Bengali Potol Bhaja/Bhaji

Potol is the Bengali name for pointed gourd, a vegetable high on fibre and also a blood cleanser. Typically potol is shallow fried and enjoyed as a side dish along with curry and dal. As delicious as Begun Bhaji but a very different texture, it’s another one of my favourite home recipes which I grew up with.

Here’s how to make it…

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Serves 4


  • 10 potols
  • 1 tsp garlic-ginger paste (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • salt to taste
  • Oil for shallow frying


  1. Prep each potol by lightly scraping with a knife – do not remove all the skin which has all the fibrous goodness!
  2. Rinse well and then cut each in half, lengthwise. Score the skin deeply across at even intervals along the length of each piece. This will allow the spices to be absorbed into the skin side.
  3. Place all the potol pieces in a deep bowl and add the spices and salt ensuring each piece is coated well.
  4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and then place all the potol pieces skin side up. Cover and allow to cook over a low-medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  5. Turn over each piece, baste with a little more oil if needed, cover and allow the skin side to cook for another 10 minutes.
  6. Continue to fry the potol, turning over as needed, until they are a deep golden brown as in the picture here.

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