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Food and Recipe

Fish stuffed Parwal
[परवल डोलमा]

Contributed By:
Anupriya Sinha
Anupriya Sinha, Pune


Parwal - 5-6 nos (large)
Fish fillets (any fleshy and oily fish like Kanti, Boari, Bhetki, etc) – 300 gm
Mustard oil – 2 tsp (for making the filling) + 2 tsp (for frying stuffed parwals)
Onion – 1 medium (finely chopped)
Green chili – 2 (finely chopped)
Ginger (grated) – 2 tsp
Coriander powder – ½ tsp
Cumin powder – ½ tsp
Green cardamom powder – ¼ tsp
Cinnamon powder – ¼ tsp
Amchoor powder – 1 tsp
Salt – as per taste
Sugar – ¼ tsp (optional)
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp

For gravy:
Mustard oil – 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Bay leaf - 1-2
Onion – 2 medium (finely chopped)
Tomato – 1 large (pureed)
Ginger paste – 2 tsp
Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Chili powder – 1 tsp or as desired
Salt – as per taste
Sugar – ½ tsp or as desired
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Water – 2 cup or as desired for the right consistency of gravy
Garam masala powder – ½ tsp
Ghee – 1 tsp (optional)

Method of Preparation

1. Scrape the parwals with a knife, cut the ends and core. Wash parwals and keep aside. Discard the seeds. [See Picture]

2. For making the filling, sprinkle salt and turmeric on to the fish fillets and rub. Keep aside for 5 minutes.

3. Grease a nonstick pan with ½ tsp oil and sear the fillets till cooked.

4. Cool and mash the fillets till smooth.

5. Heat 1 ½ tsp of oil in a non-stick kadai and add the onion. Saute till golden brown.

6. Add the remaining ingredients of the filling and sauté for 1 minute.

7. Add the mashed fish and stir well. Remove from heat and keep covered for 5 minutes, so that the moisture and aroma is retained. Then cool to room temperature.

8. Fill the cored parwals with this mixture tightly, by pressing with a finger. Keep the stuffed parwals aside.

9. Heat 2 tsp of oil in a nonstick pan and sear the stuffed parwals on low heat. [See Picture]

10. Keep the pan covered while searing so that the parwals get cooked properly. Keep turning intermittently using a pair of tongs.

11. As the parwals get cooked, they will shrink and hence some of the filling may come out. You can press it back, using your hands. Keep the cooked parwals aside when done.

12. To make the gravy, heat 1 tbsp oil in a kadai and add cumin seeds and bayleaf.

13. Now add onion and saute till browned.

14. Add pureed tomato, ginger and garlic and saute till oil is separated.

15. Sprinkle little water and add all the dry spice powders. Mix well and add turmeric, salt and sugar. Saute till oil separates again.

16. Add water, mix and bring to boil. Simmer this for 10 minutes till rawness of the masala is gone.

17. Add garam masala, mix and add the stuffed parwals. Simmer covered for another 5-6 minutes and remove from heat. Keep covered for 10 minutes. If desired you can add 1 tsp ghee on top, at this stage.

18. Serve hot with pulao or plain rice.

Notes & Tips

1. Any excess filling (upto 1 tbsp) may be added to the gravy.

2. The filling can be altered as per individuals’ taste and fish can be replaced with prawns/shrimps/chicken or even some vegetarian items like potato, mushrooms, soy granules, etc. or a combination.

3. This is a famous Bengali delicacy and is called “Potoler Dolma/Dorma”. The term “Dolma” actually comes from the mediterranean and middle eastern cuisines, which means “meat or grain stuffed vegetables”. Bengalis have adopted this technique to make this dish but they use their own ingredients.

4. I have learned to make this dish from my mother-in-law and have made slight modifications to suit my Bihari palate.


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