Potol Posto…seasons don’t matter!


Potol Posto (Parwal with Khus Khus / Pointed Gourd with Poppy Seed Paste)…it’s officially autumn, so what am I doing cooking a summer vegetable in a typical summer prep…seasons don’t matter when you are away from home and cravings strike…seasons also don’t matter when your weekly visits to the Indian Food market reduce to monthly visits and then dwindle down to quarterly, you grab what you see, pack 10 bags full of grocery and come back home skipping because you just found gold…seasons especially don’t matter when someone tells you that Indian food needs a million ingredients to taste nice…well, then you just have to prove them wrong, don’t you?😊

(The next few recipes on the blog will be simple Indian food recipes using 5 ingredients or less – typical home cooking and not what you see in restaurants or curry houses…so stick around!


  • Potol/Parwal/Pointed gourd, 8- 10 pieces
  • Posto/Khus Khus/ White Poppy seeds, ¼ cup
  • Green chillies, 3-4
  • Kalo Jeera/Kalonji/Nigella seeds, ½ tsp
  • Onion, finely sliced, 1 medium size *refer to notes
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 2 tbsp (preferably Mustard Oil, or else any white oil of your choice- Peanut/Sunflower/RiceBran/Vegetable/Canola/Rapeseed Oil)

Optional Ingredients:*refer to notes

  • Turmeric powder, ¼ tsp + 1/8 tsp
  • Red chili powder, ½ tsp for heat or Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder, ½ tsp for colour
  • Sugar, ½ tsp or to taste


If you have a wet grinder: Soak posto in ½ cup of hot water for half an hour. Grind into a nice white paste with 1 green chilli and some salt.


If you have a dry spice grinder: Dry grind the posto and then mix with water to make a thick wet paste.

Wash and pat dry the potols. Scrape the skin off, cut off the ends and peel off the skin in alternate strips.

Now you can either slice the potols lengthways into 2 or 4 slices each or simply make long slits on both ends.

Toss them with a little salt and ¼ tsp turmeric powder, if using and keep aside

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and on medium high heat, fry the potols until lightly browned on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside.

In the same pan, add the balance 1 tbsp oil. When the oil is hot, add nigella seeds and let them splutter.

Add in the sliced onions and 2-3 green chillies slit through. Sauté till the onions change colour to light brown.

Add salt and the remaining turmeric powder, chilli powder & kashmiri chilli powder, if using. Stir to mix well.

Reduce the heat and add the posto paste. Sauté and stir well for 3– 4 minutes till raw smell of posto goes.

Add the fried potols and stir gently to mix with onion and posto paste.

Add half a cup of warm water and sugar, if using.

Cover and cook till the potols are fully cooked and almost all the water has dried up. The gravy should coat the potols nicely and should not be runny.

Serve with plain rice…heaven!!


  • Remember, salt is added in three stages – first while making posto paste, then while frying potols and then finally with the onions. Adjust quantity needed accordingly.
  • I like the texture onion gives to the gravy, you can skip if you want.
  • In my husband’s family, turmeric is usually never used with posto (it interferes with the flavour). If you want to use turmeric to get some colour, I have specified when to add should you choose to use it.
  • The green chillies used in the posto paste and then with the onions mean there is normally no need to add red chilli powder for heat. I have specified above when to add in, in case you choose to.
  • We don’t add Kashmiri Red Chilli powder to keep the posto gravy colour. I have specified above when to add in, if you want to add it for colour.
  • Normally a little sugar is almost always added to posto dishes. I prefer to skip.


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