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


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)



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.


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


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

Baigan Bharta

Last five days I am all done with a heavy cold and extreme head aches. All of these sickness made me stay out of kitchen for these. I am speding time more on the bed than anywhere else at home. This morning when at last I thought of visiting the near by doctor, he gave me a shock. He prescribed with lots of medicine and talked about me having rhinocitis. The term reminded me of that Khaziranga National Forest rinos with a horn at the place of nose. Now, coming to the graver part, he suggested that if these problems do not get better by the next 5 days and with all these medications then it is presumably a case of sinusitis and in that case I need to a have a CT scan done. CT scan !!!! O dear Lord !!! I am an absolute claustrophobic, I can’t stay inside a lift for more than a few seconds and he was asking me to have a CT scan done, that means staying inside that whole for more than half-an hour. I was feeling worse with this news than with all of these running nose, blocked ears and head aches.

I had cooked up Baigan Bharta as a side dish for last night dinner. My brain going haywire with the news from the doctor this morning, it think it will look like a bharta and nothing less. So thought of writing this post.

The Big Fat Brinjal - ready to roast

The Big Fat Brinjal - ready to roast

Serves 4


Eggplant (Begun) : 1 big size

Onions (Peyaj): 3 large size, julienned

Tomato: 2 medium size, cut into squares

Green chilli (kacha Lanka): 4, cut into ringlets

Turmeric powder (Halud guro): ½ teaspoon

Coriander leaves(Dhaniya pata) chopped for garnishing

Salt to taste

Lemon juice (Pati lebur raus): 1 tablespoon, optional


  • Prick the brinjal with a fork or knife.
  • Roast the eggplant, so that it gets softened and the skin starts coming out of it.
  • Take the skin out of the eggplant, mash and  keep it aside
  • Heat oil in a wok
  • Toss in the onion. Sauté till softens
  • Add the mashed eggplant to the onions along with tomatoes, turmeric powder, chili ringlets and salt.
  • Cook till the eggplant dries, take care that it doesn’t get stick to the bottom of the wok.
  • Take out of flame and garnish with coriander leaves and lemon juice.

Baigan bharta is best tasted with roti or parantha. Though I had to roast the eggplant on a gas oven, it tastes and smells best when roasted over a charcoal oven.

Baigan Bharta

Baigan Bharta

Catch me with more updates on this blog, till then

Happy Cooking and Happy Eating

As I have not used any electrical or electronic gadgets to cook this, my post is heading for the ‘Power’ less cooking event

hosted by Simple Indian Food


This is of great joy for me to send in my post to Devon Ave: Indian-Jewish Adventure! hosted by Joelen.

Baigan Bharta goes to fight the other Eat Healthy-Fight Diabetes entries hosted by Sangeeth.


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


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