Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Narkel Moshla Potol -- moving up

Yesterday was LS's "moving up ceremony". Moving up to where? To Kindergarten from September.

As we, the parents, sat in tiny chairs waiting for the pre-kindergartners to begin the show they had been working on all these days, the owner of the school said she hoped there were enough tissue boxes for everyone.

Most parents went "awww" and "sniff sniff" on cue.
I scoffed. Silently.
Really dude, these are 4 year old. 4yr olds are supposed to turn 5 and go onto bigger schools.
That is Nature. And I am the ever cynical Mom.

And then all the little children came in , dressed in their best summer clothes, shiny and neat and stood in rows. Their earnestness was infectious and they all looked so darn cute. And there was this one little boy who, the minute he got onto the stage, hollered "Mommy", then "Daddy". He laughed. We all laughed. No idea what the parents did. They were at the far end of the room. I looked tentatively at my almost 5 yr old. She smiled. Not a bold smile but "Yeah okay, good to see you if not great" kind of smile. I was a bit afraid as she had previously suggested that we sit somewhere at the back rows but as luck and hyper-parents would have it we were right there at the front.

Once the show started the kids came into their element and forgot all "Mommy-Daddy". They sang loud and clear shaking legs, hips, hand, head. And then when it all ended, I felt a teeny-tiny lump at the throat.

Not because LS would be a Kindergartner soon but because our ties with this pre-school comes to an end. BS had started here almost 7yrs back when the school was new in our neighborhood and stayed on through Kindergarten. The owner, the teachers, the building had grown familiar. And so without a thought we had started LS in the same pre-school almost 2 yrs ago.

Now we won't really have any reasons to drive into their parking lot to drop-off a bawling child who eventually turns into a happy skipping one by end of school year.  There won't be morning throw-ups in the car and face-to-face chats with the teacher every day. We don't have to carry the blankets and pillows back every Friday remembering to wash and return next week. We will be onto bigger things come Fall when LS will ride the yellow school bus to school and nap-time at school will be a tale of the past.

Wait, actually that will be only a half-day school and she will have less school time than now. So she will be actually spending more time at home. And we won't even have to pay half the pay-check for it. And I can use that half of the pay-check to buy me a Le Creuset, actually many Le Creusets and God-willing even a Vitamix. On retrospect, the deal doesn't sound that bad. Kindergarten, we think we are ready.

That said, I made this Narkel Moshla Potol. The coconut-masla paste made here is the kind my Ma used to stuff the potol for Potol er Dolma.

But stuffing Potol to make Potol er Dolma is not my cup of tea. Not my bottle of beer either but anyway I don't drink beer. I think it involves all that tying with twine part. No, not the beer, silly. The Potol er Dolma. Remember how afraid I am of twines ? If not twine, there must be something really difficult that needs to be done to lock the potol after stuffing. So anyway, I always feel this is the easy way out where the stuffing is actually outside the potol. So I end up doing it this way at least once in the potol season. It does help that it also tastes very good.

Some more plug-in about the book. The book is now available across stores in India. If you do not see it in a store like Crossword, Landmark etc., leave me the store location and I will try to check behind the scenes. The book is also available at which I think has a Free delivery, so check that option. Folks in US, book is now on Amazon. You can order now and get the book by mid or end July.
There is also a giveaway for folks in India at "My Diverse Kitchen", a fabulous blog in its own rights. So even if you don't win the giveaway you only gain by visiting her.
More reviews on book here

Narkel Moshla Potol

Buy Potol. Also known as Parwal or Pointed Gourd. More here.

Wash and peel the skin in stripes. Then chop in half along the length.  I started with about 10 patol.

Heat  1 tsp of Oil

few methi seeds
1 tbsp peeled, chopped ginger
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Fennel seeds
1 tsp Coriander seeds
4 Laung
1/2 cup of grated coconut

Roast the spices until you get a warm spicy smell. Cool and put everything in the blender jar.

Add 1/2 cup yogurt and 4 green chillies. Make a smooth paste

Now heat some more oil(~3 tbsp) in saute pan.

Fry the potol with salt and turmeric till they are yellow with some brown spots. Remove and keep aside

Season the oil with 2 cardamom and 1 tej patta

Add coconut-masala paste.

Add salt, 1/2 tsp kashmiri Mirch and little Turmeric powder. With sprinkle of water fry the masala at low heat till oil seeps from edges

Next add the fried potol and mix with the masala. Add couple more green chillies if you want.

Add about 1 cup of water, sugar to taste, cover and cook till potol is done. Now remove cover and dry off any excess water. The gravy should cling to the patol, "makho-makho" as we say in Bengal.

Serve with luchi, parota or rice


  1. Felt like a deja vu. My little one's just moving into FS2 from pre school and had this cute 'graduation'. When is you book available in the stores here? Dying to read it.

    1. Ishita
      Book is on and for global shipping. In stores only in India

  2. Loved it! LS and the story! The thought of potoler dorma (again a nostalgia) and the recipe! (Y)

    1. I am not doing potol er dolma unless Ma is visiting :)

  3. Hi,
    love this recipe as I like the filling inside Patolr dorma but too lazy to actually make patol r dorma so this works for me perfectly :) Can u tell me one thing? In the first step of roasting the spices, the grated coconut shouldn't be roasted right? I just have to mix the grated coconut with the blended spices right?

    1. I did lightly roast the grated coconut too, you can also add it directly

    2. Oh and I also added the coconut to the blender and made the paste along with spices

  4. Sandeepa, potol in any form is every bit of it.
    Ekhane amra bhalo potol pai na jodio....
    Still waiting for the book.

    1. Amra ajkal season e potol ta bhaloi pachhi. Ami US er jei state e thaki seita extended India tai onek kichu paoa jai

  5. My youngest started KG last year...and I felt the exact same way during his pre-school graduation. It felt all those pre-school years were over (finally get to save some $$ check) but will also miss those toddler years terribly. I did need a box of tissues though and so did the other moms!
    - Lakshmi

    1. Yes, it is end of an era, no ? Today is officially her last day at the pre-school and I am really feeling sad to severe the connection we have had with this school for so many years

  6. Aww, I know.. my daughter too will go to Kindergarten at a 'big school' in September. I think I will need more time to know other kids, mums and teachers than my just 4 year old!

    On another note can you drop me a line at'm visiting NJ in summer and have some questions to ask.


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