Poppy seed is an integral part of the platter in all Bengali households. Preparations with poppy seeds mainly include vegan dishes, but there are also some dishes where poppy seeds are used with fish or meat. The love for poppy seeds among Bengalis started hundreds of years ago. Alu posto is the most common form of poppy seeds use in Bengali cuisine, at times the potatoes are also replaced with ridge gourds, onions, aubergine, or even chicken.
The herbal concoction of the seeds is also beneficial in treating all kinds of nervous disorders. Apart from consuming poppy seeds in its raw form or toasted on bagels and sweet breads, a paste made from the seeds can be used as a poultice in obtaining relief from swellings and joint pains. Finely ground powder made from poppy seeds can also be consumed to treat insomnia and diarrhea. Apart from adding flavor to food, poppy fields also present an added advantage of providing health benefits to the human body. It also supplies essential enzymes and fatty acids as a form of nutrition. In ancient days, athletes would consume or blend of poppy seeds with honey entwined to ensure strength and good health. The oil derived from poppy seeds is used in various cosmetic preparations for the head and skin as balms and conditioners.
Potato (Alu): 4 medium sizes
Poppy seeds (Posto): 3 tablespoons
Nigella seeds (Kalo jeera): 1 teaspoon
Green chili (kancha lanka): 3
Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon
Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste
- Make a soft fine paste of the poppy seeds and keep aside
- Cut the potatoes into small square pieces
- Heat oil in a wok over low flame, add the nigella seeds
- Throw in the potatoes along with the turmeric powder, green chilies and salt
- Pour in about a cup of water and let the potatoes get half cooked
- Add the poppy seed paste and cook till the potatoes are well cooked
- Pour in water if necessary
Take out of flame and serve with rice or chapattis.
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Too much of work pressure these few days, so just thought of posting this recipe without writing long sentences. Cook it and enjoy it.
- Raw Banana (Kacha kala): 2
- Potato (Alu): 2
- Onion (Peyaj): 1 medium size
- Bay leaf (Tej pata): 2
- Cumin seeds (Jeera): ½ teaspoon
- Cumin powder (Jeera guro): ½ teaspoon
- Chili powder (Sukhno lankar guro): ½ teaspoon
- Ginger paste (Ada bata): 1 teaspoon
- Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon
- Garam masala powder: 2 pinches
- Clarified butter (Ghee): ½ teaspoon
- Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 2 tablespoon
- Green chili (Kacha lanka): 2, chopped into small pieces
- Corn flour: 2 tablespoon
- Boil the raw banana and one potato with a pinch of salt
- Chop the onion into small pieces
- Peel off the bananas and the potato, and mash well with a pinch of salt and turmeric, green chilies, ½ teaspoon ginger paste and corn flour
- Make small balls of one-inch diameter with the mashed mass
- Heat oil in a wok and fry the banana balls till golden brown, keep aside
- Cut the potatoes into eight pieces and fry for 4 – 5 minutes, keep aside
- Add the cumin seeds, bay leaves and sauté in the heated oil
- Throw in the half fried potatoes, ginger paste, chili, cumin and turmeric powder; pour in one cup of water
- Cook till the potatoes are cooked well
- Drop in the fried balls, add the garam masala and clarified butter
- Take out of flame after a minute
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Chowmein has a very special place in my hard. It is not because of that I like all kinds of Chinese cuisine but it reminds me of my school days. Chowmein, and for that matter any kind of noodles was my favorite option for the lunch break at school. Everyday when I opened my tiffin box during lunch time, I wished that I had chowmein. When it comes to chowmein I love any type of preparation with it; be that with only vegetables, or with eggs, chicken, prawn, or even mixed. There was a restaurant in front of my school, and my only aim for saving my pocket money was to go there and have a plate of chowmein. When I was cooking chowmein the other evening lots of such memories encircled my mind. Just a plate of chowmein made me so happy. This was probably the best part of growing up; you just feel happy and contended with such little things. We were five friends and we used to fight on that single plate and then fight over who\’s going to pay the bill for that month. Out of these four friends, I have contact with only one who stays in Maryland, USA. She called me up some days back and we were talking about our chowmein fights. School was fun and the little moments of happiness made it beautiful to recollect.
I went through some of the links in the web to know more about chow mein and people\’s love towards this platter. Wiki had lots of things to contribute to the cause. One sentence caught my eyes which said that the chowmein was introduced by the Chinese in Kolkata. That was something I had no clue, though I had had noodles at the China Town in Kolkata lots of times.
Chow mein noodles: 2 whole packets
Cauliflower (Ful kopi): 1 medium bowl of small florets
Carrot (Gajor): 2 medium sizes
Green pepper (Capsicum): 1
Potato (Alu): 1 medium size
Onion (Peyaj): 1 medium size
Egg (Dim): 2
Sunflower oil (Sada tel): 2 tablespoons
Soya sauce: 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
- Cut the vegetables into thin one inch sized pieces
- Put in all the vegetables in a deep pan and half boil them
- Boil water in a pan and throw in the noodles, take them out just after 2 minutes so that the noodles do not become too soft
- Heat ½ tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and drop the eggs, add a pinch of salt; stir well to make scrambled eggs, keep aside
- Heat the rest of the oil in a wok, throw in the onions and fry till they become golden brown
- Throw in the half boiled vegetables along with salt. Fry till they become soft
- Add the boiled noodles and stir well so that the noodles get mixed with the vegetables
- Pour in the soya sauce and stir again
- Take out of flame, garnish with the scrambled eggs and serve with sauce of your choice
I had added cauliflower, potatoes, carrot and green pepper. If you like you can also other vegetable of choice. Along with eggs you can also shredded chicken or fried prawns. If you are a vegetarian then just leave out the non-vegan ingredients.
Check out for more updates here, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating
One year back I had started this blog just in search of a new hobby. 365 days have passed and I am proudly celebrating my blog’s first birthday. I am very grateful to all my blog visitors for turning my hobby into a passion. I had been thinking of how to celebrate this special occasion, and after lots of thinking I thought of hosting an event to mark this special occasion.
Easter is just a fortnight away and the first thing that comes to mind hearing the word “Easter” is eggs. The main ingredient of the event is also eggs. Prepare any kind of food; be that starter, soup, main course, side dish or dessert; but eggs should be the main ingredient of the platter.
Send in your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: “Events for eggs” along with the following details:
Your blog’s name:
Name of the recipe:
URL of the recipe:
A .jpeg photo of the recipe
If you want to send some of your archived recipes, just update the post with a mention of this event along with the link to this post. Please feel free to use the logo for the event.
Those of you who doesn’t have a blog please send in your entries in a word document file along with the photo of the prepared dish.
The last date for sending in all entries is the last of this month, i.e., 30th April 2009 midnight IST.