rekabi looks so good as prop !
    Love to have the glimpses of Japan.
    Thanks for supporting MLLA.
    Love Sukanya


Popular Posts