A Bihari meal typically carries small servings of side dishes next to rice/roti and curry: chutney, bhujiya (fried stuff), chokha (mashed stuff). Parval chokha is one such popular side, in which parval (pointed gourd) is boiled and mashed with seasoning.
Chokha by definition sounds like Punjabi-style bharta, but there’s a slight difference in their styles of making. In chokha, after the ingredients are prepped to pliant consistency, there is no further cooking involved – the mashed base is mixed with spices and served as-is. That’s why those accustomed to Punjab’s baingan bharta often find it hard to take to the Bihar’s baingan ka chokha, and vice versa [“too bland!” vs “too overdone!”].
Parval chokha faces no such conditioning-engendered disdain: this dish does not have another avatar outside of the Bihar-Jharkhand-Bengal triad. There may be variations in the seasonings used: the template remains the same.
This parval chokha recipe lays out the dish in its simple form, and closes with suggestions on what else you could do with it for added flavoring.
- Parval (pointed gourd)* – 250 grams (4-5 pieces)
- Mustard oil – 1 tablespoon
- Green chilies – 2
- Coriander leaves – a few sprigs
- Lime juice – 1/2 tablespoon
- Salt – to taste
Use tender green parval with small white seeds. Avoid the ones with yellowing/tough skin or seeds – those can go into parval bhujiya instead.
How To Make Parval ka Chokha:
Boil the whole unpeeled parval in water till soft enough for easy mashing. If using an Indian-style pressure cooker: place the parval along with two cups in the cooker, lock and heat on high till the first whistle, then lower the heat and cook for another two whistles.
Let the boiled parval cool down. Squeeze out excess water.
Add seasonings to the mashed parval: mustard oil, chopped green chilies, chopped coriander leaves, lime juice, salt. Mix.
Parval chokha is ready.
Serve on the side with rice/rotis and curry.
- Instead of boiling the parval in water, pressure-cook it along with toor or moong dal. Once cooled, pick the boiled parval out of the dal while you use the dal for its own recipe.
- Try more seasonings: crushed garlic and mustard powder work well with parval chokha.
Try other pointed gourd recipes: aloo Parval, parval ki bhujiya.
Check out more Bihari recipes: aloo kala chana, sattu Chokha, pua.
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