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Chal Potol - 4

Chal Potol

Madhushree Basu Roy
A traditional Bengali dish made of pointed gourd or parwal with fragrant short grained rice. It is a no onion no garlic vegetarian recipe also made during Poila Boishakh, the Bengali New Year.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Passive Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Bengali
Servings 6 people


  • 300- 400 gms potol parwal in hindi and pointed gourd in english
  • 1 1/2 cups gobindobhog rice or any short grained fragrant rice (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup raisins or kishmish
  • 2 nos dried bayleaf
  • 3 nos green cardamom
  • 4- 5 nos cloves
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 2 -3 nos green chilies slit them
  • 1 no large tomato finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp Bengali garam masala powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil
  • 2 - 3 tbsp any vegetable oil You can replace it with ghee as well
  • 1 tbsp ghee


  • Wash the rice and keep it soaked in water for an hour. After an hour,drain the water and spread it on a collander for all the water to drip off andthe rice to dry.
  • Wash the parwals and scrape the outer peels lightly. Then cut out the ends. Cut the parwals in cubes in angular way, 3 to 4 pieces per parwal.
  • In a kadai or a heavy bottomed saucepan, take some vegetable oil and lightly fry the parwals till they are golden and little brown on the edges.Take the parwals out and keep them aside.
  • In the same pan, add the dried rice and stir fry the rice till it becomes translucent in colour. Once the rice is fried, take it out and keep aside. 
  • Now, add mustard oil to the same kadai or saucepan and when the oil is almost hot, add dried bayleaf, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and green chilies. Stir fry till they release fragrance.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and lightly fry them under medium heat. Also add the ginger paste and fry. At the same time, in a separate bowl, take all the powder spices (except garam masala) and add some water to make a slurry.
  • Add the slurry to the pan and keep stirring under medium heat for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the raisins and fry them. And then add the rice. Coat the rice with the spices. Add the fried parwal.
  • Then add Bengali garam masala and mix everything together. Finally add warm water, salt and sugar.
  • I have added 2 cups of water in the beginning and approximately 1 cup through the course of the cooking. Add little more salt than what you taste since it is a pulao and when the rice is cooked, the salt needed will be more.
  • The ratio of water to rice should be 2:1 and leave a little water aside to be used during the process of cooking.
  • Once all that is done, give it a boil. Stir everything and cover and lower the temperature to a minimum.
  • After 15 minutes, remove the cover and if you see that the water has almost dried up, sprinkle some warm water over the rice and around the edges. Very gently, with a spatula, toss the rice from the bottom to the top. Cover once again and cook.
  • Every 5 to 6 minutes, remove the lid and repeat the process till the rice is cooked.
  • When the rice has become soft, drizzle some ghee over the top and cover it and et it remain for a couple of minutes before serving.
  • Serve chal potol as it is or with any side of your choice.



  1. If you cannot find gobindobhog rice, use any short grained fragrant rice. You can also use basmati, the only difference will be the cooking time. 
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