Cooking with Seeds – Poppy: Event Round-up Addendum

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In addition to the entries listed for the Cooking with Seeds – Poppy event, here’s some more.

Biscuits with dates from Jayasri of Samayal Arai

Aloo Posto (Potatoes in Poppy Seeds Paste) from Arundhati of  My Saffron Kitchen

White Vegetable Korma from Denny of  Oh Taste n See

And, last but not the least an entry from a non-blogger friend, Subit Datta. I am writing the recipe for Papaya with Poppy Seeds here.

1. Grate a small papaya.

2. Make two tablespoon poppy seeds into paste with 1/2 green chillies.

3. Heat  one and a half tablespoon vegetable oil in a non-stick pan.

4. Put in 1/2 teaspoon onion seeds (kalojeerey).

5. Add grated papaya. Add salt. Cover and cook.

6. Add poppy seed paste. Keep stirring till dry.

7. Garnish with green chillies.

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Cooking with Seeds – Poppy: Event Round-Up

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Poppy is one of the oldest recorded spices in the world. It’s used in various culinary and medicinal purposes. It is obtained from the poppy opium (Papaver somniferum) plant. As mentioned in the wiki page of poppy seeds, the plant had been grown by the Sumerians. Poppy has also been mentioned in Egyptian papyrus scrolls as early as 1550 B.C.

Poppy was at first used as a sedative and then as a spice. But, this kidney shaped seed with its unmatched taste and aroma has stolen the hearts of thousands of foodies across the world. So, when I got to host the Cooking with Seeds event, the brain child of Priya of Priya’s Easy and Tasty Recipes, I chose poppy.

Poppy is extensively used in Bengali cuisine. Starting from stir fried poppy paste with a little garlic and salt to the famous alu-posto and dim posto sorse. Be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian dish poppy finds its place everywhere in Bengali preparation.

I have categorized the entries into four different classes depending on the type of the dish and without further ado here’s the list. Hope you enjoy it.


Vegetarian:

Nithu Bala of Nithu’s Kitchen
Beetroot Kurma

Priya of Priya’s Easy and Tasty Recipes
Sprouted Kala Channa Kurma,
Bittergourd Masala,
Broad Beans & Potato Stir fry,
Banana Blossom Dumplings Gravy

Roshan of Roshan’s Cucina
Green Pea Kurma

Pavanisrikanth  of FoodLovers
Aloo Kurma

Sangeetha of Sangi’s food world
Potato pakoda kuruma

Preethi Ram of Preethi’s Culinary
Navratna Kurma

Non – Vegetarian:

Roshan of Roshan’s Cucina
(Tomato Pilaf with) Mughlai Chicken

Nandini of Nandini’s Food Page
Fish Kurma
Egg Masala

Desserts:

Sangeetha of Sangi’s food world
Poppy seed Almond Basundi

Priya of Priya’s Easy and Tasty Recipes
Poppy Seeds Kheer

Jaya of Tamalapaku
Pala Poli

Nandini of Nandini’s Food Page
Bottlegourd and Moong Dal Payasam/Kheer

Miscellaneous:

Ayantika Ghosh of Eat Drink n Rock
Jam filled poppy seed cookies

Priya of Priya’s Easy and Tasty Recipes
Poppyseeds & Quinoa Spice Powder

Gayathri of Gayathri’s Cook Spot
Poppy Seeds Dinner Rolls

Tanvi of Sinfully Spicy
Bengali Beet Chops

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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.

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Lau Khoshar Chhechki

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When I was young I have seen my mom and grandmother cook every bit and pieces of vegetables, starting from the stems of some plants growing in the back yard to the roots of others. Not to miss the peels of few vegetables, the gourd being in the top of the list.

Chhechki, as this preparation is popularly known in Bengal is a boiled down version of stir fries. Chechki is a very authentic Bengali recipe and is made from different vegetables – from radish to beet and carrots and from stems of plantain plants to pumpkin. This chechki  that I prepared a couple of days ago was with gourd peels with a subtle concoction of spices – whole mustard and poppy to titillate your taste buds. Peels for food may sound a bit weird, but a stir fry of juliened gourd peels miraculously tastes like elixir.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium size potato
  • Peel of 1 gourd
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 2/3 chili
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 – 3 tablespoon mustard oil or oil of choice
  • 7 – 8 bori (vodi)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • Julienne the gourd peels and chop the potato in to thin 1” size pieces
  • Heat little oil in a wok and fry the boris till they turn slightly brownish, keep aside
  • Pour in rest of the oil in the wok, throw in the mustard seeds
  • Add the gourd peels and potato as the mustard seeds start spluttering
  • Add salt, turmeric powder and chili. Cook till the vegetables are half done
  • Put in the poppy seeds and cook till the veggies are fully cooked
  • Take out of flame and garnish with the fried bodis
  • Serve hot with warm rice

Hot Tips – Chhechki is mainly served with warm rice as the first side dish during lunch.

Further Reading – Chanchra, Kacha Kalar Kofta

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Alu posto/ Potato in poppy seed paste

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.

Ingredients:

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

Preparation:

  • 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

alu-posto

Take out of flame and serve with rice or chapattis.

Check for more updates on this blog, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating

Masur Dal and Alu Posto: A whole lunch

Posto or poppy seeds is always a delicacy in all Bengali household. It is extensively used as a spice in various dishes, be that in potato or chicken curry.It is said that poppy makes you feel cool, I am not sure of this saying though. I mom believes in it and so come summer there has to be some kind of a curry consisting of poppy seeds. The range varies from simple poppy seed paste sauted to poppy seed grind with cashew to make chicken curry.

As with poppy seeds, masur dal also takes up a very important place in Bengali kitchens. whenever I taste masur dal, I go down memory lane. every day when I came back from school for lunch, mom always prepared masur dal, my all time favorite among all lentils.  Even till now, when I go home in my vacations mom always cook masur dal for me.

All this I was telling because I had the best combination of veggie delight last night. It was steamed rice with masur dal and alu posto. If you are a Bengali or if you are not, then ask any Bengali , you’ll come to know that anyone would kill for this platter.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

For Alu Posto:-

Potato (Alu): 3 large size

Nigella seeds (Kalonji): 1 teaspoon

Poppy seeds (Posto): 2 tablespoons

Green Chili (Kacha Lanka): 2

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 1 teaspoon

For Masur dal:-

Masur dal: 50 gms

Onions (Peyaj): 2 small sizes

Green chili (Kacha lanka): 2

Mustard oil (Sarser tel): 1 teaspoon

Cilantro leaves (Dhaniya pata): 2 tablespoon of chopped leaves (optional)

chopped-coriander

Preparation:

Alu Posto:-

  • Grind the poppy seeds and green chili in a grinder to make a paste
  • Cut the potatoes into small one inch squares
  • Heat oil in a wok, and throw in the nigella seeds as the oil gets heated.
  • Immediately add the potatoes and toss for a while so that the oil gets mixed with the potatoes.
  • Now add turmeric and salt along with a cup of water and let the potatoes get half cooked.
  • Put in the poppy seed paste and stir so that the paste gets mixed with the half cooked potatoes. You can add more water if the curry gets dried up.
  • Cook till the potatoes get cooked properly and the water disappears.
Potato in poppy seed paste

Potato in poppy seed paste

Here is a slide show to show the stages of the cooking:

Masur Dal:-

  • Thoroughly wash the dal and put in a deep pan with salt and water so that the dal remain almost 3 inches under water. Let it boil till the water and dal becomes inseparable.
  • In a separate heat the oil and throw in the onions and green chili. Saute till the onions turn golden brown
  • Add the sauted onions to the boiled dal along with the turmeric powder and cook for two to three minutes more.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Masur Dal

Masur Dal

Masur dal and poppy-potato curry tastes best with steamed rice, but you can also try it with chapatis and rotis. The curry also looks good without turmeric, so you can try out that too. About masur dal, it depends what concentration you want for it, depending on that you can keep the water or make it dry.

the-platter

Sending this to Challenge Event hosted by Veda of Iyengar’s kitchen

presentation11

Check for more updates here on this blog, till then Happy Cooking and Happy Eating

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