Santosh Shah
Recipe Curated by MasterChef Santosh Shah

Parwals, also known as pointed gourds are widely available in Nepali and Indian vegetable shops. They are about 10cm (4in) long, green, and stripy. The seedy center is scooped out and discarded and only the skin is cooked. This is my favorite way to prepare it, which is one of my mother’s best recipes – stuffed and served with a spicy tomato-based curry sauce.

Stuffed Parwal

Ingredients

  • Parwal (Pointed Gourd) 4
  • 0nion 1
  • Garlic Clove and Ginger 1 1/2
  • Tomatoes 2
  • GreenChilli 1
  • Teaspoon Chilli Powder 1
  • Teaspoon Mustard Seeds 1
  • Teaspoon Dhaniya (Coriander Powder) 1
  • Teaspoon Salt 1/2
  • Teaspoon Jira (Cumin Seeds) 1
  • Teaspoon Garam Masala 1
  • Teaspoon Basic Masalas 1
  • Tablespoons Vegetable Oil or Ghee 2

For the Stuffing

  • Paneer 50 g
  • Capsicum 1
  • Teaspoons Ginger, 1 Garlic Clove 4
  • Tablespoons Raisins 3
  • Tablespoons Dhaniya (Coriander Leaves) 2
  • Green Chillies Chopped 3
  • Teaspoon Turmeric 1
  • Teaspoon Jira (Cumin Seeds) 1
  • Tablespoons Sesame Seeds 2
  • Teaspoon Salt ½

Cooking Steps

Put the mustard seeds in a small bowl, cover with 1 tablespoon of water and leave to soak overnight. The next day, the seeds will have absorbed the water. Place them in a pestle and mortar and grind into a paste. Set aside.

In a non-stick frying pan, heat some oil and put cumin seeds. Add paneer and stir well for 2-3 minutes.

Add some ginger garlic paste, salt and all the ingredients for the stuffing. Cook until the paneer turns golden brown.

Using a sharp knife, make a deep slit lengthways in each pointed gourd. You want to make a pocket and not pierce them all the way through.

Using a teaspoon, scoop out and discard the seeds and white flesh. Set aside.

Place all the ingredients for the stuffing in a food processor and pulse a few times. You want the paste to remain chunky and not too fine.

Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Fill each pointed gourd with some of the stuffing mixture.

Tie a couple of lengths of kitchen string around each one to make sure the stuffing does not fall off while cooking.

Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the stuffed gourds and cook covered, over low heat, for 20 minutes, turning them every 4–5 minutes.

Alternatively, brush them lightly with oil and bake at 180°C (160°C fan/ 350°F/Gas 4) for 25 minutes.

While the gourds are cooking, prepare the curry sauce.

Heat the oil in a medium, non-stick frying pan.

Add the cumin seeds. When they crackle, add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute, until slightly golden.

Add the onion and cook for about 7 minutes, until lightly caramelized.

Stir in the tomatoes, green chilli and all the ground spices.

Cook for 5–10 minutes, until the tomatoes have completely softened.

Add the salt, chopped coriander and mustard seed paste. Cook for a couple of minutes.

Using a hand blender or a food processor, blend the sauce until smooth.

Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Add the gourds to the sauce and cook for another 3–4 minutes.

Serve hot with rice or bread.

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