Food: meat stuffed squash [keema potol dolma]

Potol can be rarely found in produce markets in the United States, but it is slowly turning up due to the overwhelming increase of South Asian food stores. Potol is also known as parwal/pointed gourd. It is similar to squash but it's outer layer of skin is not at soft as the other members of the squash family. It is one of the most delicious vegetables from South Asia. This recipe can be therefore made with any type of squash like vegetable and stuffed with the meat mixture. 

Ingredients are,

For the meat mixture,

1 lb of ground beef :: 1 onion :: 1 tsp grated garlic :: 1 tsp grated garlic :: 1 tsp red chili powder
1/3 tsp turmeric powder :: 1/2 tsp cumin powder :: 1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/3 tsp garam masala :: oil+salt

For the curry,

1 lb of potol/ or other vegetable :: 2 medium onion :: 1/2 tsp garlic paste :: 1/2 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp red chili powder :: 1/4 tsp turmeric powder :: 1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 coriander powder :: 1/2 cup yogurt :: 1/2 cup fried onion
oil+salt+pinch of sugar :: 1/2 cup flour

First and foremost the potol or the preferred vegetable needs to be prepared to be able to stuff it. For potol specifically, the skin needs to be rubbed with the edge of a spoon to get rid the hard resin that sits on top. If you wish you can also peel it with the use of a peeler. But the first option is preferred. Then the potol has to be hollowed out. The flesh inside is soft and it will easily come out. This flesh can be later used in any other dish or in the meat sauce itself. The potol can be hollowed from the long ends or made a long slit on one of the sides. Whichever you prefer. Leave the veggies aside. It is time to make the meat mixture.

Heat oil in a pan and sauté sliced onions till they are soft. Then add the grated ginger and garlic and toss for a minute. Now add in all the ground spices except for the garam masala. That will be added at the end for flavor. Immediately pour 1/3 cup of hot water into the pan and let the spices cook. The oil will rise above the spices and it will mark the time for the meat to be added. Stir the meat and mix in the spices well. Add the salt and cover the pan. The meat will let out water. Keep stirring and cooking and keep it covered until the water evaporates. Keep frying the meat till it is slightly crispy. I slightly burn mine so that the flavors become intensified. And I do this because it will be used as stuffing and therefore will distribute it's flavors among the other ingredients. Add the garam masala right before taking it off the stove.

Take the potol or your preferred vegetable and stuff them with the meat. Here in this image you can see how the two different stuffings are made. Stuff them tightly in there - as much as you can get inside. 

Take the flour and mix it with water to make the glue that will hold the meat inside the potol. The stuffed potol that has the long slit on the side - this one can be closed off with the use of cooking twine instead of the flour glue.  

Heat some oil in a flat pan and fry the stuffed potol with the flour glue that was used to close them. The frying will make sure that the flour does not melt when it is placed in the curry. Fry just for a few minutes.

Now for the curry heat oil in a pan and sauté one sliced onion. Take the other onion and blend it to make a puree and add it with the garlic and ginger paste once the sliced onions are golden. Then add the ground spices. Add the hot water immediately just like when the meat was cooked. Let the oil rise.

Once the oil rises, add the fried potol. Mix it in with the spices and add some salt.

Take the yogurt and the fried onion and blend them together. Pour this mixture over the stuffed potol.

Mix everything well and add 2 cups of hot water. The potol will need some cooking which is why the water. Keep it covered at medium low heat. 

Let the potol cook and let the spice cook and it will all come together in a thick gravy once it's done. The oil will rise like you see in the image. Finish this wonderful dish off with a pinch of sugar and maybe some slit green chilies. Bon appétit! 


Popular Posts