I am on vacation in Calcutta, my home town, and I can’t find a topic better than parwal, or pointed gourd. For this vegetable is native to this part of India. While this is a familiar vegetable for people in eastern India, it’s relatively exotic in other regions, like Maharashtra, where it is four times as expensive as in Bengal (an eastern state). And in the United States, it sells for $7 a pound!
Parwal’s Latin name is Trichosanthes dioica. Called parwal in Hindi and potol in Assamese, Oriya, and Bengali, it is widely cultivated in the eastern part of India, particularly in Orissa, Bengal, Assam, and Bihar, and parts of Uttar Pradesh.
It is a vine plant, similar to cucumber and squash, though unlike those it is perennial. The fruits are green, mostly with white stripes; the size can vary from small and round to thick and long — 2 to 6 inches.
It is used as ingredients of stew, curry, or eaten fried and as “dorma” with stuffing. Pointed gourd is also converted to a sweetmeat in Bengal.
For more on the possibilities of parwal, please be patient. This post is merely a prelude. For what you can do with parwal, watch out for another post. I will need to ask my mother for help on that.