Parval nu Shaak is a traditional Gujarati dish featuring a blend of parval (pointed gourd) and potatoes cooked in a family recipe with dhana jeeru, green chilies, turmeric, and chili powder. The unique cooking method involves a large pan with a water-filled lid, preserving the dish’s authentic flavors and achieving the perfect texture without excess moisture. This is based on a family recipe that has been passed down through generations.
About this Recipe
Parval Batata nu Shaak is a humble yet flavorful Gujarati shaak (sabzi) of parval (pointed gourd) and potatoes. This cherished family recipe offers an authentic taste of Gujarati home kitchens.
Parval batata nu shaak is perfect for any weekday meal. This dish is a versatile addition to your Indian repertoire.
Parval – also known as “parwal” or “pointed gourd.” It can often be found in Indian markets. It looks like a large tindora or small cucumber or melon.
Potatoes – provide a little extra bulk to the recipe and a variation in flavor and texture. Potatoes are optional; you can leave them out or add more, depending on your tastes and what you have.
Dhana Jeeru – the classic Gujarati mix of toasted and ground coriander and cumin.
For this recipe, I use my Grandma’s trick of cooking on a large pan with a concave lid or a second pan used as a lid filled with water. This method helps retain the moisture into the shaak without diluting its flavors, allowing it to cook at a lower temperature.
Alternatively, you can cook it with a traditional lid and a couple of tablespoons of water. Add more if it starts to dry out.
This shaak is great for a simple weeknight meal or as part of a thali. Serve it with a wet shaak, like dudhi chana nu shaak or watermelon rind curry. Add some raita, dal, and rice to complete your thali.
Parval Batata nu Shaak | Pointed Gourd and Potato Curry
- 20 parval 400g, sliced into 1/4” sticks
- 4 small red or gold potatoes 250g, cut into 1/4” sticks
- 3 Tbsp oil of choice
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ⅛ tsp hing asafoetida
- 1 green chili or to taste, chopped
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp Kashmiri red chili powder or to taste
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp salt or to taste
- 1 Tbsp dhana jeeru powder heaping
- Prepare the parval by lightly skinning the outside with a knife or peeler. Cut in half and remove any dark seeds. Then cut into 1/4 inch slices. Each parval will make 6-8 slices depending on the size of the parval. Peel and cut the potatoes into slices of the same size.
- Make a vaghar (tempering) by heating some oil in a pan. Add cumin, let it sizzle for a few seconds, then add hing.
- Add potatoes and parval to the pan. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until the potatoes are turning golden, then add turmeric, red chili powder, salt, black pepper, green chili, and dhana jeeru.
- Cover with a flat-bottomed lid with a lip (or a large pan that completely covers the pan below) and add ½ cup water. Cook until the potatoes and parval are fully cooked, stirring every 3 to 5 minutes. The potatoes should be fork tender.
- Remove from heat, add cilantro, and serve.