Potala Rasa (without onion & garlic) – an Odia delicacy

a semi-thick gravy (without Onion & Garlic) using the pointed gourd from Odia cuisine

Pointed Gourd !!

Pointed gourd aka Parwal, Parval, Potala is a popular vegetable with its origin in the Indian subcontinent. This vegetable looks similar to Ivy gourd or tindora but little bigger in size. Summer is the perfect time for this vegetables. It is rated as one of the nutritious foods and loaded with vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin C. It also contains minerals like Calcium, Phosphorous, Iron, Pottasium etc. In Ayurveda, pointed gourd is used to treat the gastric problems. It helps to enhances digestion, stimulates the liver, purify the blood tissue etc. Particularly in eastern part of India like Odisha, West bengal, Bihar this vegetbale is widely cultivated. The pointed gourd is cooked in a variety of ways such as in curry, dry dish, soup and even sweets. 

  • In Nepal, a soup is prepared using this vegetables and is traditionally served to the sick people. 
  • In Bihar state of Indian subcontinent using pointed gourd / parwal/ potala, a sweet dish is prepared as ‘Parwal ki Mithai’ or ‘Stuffed Pointed Gourd Sweet’.  Basically the vegetable is cored and then stuffed with a rich filling of mawa / khoya and chopped dry fruits. Before stuffing, the parwals are well boiled in sugar syrup. This is the reason for which while having a bite, nobody can guess that these are prepared using the vegetable Parwal.
  • Similar to above sweet dish, a curry is also prepared with some stuffed pointed gourd which is named as Stuffed Parwal Gravy (no-Onion-no-Garlic). The stuffing here is prepared using chenna (cottage cheese). This is a no-onion-no-garlic side dish and even completely gluten free
  • Another curry which is quite popular in Odia cuisine using the parwal is Potala Rasa | Odia Style Pointed Gourd Curry. The odia word ‘Potala’ means Pointed Gourd and ‘Rasa’ means Gravy. The rasa / the gravy here has a very smooth consistency, so the ingredinets for the gravy has to be grounded into very fine paste. This is one of the most popular curry dish which goes very well with steamed rice, roti or even paratha. Mustard oil is used here to get the most authentic flavor in the dish. This can be prepared using Onion-Garlic or without using Onion-Garlic. I have already shared the onion-garlic version and today I am here for the without Onion-Garlic version.

Dietary note :

    ✔  Vegan

    ✔  Without onion & garlic

    ✔  Gluten free

    ✔  Festive Curry

      How to make the potala rasa without using onion & garlic :

      To make this version of rasa, first the pointed gourds are slitted lengthwise using a knife (keeping in mind not to cut the parwal into halves) and then shallow fried. A fine paste is prepared here using poppy seeds, cashews, onion, ginger along with few spices. The paste is cooked well in oil with some more spice powders and then the shallow fried parwals are added to the cooked masala. Everything is mixed and cooked till the potala are well done. Then some amount of coconut milk is added and cooked for 1-2 minutes hardly. 

      One can also adjust the consistency of the curry as desired. My family like slightly thick consistency potala rasa if prepared without onion & garlic where as in the potala rasa using onion garlic we love to have semi thick kind. So adjust according as you like ! Similarly I love to add potato in the onion-garlic version potala rasa. But in without onion-garlic version, my family does not like so I dont add. But one can make this potala rasa with some potato pieces (simply cut 1-2 large potatoes lengthwise into wedges, fry along with parwal pieces and finally add to the curry along with parwal pieces.)

      Serving suggestion :

      As this is prepared without using onion and garlic, so it is quite common in festival time (particularly in summers) in Odia households. In marriage functions, any special celebrations also this potala rasa is Must kind of dish in menu. The highlight of this dish is its gravy which comes from coconut milk and the paste of poppy seeds, cashews, onion, ginger along with few spices. So this is a must try dish if the pointed gourd aka potala are available in market which is mostly in summer season. It pairs so well with poori, paratha even with steamed rice, pulao etc. Do make some time !

        The event related to this post :

        Monday is here again and thFoodie Monday Blog Hop team has decided the 254th theme as ‘Farali Farmaish which is suggested by Kalyani this timeHer blog is loaded with a no of healthy and delicious recipes. Well for the theme she suggested to make any dish which we often prepare during festive time. So here I have come up with no Onion & no Garlic version of Potala Rasa and contributed for the theme. Do not forget to check her recent Peanut Sundal which is a perfect festive time dish. 

        Now let’s go through how to make “Potala Rasa (without onion & garlic)” at home 👇


          : Recipe Card :

          Potala Rasa (without onion & garlic) – an Odia delicacy


          Potala Rasa (without onion & garlic) - an Odia delicacy

          Author: sasmita

          Prep time: 15 MCook time: 40 MTotal time: 55 M

          a semi-thick gravy (without Onion & Garlic) using the pointed gourd from Odia cuisine


          • Pointed gourd (Parwal / Potala) 10-12 no.
          • Tomato (medium) 2 no.
          • Ginger 1 inch
          • Whole red chili 1 no.
          • Cashew 5-6 no.
          • Poppy seed 2 tbsp
          • Green cardamom 1 no.
          • Black cardamom 1 no.
          • Clove 2-3 no.
          • Bay leaf 1 no.
          • Cinnamon 1 inch
          • Cumin powder 1 tsp
          • Coriander powder 1 tsp
          • Red chili powder 1 tsp
          • Turmeric powder 1 tsp
          • Garam masala powder 1 tsp
          • Cumin seed 1/2 tsp
          • Coconut milk 4-5 tbsp
          • Oil 4 tbsp
          • Salt as needed
          • Water as needed


          1. Soak cashews and poppy seeds in warm water. Keep aside for 15-20 minutes.
          2. Next wash and clean all the potatoes and pointed gourds.
          3. Then trim off both the end parts of the pointed gourds and just gently scrape out the outer skin of these, but this scraping part is optional (prefer to scrape if the outer skin is too hard).
          4. Make slits lengthwise in each parwal / pointed gourd using a knife (keeping in mind not to cut the parwal into halves) and keep in a mixing bowl.
          5. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and 1/2 tsp salt over the slitted parwal and mix everything. Keep aside.
          6. Meanwhile take chopped tomato, soaked cashews & poppy seeds, whole red chili, roughly chopped ginger, bay leaf, cinnamon, black cardamom in a blender jar and make a fine smooth paste. Keep aside.
          7. Now heat oil in a kadhai / pan.
          8. Gently put all the parwal pieces and fry until they become light brown in color over low-medium heat.
          9. Transfer to a plate.
          10. Into the same pan with remaining oil, add whole green cardamom along with cloves, cumin seeds and allow to splutter.
          11. Then add sugar and allow to melt.
          12. Soon few foam appears, immediately add the paste gently.
          13. Stir and cook over low-medium heat till the raw smell goes away.
          14. Add all the spice powder as turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder, cumin powder and also salt.
          15. Pour 2-3 tbsp water & mix well.
          16. Cook these masala by stirring in between till oil starts leaving from the masala.
          17. Then add all the fried parwals pieces.
          18. Mix gently so that all the parwals are well coated.
          19. Cook for 1-2 minutes and then pour around 1-1.5 cup water.
          20. Give a nice stir and wait till a boil comes.
          21. Cover and allow to cook till parwal pieces are well cooked over low-medium heat.
          22. Add the coconut milk, give a nice stir and allow to cook 1-2 minutes.
          23. Sprinkle the crushed kasoori methi, give a stir again.
          24. Turn off heat and serve as a side dish with steamed rice, poori or paratha !


          Sugar here gives a lovely color to the whole dish, so I never recommend to skip this addition.
          Potatoes is loved by all in my family, so I always add. But this addition is also optional.
          I love to add potato in the onion-garlic version potala rasa which I have shared earlier. But in without onion-garlic version, my family does not like so I do not add. But one can make this potala rasa with some potato pieces (simply cut 1-2 large potatoes lengthwise into wedges, fry along with parwal pieces and finally add to the curry along with parwal pieces.)
          One can also adjust the consistency of the curry as desired.


          Vegetarian, Odia cuisine, Odia curry, Potala Rasa, Potala, Parwal, Festive curry, Cashew, Coconut milk, Poppy seeds, tomato

          Vegan, Gluten free, Side dish, Pointed Gourd, Without onion & garlic

          Odia cuisine

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          1. Priya Iyer

            We don't cook Parwal very often, but this sabzi sounds so yummy that I'm tempted to buy some right away. I love the various spices you have added in. Can imagine the beautiful flavours the dish would have!

          2. Kalyani

            we dont get pointed gourd except for few weeks in the year, loving this satvik gravy, Sasmita . am sure my family would love it 🙂

          3. Priya Vj

            I don't use parwal in my cooking as no one likes it .but loved the description of the satvik masala that goes into the making of this recipe. I shall try this recipe with some other veggie similar to parval . Loved the clicks .

          4. preethi'scuisine

            I love odia version of pointed gourd curry. Absolutely delicious. This satvik version looks Super tempting too. Beautiful clicks.

          5. Poonam Bachhav

            I always look for satvik curries to open my Monday fast with. This pointed gourd curry looks very flavorful.

          6. Mayuri Patel

            A totally different way for me to use pointed gourd. I usually make a dry stir fry. The rasa is so flavourful with poppy seeds, cashew nuts and spices. Though I wouldn't be able to have it on fasting days, its an excellent curry for other days.

          7. Sujata Roy

            Something similar to potoler dalna but more rich because of coconut milk, cashews, poppy seeds and black cardamom. Loved this version of parwal curry. I will try it sometime whenever I can get some long variety parwal.

          8. Narmadha

            Gravy looks so rich with cashews and poppy seeds paste. Potala rasa looks so delectable and so tempting clicks

          9. Swati

            I miss a good fresh parwal here, don't like the frozen ones.. your dish is too tempting but I can't try now.. no onion garlic curry looks so rich .. I like the addition of coconut milk here, that must have added a richer texture and a nutty taste to the curry.

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          Myself Sasmita, a techie turns to a food blogger which is reflected in this space.

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