Posto Bhaja – Fried Poppy Paste

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Every day when you see the sun setting over the Hudson there seems to be a part of your heart which sails away to those sunsets over Princep Ghat. While still I’m starting to groove to the American way of life, every cell within me drags me to those dusty roads of Kolkata.

While the chicken teriyaki tastes good, and the brownies softer than ever, I still miss the alu posto and the soft warm rasogollas. Talking about posto, the only thing over which the Ghotis and Bangals never fight or do they?

The ways in which poppy is used in Bengali recipes is just uncountable. Bongs can kill for their soul alu posto. The soft bite sized potatoes cooked in gravy of poppy paste –  will surely tickle all your taste buds. Posto goes with alost all vegetables, another very popular posto preparation is the posto begun. Chicken is also cooked in thick gravy of poppy and cashew nut.

When it comes to poppy the way you can cook it is innumerable. But, posto also is a killer when its all by itself. The posto vada or the posto bati is a common first course for almost all Bengali household. An easier version of the posto vada is the posto bhaja. It gets prepared in minutes and you can enjoy it with just war white rice.

Posto Bhaja

Indian, Side, Authentic bengali recipe, Posto bhaja, Poppy paste fry
Cooks in    Serves 4
  • 1/2 cup poppy seeds
  • 3-4 green chilies, chopped coarsely
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped coarsely
  • 1/4 size small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Dry grind the poppy seeds to fine powder in a coffee grinder. Soak with salt and turmeric in 3 tablespoons warm water
  • Heat oil in a skillet. Saute the onion and garlic. Add the poppy paste and green chili.
  • Fry till the paste is little dried and the color changes to a darker shade
  • Serve hot with warm white rice as a first course

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Event Announcement: Cooking with Seeds – Poppy

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Poppy: The Gastronomic King

Poppy is one of the most widely used spices or rather seeds in any cuisine. The seeds though tiny have a huge influence in art of the gastronomy. As the wiki page on poppy rightly claims poppy had been essentially grown for medicinal purposes as a sedative, but more for its famous counterpart, the cuisine delights.

Poppy in Cuisine

Uses of poppy seeds find its preliminary element as a classic add-on to buttered egg noodles, fruit salad dressings and fragrant yeast breads. Poppy seeds lend a nutty flavor and texture to cookies, cakes, breads, strudels, pastry crusts and pancake, including even waffle batters. The seeds of the poppy plant are used extensively in and on umpteen food delights such as bagels, bialys, muffins or cakes and not to forget the famous alu posto (patato in poppy paste). The seeds can be crushed to manufacture poppy seed oil, which can vastly be employed in cooking. The primary flavor compound for poppy is 2-pentylfuran.

Poppy  – The healthy seed

Poppy seeds add a distinct flavor and taste to food. But that is not the only reason why they are consumed; poppy seeds provide quite a number of health benefits too. Poppy seeds are considered to be an excellent source of vital minerals like magnesium, zinc, calcium, etc. that are needed for the smooth functioning of all human organs. As they provide the body with a good source of carbohydrates, they add loads of energy in the body. The fatty acids aid in digestion as well as supplying other important acids required to break down food in the stomach. Poppy seeds contain linoleic acid and oleic acid. Linoleic acid protects the heart from many heart diseases and conditions, while oleic acid is known to help in prevention of breast cancer. Calories in poppy seeds is also comparatively less than other spices and herbs.

As it does not contain a lot of alkaloids, one of the poppy seeds nutrition facts is that it is used to treat all kinds of nervous disorders. It is given in minimum quantities to treat insomnia. It also helps to alleviate asthma and whooping cough symptoms. It is also used to treat diarrhea and other stomach related conditions. Its use in medicinal products and medicines is highly regulated though. Oil extracted from poppy seeds is also used to make drugs and medicines.

Poppy – The Event

With all these benefits in mind and also for its wonderful taste, when I thought of being a part of Priya’s Cooking with Seeds series, I instantly chose poppy to be the theme for this month. All through this month we’ll be hosting the Cooking with Seeds event, the brain child of Priyasuresh of Priya’s Easy and Tasty Recipes.

Send in your entries to bengalicuisine [at] gmail [dot] com with the following details and “Cooking with Seeds – Poppy” in the subject line:

  • Name:
  • Prepared dish:
  • URL of the recipe:
  • Name of website/blog:
  • URL of your site:
  • Image of the prepared recipe:

Entries will be accepted throughout this month till 31st October, 2010 12 midnight IST.

The entries can be recently posted during this month or can also be archived posts, but please update your posts with a link to Cook Like a Bong and Priya’s Easy and Tasty Recipes. We’ll love if you can add this logo to your posts.

Those of who don’t have a blog please send in your entries to the above email-id along with your details and the recipes. We’ll put up the recipe as a guest post in our site and include those on the round-up to be published in the first week of November.

We would love to know your suggestions and comments. Don’t forget to have a copy of our Festive recipe e-book and the October calendar.

If you like this post, please consider linking to it or sharing it with others. I’ll love to hear your comments too. You can also Subscribe to BengaliCuisine by Email, or Subscribe in a reader

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